15 predictions for Arkansas' 2020-21 basketball season


Very illuminating . All of the predictions seem plausible to me. And if all of them come true, I’ll be one happy guy.

Good stuff, I agree with most all of it.

Last season, we averaged 75.8 PPG. How do you feel about the team scoring average this season? I say we will be 80+, even without Joe, Jones, and Jimmy. Unfortunately, some of the reason will be because we probably will give up more points when on defense, so we’ll have more opportunities to score. We also though, will have more players capable of scoring at a high level.

If there were 16 predictions, I’d predict we will have 5 players average double figures in scoring. Moody, Sills, Notae, Smith, and at least one more out of Jackson, KK, Connor, or Tate.

I’ll have to see more of Notae to believe he will be top 2 in scoring. I expect Moody, Sills, and Smith to be the top 3. At this stage, unless Notae improves his defense a bunch, he may not see enough minutes to get in the top 2. Muss still calls him a streaky shooter, so I don’t see him leaving him in the lineup long enough to shoot himself out of a slump like he did with Joe and Jones. Now, if Notae improves his consistency, then, yes, he could be our top scorer and start a lot of games.

Now, please let all your predictions come true. I want desperately to get into the Big Dance and make a little noise there.

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Good stuff, Scottie. I always appreciate your insights and can tell you work hard in coming up with them.

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Yep… a very impressive group of plaudits. Sounds like a fun group to watch.

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Good take Harley. I am with you on all. I do remain alone in having a “wait and see” on Smith. I am just not quite sure yet what we are going to get out of him. Need to see him in a couple of conference games. Hope to be pleasantly surprised. I do think I have a pretty good feel for what other newcomers will do,

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You’re not alone on Smith. I’ve watched our game against Indiana more than a couple of times, you just don’t notice him out there. I know he had some good games against Big Ten teams, so maybe he was just out of sync against us.

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If you and PJ are going to pick just one or 2 games to make a judgement about a player’s talent, that seems a little short-sighted to me. I could pick 2 of Joe and Jones games from last year and show you that they could not either one shoot a lick.

I’m sold on Smith because of looking at his overall body of work in the 2019 season. I also trust the Indiana coach enough that I believe he gave Smith the most minutes a game because of his overall contribution in all phases of the game. After all, IN was a team headed to the NCAA tournament.

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I agree with your assessments and also believe our pts per game average will ascend due to offensive rebounding & more interior scoring both due to the size increase.

Musselman’s head coaching tenure at Nevada definitly confirms Space-and-pace can produce nearly 5 players with double figure scoring averages. https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/nevada/2019.html

The Connor Vanover we witnessed in the Red/White game wasn’t a fully recovered one but still Jaylin Williams ability to rapidly bring the ball up the court after a initial rebound which was a priority at Nevada gives him a distinct advantage.

Musselman sat a McDonald’s All-America and played Grad-Transfers at his prior stop which leads me to believe:

Vance Jackson (SF) likely to be overtaken by SEC play
Jalen Tate (PG)
Justin Smith (PF)

The above will have to play themselves out of a starting role in my opinion.

JD Notae (PG/SG)
Moses Moody (SG/SF)

The above are my 2 candidates to see the most minutes with the above 3 transfers.

Jaylin Williams © will eventually steal minutes VJ minutes (not position) which will allow Justin Smith to roam the perimeter.

Khalen Robinson
Desi Sills

The above will round out the majority of the minutes (15+ my guess) unless a injury occurs to one of the players in front of them.

Connor Vanover is the best deterrent to any opponent who is heavily reliant on interior scoring. (Alter everyone’s shot)

Devontae Davis minutes will ascend as the season plays on but the lineup is so guard heavy & talented he will have to wait until next season for starters minutes (assuming no injuries) His defense is elite.

Ethan Henderson athleticism is his main attribute but until he elevates his outside shooting other big men with 3pt range extended will always be considered a better option.

I can’t really comment on the remainder of the roster until I see more of them.

If there were 16 predictions, I’d predict we will have 5 players average double figures in scoring.

Highly unlikely. Gotta get enough shots for that. The NC team scored 93 points per game with two people in double figures – Corliss and Scotty, but our top 8 all averaged 7 plus. I see the same thing happening this year. A lot of people in the 7-8 ppg range, but maybe only a couple over 10. The last time we had 5 in double figures was 1991 when we averaged 99.6 ppg. Gotta have more points for five people to get 10+.

First, IMO we won’t have anyone average 20+. We very easily could have this scenario:

1 - 15 PPG
2 - 14
3 - 12
4 - 11
5 - 10

6 - 7 PPG
7 - 6
8 - 4
9 - 2
others - 1

That’s 82 PPG. We don’t have a player on this team even close to the talent Corliss had. Probably not one close to Scottie in his Soph and Jr years. My projection was that this team would score 80+ per game.

Corliss and Scotty both took between 12 and 13 shots per game that year. The next six took between 7.1 shots (Dillard) and 5.0 (Roger Crawford). Team averaged 69.5 FGA.

Hogs averaged 57 shots a game last year. Big difference. That’s 12.5 fewer shots, which if you’re shooting somewhere close to 50% means 13 or more points.

I don’t see anyone on this team averaging 12-13 shots. As much as Mase had the ball last year he averaged 13.6 shots. Joe took even more in the games he played, 14+. But we’re not going to be built that way this year unless Moody completely goes off.

We’ll need more shots to have anywhere close to 5 in double figures, is what I’m saying. Aren’t doing it on 57 fga unless we have five people hitting multiple treys. I expect games where nobody even takes 10 shots, but multiple people take 7-9. And the number of threes we’re likely to take reduces our chances for free throws. Mase got to the line because he attacked the rack. Notae might do that but I’m not sure we’ll get a lot of that otherwise.

To be a high scoring team, you need scorers. I just don’t think we have mature scorers on this team to score a lot. Last year, Jones and Whitt were a couple of dynamic scores who could get a bucket when defense took open shots away.

What I mean by mature scorers is that our experienced players are more of shooters when they get an open shot and true scorers like Moody and Davis are not mature yet and need another year.

We will see.

Don’t know why you would be using last year’s Razorback team’s number of shots when calculating this year’s team. We will be getting many more offensive rebounds this year, resulting in more shots. Also more defensive rebounds that can result in breakaways and more tempo. This team has at least 9 solid offensive players, compared to 6 last year. The “pace” in Muss’ pace and space offense will be emphasized more this year with more SEC caliber players.

I don’t see us scoring 80+ ppg, I’ll agree with you there. Maybe if Mase and Joe had come back.

One word: Tempo. The '94 team got 69.5 shots because of tempo and the press (interconnected), not because of offensive rebounding.

Our opponents averaged 57 shots per game last year, so game average was 114.5. You have to get them playing faster too. But I will be shocked if we average even 65 shots this year. I think you severely overestimate the effect of the new players. It’s still the same offense.

In a 40 minute game, 114 shots means one every 21 seconds. Obviously fouls and turnovers enter into the game flow too; we averaged 72 possessions per game last year, and opponents are right around that number, so 144 possessions or 16.6 seconds per possession. To average 65 shots would mean the average possession gets more than 10 percent quicker.

We didn’t see Muss’ real “pace and space” system last year because of a lack of SEC players. His last 2 years at Nevada, they averaged 82.6 PPG (his sweet sixteen team) and 80.7 PPG. I believe he will tell you he has better talent this year than he had in those 2 years.

This year, I believe we will see much more pace than we saw last year. He’s got the bodies and the talent to do that this year.

I’m not sure you understand his system very well.


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