Florida Game Discussion

I double checked that. Florida official roster lists him at 6-8. The radio guys on post game show (think it was Matt Zimmerman) said he was 6-10. Another site lists him at 6-9. Fact is he looks tall and long.


I double checked that. Florida official roster lists him at 6-8. The radio guys on post game show (think it was Matt Zimmerman) said he was 6-10. Another site lists him at 6-9. Fact is he looks tall and long.

That’s what I was trying to get at when I mentioned Day and Thurman, they looked taller and longer than what they were

Yeah, it’s gone unnoticed that we have been climbing the rankings in defensive rebounding, opponent 3-point percentage, and (least) personal fouls committed, while falling in TOs forced. He’s been making the adjustment to a more shot-denial/rebounding system that so many have been calling for.

I think Barford is going to be a really good offensive player at some point. The question is will it be this season. CMA kept waiting for Durham to come around as a junior, but that team got going when Beard replaced him. Durham was fantastic last season, though. It’s early yet, but we are rapidly approaching the point where we can’t afford to hamstring the starting lineup waiting for a light to come on. Barford has got to produce on O, or he and Watkins are a bad match together. Right now they are similar players on D, but Watkins handles better and takes fewer ill-advised shots. Neither scares anybody on the perimeter right now.

I wish they feel not scared against Barford on the perimeter, because so far he has nailed open jump shots. They are guarding him and he is getting frustrated and forcing shots instead of the game coming to him. He wants to make things happen too bad.

When you are 23% on 2-pt jumpers and 25% on treys, you either have to start taking shots that you can make, stop shooting, or sit.

I don’t think Durham and Barford is a good comparison, too completely different players with different ceilings. Jabril was playing 10 MPG and averaging 2 PPG his first year. Barford is playing 20 MPG and averaging 10 PPG. And has actually shown signs of what he can do. We didn’t see any signs of that from Jabril during the early part of his first year.

I just think for this team to get to where they wanna be they need Barford to get going. I think just about everybody thought the story to our season would be how fast the JUCO guys adjusted. And that’s still the case IMO, Macon has been doing very well. And Cook is starting to come along now as well. If we can get Barford clicking we’ll be alright. And I don’t think he would hamper the starting lineup, and not like he’s been a bad player. He’s played well in the vast majority of games he’s started. I like Watkins, think he was a steal of a player, and brings a lot. But, his ceiling has been reached. He is what he is, which is a hustle guy that doesn’t make many mistakes. But, he’s also not an offensive threat in any way outside of a fast break layup. That’s my one criticism of CMA, he finds veteran guys that he gets comfortable with and even if they are less talented he rides them out for good or bad, rather than letting someone that’s younger with more talent figure it out. Talent is what wins the big ball games. Hustle can only get you so far. Last year’s 16-16 record proved that. Had a lot of hustle guys not much talent.

Offensive rating:
Jones 140
Watkins 129
Macon 127
Beard 124
Hannahs 120
Barford 99

I don’t want to pick on Barford. It wouldn’t shock me if he busted out with a huge game. I think he is more than capable of that, but it’s more than just a little tweaking at present. Only Macon has turned the ball over as often, which brings down his rating as well. Barford is shooting low percentages except at the rim and at the line, but he’s not getting to the line that often (8th on the team). Beard and Watkins solidly outrebound him on the offensive end. Barford is doing some good work at the defensive end, but he just hasn’t done anything on offense to justify big minutes. He’s got to pick it up in a lot of areas.

Our three best guards have clearly been Beard, Hannahs, and Macon. Watkins would be a solid fourth right now. Gawd, I’m so sick of the Watkins-ceiling argument for sitting him. Fine, somebody with one of those big ceilings should have to outplay him first. He keeps playing better than all those guys with unrealized ceilings.

Those numbers are fine and dandy, but I don’t think your going to convince anyone that has watched the razorbacks play that Watkins is a threat on offense or has a higher ceiling than Barford. If everyone refused to take a shot outside of 10 feet and only took open layups or floaters then everybody’s offensive rating would be high and we’d probably average 50 PPG. Watkins is a 6’3 guard that is 0-8 in 3 points shooting in 4 years playing on a P5 school. That’s gotta be a record.

