Arkansas is trying to win its fourth SEC road game in its last 5 tries.
I had this bias in my mind about Texas A&M and its crudity, a roster heavily overloaded with big men and very guard-poor. I thought of the Aggies as a brute-force basketball team that would pound anybody who ventured into the lane.
Going over the stats, something leaped out at me that represents a major gulf between the basketball styles of Arkansas and aTm. Arkansas’s bigs foul WAY more often.
Three of the Razorbacks’ forwards foul much more often (fouls per 40 minutes) than any aTm regular. Aggies center Tyler Davis fouls no more often that Arkansas’s foulingest guard, Jaylen Barford.
A&M’s starting four, Tonny Trocha-Morelos, fouls less often than anybody on Arkansas’s team, even Dusty Hannahs.
Barford and Anton Beard both foul more than four times per 40 minutes played, and that’s a little more than desirable. But the overwhelming foul problem for Arkansas is among the big men.
Does the style of defense Arkansas plays fit these guys? Trey Thompson is AVERAGING an appalling 8.1 fouls per 40 minutes played, more than 2x the fouling rate of almost everybody on the Texas A&M roster. Dustin Thomas is at 6.5, which also is way too high. Arlando Cook at 4.9 also is way up there.
The only guy over five fouls per 40 minutes on the aTm roster plays single-digit minutes per game.
Could Arkansas perhaps tweak its approach to reduce the fouling? It’s not as though this strategy is producing great defense.
I have felt that our trapping defense is a liability without the speed. We are trapping too much. We leave 3pt shooters open all the time when we trap. Our bigs are caught away from the basket on traps, so little defense and rebounding position under the basket. Our bigs foul a LOT on recovery back under the goal from traps away from the goal. We don’t have the speed to always trap against the good teams.