Bad-Start Syndrome

For some unknown reason, AR shows up as though they just woke from a knap. The legs are dragging, no movement on offense, miss at point blank. By the time they wake up, they are in double digit hole. We pulled it out a few times, but not against the second best team in SEC. With 16 down about 10 minutes into the game, it was over; the rest was exercise in futility. We had hoped with improvements we had made, maybe we had a chance. That was dashed shortly into the game. Man-to-man defense was a failure in the first half. Turnovers gave them easy point to build a lead. Our Forwards do not have the skill to drive to the basket, and some of them can not even finish at the basket. The guards were covered and couldn’t get to the basket. Only Barford was able to play at higher level. Every time we tried to come back, the Fefs put a damper on it. They drive and jump into us, they call us for Block, and Moses goes straight up and make a basket, they call it a charge or elbow; they were dead wrong on this. Bottom line, they have a better team all the way around. I am disappointed because we could have played better and we didn’t.

More like poor shooting to start the game and to many fast break points given up.
You did notice the one fast break that Beard had he got blocked from behind.
He failed to look and it cost. You don’t win with a FG % in the 30’s.
You have to score to win! Especially against top teams.

We hit two of our first three shots. Unfortunately, after getting a putback on their first miss, Florida hit six straight, four layups and two threes. At that point it’s 14-6 and pretty much game over with 36 minutes to go. We never got closer than down 6 after that.

We start in Man which is a major blunder as far as this season has proven…and we stayed in MAN until the SENIOR day emotions exploded with easy layups and dunks. After the last few weeks of progress with the Zone, you would think that we would start with man against weaker guards only? Theoretically Zone is terrible against a good shooting team, but our MAN defense is soooo bad that our ZONE is more effective. ZONE would have been worth trying quickly to disrupt the gators, and it was proven that we played better when we DID switch. The gators got on an emotional high on SENIOR day because of all the easy shots. Good lord they were shooting 75% against our man defense which is infamous against good guards…much less great guards like Hill, Chiozza and Allen. I have no idea why you wait until we are down 16 before we switched to a zone… I thought that after a minute or two he would switch up defenses to throw off the gator guards…but NOPE not at all.

We are comfortable in the zone and our Bigs play much better in the ZONE. I swear I saw the same frustrated faces on our team that were there before we switched to more zone a few weeks ago. It was like, “here we go again, he’s making us play this man defense that kills us. We can’t switch and rotate like we should so there is always someone open to kill us”. I saw frustration in Dusty and Trey’s faces which said a lot. Moses looked like he was pissed from the start and terribly frustrated.

The other night I watched VAN vs KY. They had KY on the ropes until the last 4 minutes of the game on the road. Van fans should be proud of them. I was hoping we the same at FL. Not a chance. We were out of it less than half way in to the first half. Here is some of the quotes of relevance:
#MA: “In the second half, I thought we did a better job building a wall and making them shoot jump shots.” WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG TO MAKE THE CHANGE?
#MA: … he was “miffed” about some of the block-charge calls. “I thought it kind of got our guys off-kilter” THAT IS TRUE. ONCE AGAIN WE GOT SCREWED IN AFFICIATING.
#FL shot 50.9%(29/57), by penetrating AR defense and making easy shots. AR shot 35.6%(21/56). Kingsly, Macon & Cook made 50 percent, 6 other players shot 29.3% (12/41). FL out rebounded us 40-33, and their bench out scored us 36-12
THE POINT: WE MUST COME OUT OF THE GATE USING THE BEST DEFENSE THAT WORKS, DEFEND AND SHOOT, AND LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.

If that only happened once, twice, or three times, I would say it was just a bad day or chance. However, it happens far too often. I don’t blame it on the players. Therefore, I attribute it to poor coaching.

I only hope that Mike Anderson will wake up and fix his obvious problem because Arkansas will never be an elite team if he continues to sacrifice the first 5 to 10 minutes of each game.

I have given this some thoughts and can not figure if it is the players, the coach, defensive and offensive scheme or nervousness. I feel like they should come out with energy and just play and not worry about anything, let it happen. I think fear is part of it.

FWIW, and this is just my opinion, but it seems like every time this team starts getting on a little roll, they have a setback. I know it was pointed out before the Missouri game that some of our guys were taking them WAAAAAY to lightly. Maybe, they get big heads and need a reality check. Last night was a reality check. Hopefully, they go back to the previous five games and the preparation and concentration for GA.

I think CMA is going to need an evaluation of his defensive schemes after this season. I am very happy that he switched to Zone then we found a defense our CURRENT talent can play. The problem is that the Ghost of Nolan Present may be an influence that won’t let him fully commit to more ZONE. We need to use schemes that match our current talent and the scheme that best fits our OPPOSITION. I have no idea why you would start in Man against the great Guards at UF on Senior night…and stay in it so long that we were down big and UF got on a big emotional roll before going to the Zone.