Couple Obvious Observations

  1. Refs are killing us! They swallow the whistle when we drive the lane and get hammered but call the ticky tacks on D! I’m ready for Muss to get a blatant T and get after the zebras.

  2. This team sorely misses Nick. We need an outside scorer who can get his shot vs anyone that guards him plus be able to drive to the mid range and rim. JD last year and Mason the year before and MM would have this team at a whole different level. I bet Muss doesn’t field a team again that doesn’t have at least 2 dudes that can score like this. I know the injury bug has hit us hard, but man ABs abilities aren’t highlighted nearly enough bc he doesn’t have his running mates to finish for him.

  3. As another post states, Jordan Walsh is struggling and I sure hope the light comes on for him. I like his motor and effort…just needs some confidence in his shot. Seems like a great kid so I bet he’ll get better before this season is done.

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I observed two teams playing in which one was better than the other. One looked very confused on offense for much of the game.

Hopefully, we can still improve.

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Our team was to indecisive on multiple aspects, show lack of confidence and this problem can take awhile to fix. I’ve said all along that we would take some big losses due to immaturity and we are in the heat of battle and we’re not prepared. We will be ready to go by mid February if we can get over the confidence issues. WPS

Beyond the shooting concerns, I think the biggest issue is turnovers on both ends of the floor. Arkansas, in SEC games, is 11th in the league in turnover rate. The Razorbacks are 12th in the league in defensive turnover rate. When you’re not making shots and turning the ball over and not coming up with takeaways, that is really hard to overcome. Eric said last night, point blank, that he’s disappointed in the lack of steals.

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Something’s gotta give though. Our guys are constantly in foul trouble and we only play a seven man rotation. Coach needs to get on the refs harder about some of the bs shooting fouls going against our guards in the paint and he needs to play a deeper rotation. I don’t see our guards coming up with more steals with this same 7 man rotation playing man defense fighting foul trouble. I’d like to see more of the trapping zone that got us back in the game at lsu. That’s the only time our length and athleticism looked like an asset for us this year.

Steals really help the offense. This team is great in transition. Steals fuel that. You can run off defensive stops but turnovers really change the game. Devo could not play passing lanes while denying the ball from Miller.

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This team (as has been the case during the Muss tenure) is fatally flawed. Lack of outside shooting (he never seems to have more than one threat on the roster), inability to defend guards off the dribble and lack of more than one shot creator (see prior comment about lack of shooting).
NSJ was/is the only shot creator on this team.
Now, Mitchell and Graham are a welcome inside threat, but it won’t matter with teams sagging off our perimeter players.

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So two teams that got to the Elite Eight were fatally flawed? I can think of about 355 other teams that wish they were that flawed.

Statements like that lead me not to take your opinion seriously.

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“Fatally flawed”?

Wow

I second Swine’s response

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Don’t know why but it seems a lot of posters seem prone to want to deflate the tires on the Muss Bus. Injuries happen, so no excuses, but when a team loses arguably their best two players and two offensive threats and is playing excellent competition, I think even the most ardent fan has to temper expectations. Generally pleased with the effort last night, the three improvement areas I note:

*Free throw shooting–no explanation necessary
*Close out defense- by going bigger last night Graham and the Mitchells were forced to respond defensively to three point shooters and were often late or fouling. Not sure how to fix, but certain teams that are good on the perimeter, may require less sagging and count on each defender to contain their man.
*Ball security- We had too many turnovers, AB seems to want to make the great pass that probably worked at the previous level, but less likely now. In addition not all the pieces that are playing now, have a lot of game time together. Council and Devo both tried to be the spark, not without some good moments, but also with mistakes.

Good comments, but the most obvious problem to me is the lack of a true floor leader. This group hustles and plays hard, but sometimes looks confused.

You say that but I rarely saw AB dish the ball out for assists last night. His primary mode seemed to be drive and score himself. That is one thing I see missing from AB’s game lately that he was doing first part of the season very well.

PJ, who is Black supposed to throw it to? It looked like if and when he gave it up, they threw it right back to him. Maybe that’s not true. But someone has to nail a few shots for someone to get an assist. The lane was packed. Hard to pass it in the lane. You can kick it outside, but no one wanted to shoot it from out there. They were coached not to shoot threes last night. That seemed obvious.

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I’m with Clay…he passes it outside and BRICK. Or another TO. Our offense simply isn’t good right now. We don’t have a confident deep shooter like we’ve had the last few years. Give us a Moody or IJ shooter…totally different animal. AB would look like Magic if they could run AND score well in half court sets.

I do think Bama is a legit threat to make a deep run in NCAAT this year. Our D better turnover the other team more if we are going to get better.

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AB finished with 1 assist last night. I just re-watched the game and did not tally another potential assist for him. Devo had 3 assists and led the team with 4 potential assists.

I really want you to know you’ve hurt my feelings.

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It’s real hard to win if we have team assists totals in the single digits. And it’s real hard to get many assists when we continue to run isolation 1 on everybody for our only offensive.

The most concerning part about this that no one has mentioned is how terrible our assist numbers are even when teams are playing mostly zone against us!

Muss spoke about how this team is worse at cutting without the ball compared to his precious teams. But this team is all around worse at every aspect of ball movement and player movement on offense. We have got to move the ball to get open shots. And muss keeps calling the isolation plays.

Tom Creans halftime prediction definitely didn’t come true about making the extra pass for dunks from the baseline cutter. Muss has to fix this.

I don’t remember him making a single free throw either… and he took several it seemed like.

This morning, I’m not as bummed as I was for a long time last night. Everyone has pointed out what all went wrong last night. It’s true that we did not play well in most phases of the game.

It’s also true that this was a 2 point game against a top 5 team in the country with 4:30 left in the game while AB was having his worst game of the season. 50 seconds later we were down 11, due to perimeter defensive lapses (and great execution by a future NBA star, Miller, who Devo held in check for 35 minutes). I believe this was a one-off game for AB. It seemed to me that he let the refs get into his head early in the game. This is the first time we’ve seen that, and I’d bet we won’t see it again.

I was much more worried at this time last season than I am now, going forward. There were a few positives to take away from last night’s game. Maybe Devo’s best overall game as a Razorback. Obviously, Graham’s game stands out. His offensive game speaks for itself, but last night he also played very hard on defense. He rebounded well and blocked or altered shots. This was his 2nd very good game in the last couple weeks. Hopefully from now on, Muss will forget about his early poor practice habits or whatever else has kept him glued to the bench and let him play through a mistake or 2.

I’d love to see a starting line-up with both Graham and Mahki in it. That gives us a good defender and rim protector and a very good Big scorer in Graham. Surely, Graham has earned more minutes after last night.

IMO, I believe we are closer to fixing this team (like the last 2 years) and turning this slide around than last nights final score would indicate.

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Just watching the last few games, it just feels Devo is doing more of setting others up than Black. Just seems Black was pass first, shoot second early in the season and took shots when nothing was working. Just seems different now. Maybe it is a product of being asked to be more aggressive on offense to supplement our lack of scoring.