I was impressed with the O on Friday night but was a little leery to get too pumped because of how bad Samford was on D last season. Bucknell was top-100 in defensive efficiency last season. The O got even more efficient on Sunday even though the legs may have been tiring on the quick turnaround. The Hogs converted over 1.3 points per possession, which is just massive. Consider that last year’s squad, a top-30 offense, only accomplished that twice last season, those being against Austin Peay and LSU, two of the worst defensive teams in the nation last season. Bucknell figures to be a much better team than either.
The Hogs ran the table in excellence on O - over 55% on 2’s, 40% on treys, and rebounded over 40% of their own misses. The one area in which Arkansas was subpar against Samford was on the offensive glass. That appears to have been a point of emphasis against Bucknell. When we rarely did miss, we usually got a second look. Assists dropped off quite a bit on Sunday from 2.7 possessions per assist on Friday to 6.5 possessions per assist on Sunday. Perhaps Bucknell saw the dunk line on Friday and helped less. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to argue with the results. One point of concern with this roster was TOs. In two games with over 75 possessions Arkansas only committed 11 and 13 TOs, respectively. So, no problem so far.
The defensive energy wasn’t quite as good as on Sunday, but Arkansas still held a good Bucknell offense to only 0.94 ppp. If you had told me that on Thursday, I would have been giddy. Arkansas was 15-1 last season in games in which they held an opponent under 1 ppp, the loss being UNC. The FG percentage defense wasn’t as good as on Friday. We surrendered an okay 48% on 2’s but a poor 41% on treys. However, the Hogs compensated by limiting the Bisons’ possessions. They didn’t give Bucknell anything on the offensive glass and forced 17 TOs.
As I mentioned in another thread, Bucknell scored 20 points in the first 6 minutes of the second half but only 53 in the other 34 minutes. The team might be forgiven for relaxing a bit with a 23-point lead and playing twice in 48 hours. Our own consistent offensive efficiency kept Bucknell from making up any ground. Overall, pleased as punch about the defensive effort this weekend. Really, better than I could I have hoped and far exceeded what I expected.