Finally got to watch, wow

Finally got to watch once I got settled in Baton Rouge. They looked pretty salty. Some quick thoughts

Trey and Adrio were fantastic. Trey with his usual passing but was solid vs ball screens and took the Js without hesitation. Adrio was feeling it. Stared dude down after the block. Was dunking everything.

Macon is so good. Did whatever he wanted. Thought he was the best passing guard last year but he’s added the one-handed fling.

Anton got back to penetrate and kick.

Gafford was pretty bad vs PnR if it wasn’t a switch. Predictably shaky on post-ups on the other end, but did draw a pair of fouls (went 1-4 at the line). But so athletic. Had wow plays. Wish he and Hall stayed out of foul trouble so they could’ve played more.

Gabe was pretty solid. Definitely not timid. Good rotations on D.

Barford was really good defensively.

Mainly, why in the world did Samford stay in a zone all game when it was getting shredded. Ball and player movement was excellent.

Those were some of the main things that jumped out at me. Don’t think I’m going to do observations after every game this year, but will replace that with something else that I think will be very cool.

Anton Beard is cut, lean, and much quicker. I don’t think many teams will play man against us. Macon, Barford, Gafford, Jones, Bailey, etc. will break them down off the dribble.

Very happy with the energy level. Defended the 3 pretty good out of help situations. We look faster taller and more athletic.

If Macon feels that shot consistently we will win a lot of games.

Going to be fun to watch Gafford develop. Appears to have more raw talent than Portis. He’s an 18 year old man child.

Adrio was probably most improved, by far his best game as a hog.

Yes Trey was fantastic and wow I didn’t believe it until I saw it but than man appears to have been totally committed to getting that big Oliver Miller body built in the off season. I can think of a few sec players in particular that I am looking forward to seeing him give a big box out to. I mean Trey looks ready to fill the lane. go hard in the paint. Be the best big passer since big O. I love to see him put it to all his body shaming critics saying Trey needs to lose weight. That’s a mans body there. Maybe we are ready to make some real noise in March now :shock: :shock:

I was disappointed in Trey in the exhibitions, thought he added some bad weight. But, that apparently is fool’s gold. He’s actually in really good shape cardio wise and he may be the most underrated defender on the roster, he’s actually really good in his rotations and can really move his feet and he can actually stay in front of quick guards when they switch. Coach Padgett even spoke on that after the game. I know it’s just one game, but I’m like everyone else I left that arena feeling really really good about razorback basketball.

Also, some other spare thoughts. What did they give Bailey, he looked like a completely different player, that was the player we thought we were getting when we seen all his high school highlights. Also thought Gabe O gave us some really good minutes, I agree with Jimmy he wasn’t timid at all and was ready to play. Cook and Thomas better get their stuff together, if they want to see the floor this year.

My thoughts:

Really surprising game last night. Samford, as advertised, is a good team. If you hadn’t seen already, they were picked to finish second (essentially tieing for first) in their conference. They are athletic and skilled. They have two transfers in Justin Coleman from Bama (lit us up as a freshman) and Alex Thompson from Auburn. Like most, I expected a competitive game. But, as basketball goes sometimes, they couldn’t hit the ocean and Macon started off en fuego. From there, it was contagious and we rode the momentum for the rest of the game. More observations below:

  • Samford runs a relatively complex continuity offense, and we couldn’t have defended it better. Our D was superb all night. Gives me hope that we will actually be respectable in that department this year. We’ll see, though.

  • Offensively, we were crisp, smart and decisive. Samford gave us several looks, but it didn’t matter. We did everything right. Really, really impressive.

  • Macon and Barford were themselves. Some said this from the exhibitions, but Barford’s J is better. He’s squaring up and staying on balance. Macon will go for 30 a few games, I bet.

  • Beard was solid. Didn’t force much, which is a good sign for him. Did what he should do - compliment offensively, create turnovers defensively.

  • Really happy to see Adrio play up to his potential b/c those exhibitions were rough. The key for him is to stay consistent on the offensive boards; that’s where he’s a difference maker.

  • Trey was excellent. I’ve been listening closely to CMA this preseason and one thing I picked up on was his praise for Trey’s jump shooting. It showed tonight. If he can knock down 12-15 foot J’s, that adds a few wins for us IMO.

  • The most encouraging thing I see from Gafford so far is his effort, and that’s probably the best thing you can ask for. I’m talking Portis-level effort and intensity. If he maintains that, it will neutralize some of his raw-ness. For those of you worried about his fouling (me included), he picked up two fluke fouls last night (as part of his five). I wouldn’t say we have a problem yet.

  • Some of you may remember; I sit right by the bench and everytime I’m within earshot of CJ Jones, I say, “KEEP SHOOTING”. He has ultra confidence and I don’t want him to lose it. Every shot looks like it’s going in. We need that this year. He won’t be driving to the hole this year, but he can fake, dribble a time or two, and rise up. That’s enough this year.

  • Darious - I think I’m going to have to commit to calling him Day Day like everyone else - is going through freshman excitement right now. He’ll need to settle in. He fouled at a high rate, dribbled recklessly and all of his shots were long. Too much energy, which is better than the alternative. He just needs a little time. He’ll help some.

  • Gabe O continues to flash. Seems to have a good BBall IQ. Good experience for him, as we wait for Thomas and Cook.

Another good mid-major coming to Bud Walton Sunday. Bucknell lost to Monmouth by one, but we better bring it again. We couldn’t have started better, though.

I was impressed by how well Barford and Macon got their teammates involved on O. Their passing was top notch. Macon, Barford, Beard, and Thompson had 23 assists to 5 TOs. Amazing. It helped that Bailey and others made themselves available at the rim when the D was shifted out of position. Sweet.

We should be lob city if our front court stays healthy. and as coach A said after the game, great rim protection.