Analyzing Arkansas' 66-60 win over Northern Kentucky

Wrote on Reggie Chaney’s big night off the bench, Desi Sills and Jimmy Whitt’s strong showings, Isaiah Joe’s struggles from 3 and the Razorbacks’ 3-point D. Also threw in what Eric Musselman said about Mason Jones’ status:

Nice analysis again Scottie. I look for it more than any article on the game. Your analysis should be in the statewide newspaper.

I do have a couple of thoughts based on what you wrote.

Regarding Joe’s struggles, I have a feeling a good number of his threes last year came in transition and this year more of his shots if not most, are coming in half court sets. Pat Bradley always says shooting the three in transition is much easier and the shooter is always in rhythm and squared up in shooting that shot, whereas in half court unless you are coming off the screen, it takes a lot to go right for that shot to be successful, including the defender being close.

Regarding the 3 pt defense, I think we will settle at around the normal 30 plus percentage, as competition gets tougher. That is what Muss’s Nevada teams have done.

Other than the Rice game, our opponents have been getting open shots but not hitting them. To me them missing the shots has more to do with our tight man-to-man defense that is causing the open shot come late in the shot cycle and there is more pressure in shooting that, unless you are a great shooter. I don’t think we have seen a great shooter yet, other than Walton.

Your thoughts.

Think you make a good point on Joe’s transition 3s last season. I wish I had tracked them. A majority of his looks this year have come on sets, like you said. In instances when he has gotten going from deep, I seem to recall a transition-type 3 kind of sparking his run. I am keeping up with his catch-and-shoot 3s this year and I thought he’d be sharper there. He’s uncharacteristically missed several really good looks and Arkansas needs him to knock those down.

And yes, Arkansas has not faced a good shooter outside of Hagedorn at South Dakota, but he couldn’t create his own shot. I think Arkansas has been able, for the most part, to harass ballhandlers on the perimeter, which leads to poor passes and forced, rushed shots late in the clock. There have been some open misses, too.

If Arkansas can hold opponents to 25-30 percent from 3 that’d be solid. Eager to see how they defend the 3 against teams who are superior athletically.

I agree that the thirty to mid-thirty that Muss was able to achieve at Nevada could be a good target for Arkansas and could lead to a very good record in SEC.

On Joe, if it is about the shooting off the half court sets, I think he will figure it out soon and adjust. He is too good of a shooter to miss as many.