5 (actually 6) observations from the first exhibition

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2016 … -missouri/”>http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2016/oct/28/5-observations-arkansas-central-missouri/</LINK_TEXT>

— 3-point struggles
— Encouraging Moses and Dusty passing
— JUCO guards keying transition
— 3-point defense struggles
— All-bench lineup issues
— Manny’s continued strong play

One suspects the poor outside shooting and defense are related. Maybe they are not used to playing against shot-denial man to man. And the Hogs have struggled to extend the pressure beyond the 3-point line for years.

Shot-denial man is the most effective form of defense in today’s game. Arkansas handicaps itself with the ball-denial philosophy.

Most teams don’t shoot well in the first game or two. It takes a while to get adjusted to game speed. That is very normal. I wouldn’t worry about that unless it continues over three games. The three negatives you mentioned are all correctible issues.

I am not saying you should not pass out observations for the first game or two… That is your job. I just wanted to put it in perspective.

3 point defense has been an abject failure at Arkansas the past four years:
2015-2016: 245th
2014-2015: 218th
2013-2014: 187th
2012-2013: 268th

The only conclusion I can come up with is that our up tempo style leads to many uncontested 3 pointers. Transition defense needs tightening.

https://www.teamrankings.com/ncaa-baske … 2013-04-08

That would be true if the opponents are shooting most of the threes in transition. I don’t think that happened. In my opinion the problem has been the defenders on the wing not rotating quick enough because of lack of foot speed and taking unnecessary risks to get a steal. This new team on paper seems better at it.

I did not watch the game, but CM shot 36% from the 3. Statistically, 9 for 25 shooting doesn’t suggest horrendous defense, unless they were mostly wide open shifts.

Yeah, I figured it’s understood that it’s just one exhibition game and the sample size isn’t great. I tried to put it in perspective by mentioning they’d shot well in some games in Spain and the Red-White game (even though that’s not a very telling setting).

Perimeter shooting is going to be worth tracking since the roster was pretty bad from deep aside from Dusty and Anthlon last year. Least made and attempted 3s by a Mike team. Yesterday, UCM was fine with surrendering a good chunk of open looks while packing the paint against Moses but the Hogs couldn’t make them pay. Still, to almost score 90 with that off of a night was impressive.

Like you said, just one game. The players mentioned they were nervous. Obviously 1-18 is an aberration, but Hannahs and Macon are the only two in the main rotation I’d for sure consider “good” perimeter shooters. Barford and Beard can be above average and have good nights. The sample size for CJ is still small, but he could wind up being the third-best shooter on the team. I suspect he will wind up being a good shooter. Brachen is an above average to good shooter, but who knows how much he plays.

The 3-point defensive issues are kinda what Mike has harped about the last few months in talking about help defense and guys understanding how to play as a unit. Rotations/overhelping happened last night. Still a work in progress that should get better, as I noted. The offense will score, so getting everyone up to speed defensively is the biggest thing for Mike, I think.

I think they’ll need two of Barford, Beard and Macon on the court at most times, but I was encouraged by the growth Manny showed with the ball in his hands. He was decisive and made the right play consistently.

PJ, your 35% comment got me to wondering how that correlates to ranking. I added %'s to the rankings hog2009 posted.

2015-2016: 245th - 35.9
2014-2015: 218th - 35.2
2013-2014: 187th - 34.6
2012-2013: 268th - 35.9

I dont know if it means anything, other than 36% is worse than the last 4 years

There were some wide open looks early as a result of botched rotations. Seemed like there was some confusion and UCM did a nice job getting into the lane and forcing Arkansas to help.

I mentioned in the story that the 36 percent from 3 is what they allowed last year when they tied for 242nd in the nation. UCM did make maybe two 3s in the last two minutes to kinda skew it a bit.

I agree with you that this team should be better at defending the 3. It just may take a bit to get up to speed and play with cohesion.

It does mean something. You have a good point. I did not have those percentages in front of me when I made that comment. I was wrong.