Yeah, getting assists, not turning the ball over, and getting offensive rebounds don’t really help on offense. Those runners also only count for 1 point, too. See the rest of that post. You replied before I edited it.

Watkins offensive rating isn’t high because he doesn’t shoot. It’s high because he has a high assist rate, a very low TO rate, a good ORB rate for a guard, and averages 6 points per game on 4.7 attempts.

If every player we had were expert at every skill, it wouldn’t be that difficult to fill out a line up. Unfortunately CMA has to find 5 guys with complementary skills. Hence, you put Watkins on the court with two trey shooters. Problem solved. Unfortunately we have to do the same for Barford as well.

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not an analytics guy. All those offensive efficiency numbers don’t mean anything to me. You can tell me Watkins has the highest offensive rating in the history of basketball, not going to change anything. I watch the game and I know what I see. Watkins is a good hustle player, don’t make many mistakes, that’s cool you need guys like that, but teams guard a 6’3 guard like he’s a center. I watch A LOT of basketball and that’s something I can tell you I don’t see that often. I forgot which coach said it in a post press conference, but he talked about Watkins gave him compliments, but said on their scouting report they say not to guard him and let him shoot.

I don’t agree with Charles Barkley much, but I agree with him on his stance about analytics, people just read to much into that stuff. And most of the numbers don’t mean anything. At the end of the day the only numbers that matter is the score. Jabril was breaking assist records last year, Dusty Hannahs and Anthlon Bell were breaking shooting percentage records, and that lead us to 16-16 record. I’ll pass on all the good looking analytics for some wins, and I think Barford at his best gives us a better chance to win more games than Watkins at his best, that’s just my opinion.

When we were playing well last season, the analytics correctly pointed out that we were a good offensive team with Durham breaking assist records, Dusty and Bell making high percentages from the arc, and Moses efficiently scoring inside. The analytics also showed that we couldn’t guard anybody, which is why we were 16-16.

Basketball is played at two ends of the court. What happens on the defensive end matters, too. Not making a bunch of negative plays matters. Moving the ball where it needs to be matters. Watkins has the third best defensive rating on the team, the best among the guards. His coach, who has watched a little basketball too, seems to believe he is the best defensive guard on the team.

As a PG,

Watkins 9.7 min/assist Barford 10.4 min/assist
Watkins 40.3 min/TO Barford 12.1 min/TO
Watkins 18.8 min/ORB Barford 26.5 min/ORB

Neither move the needle much on getting to the line, though Barford is much better (2x) than Watkins. Barford is the only player in the rotation with an effective FG% less than 45%. Somehow, even though they don’t have to guard him, Watkins gets more assists than Barford without all the TOs.

Why fans cannot appreciate the many strengths of Watkins because he doesn’t make jump shots is mind-boggling to me. He’s #1 on the team in steal rate, #2 in PF rate, #3 in assist rate, #1 in TO rate, #4 on the team in DRB rate, #8 in ORB rate (the only other guard that moves the needle here is Beard), #3 in defensive rating, #2 in offensive rating, and #6 in PER. So, CMA has a guard that gets assists without turning the ball over, gets steals without fouling, rebounds his position well at both ends, and manages to drop 6 points in the bucket on over 50% from the field and 83% from the line. What could our I-must-not-watch-much-basketball coach be seeing on the floor?

As for Barford, we could live with erratic shooting if he would follow the Qualls model in the halfcourt. Don’t turn the ball over much, use that body to rebound at both ends like a demon, and start getting his mail delivered to the free-throw line. He plays good defense. He’s dynamite on the break. In the first half of the season he’s not getting open looks for himself in the halfcourt, not getting to the line, and turning the ball over a lot. What he can’t do is be deficient in all three of those areas unless he is sinking a ton of treys like Macon. That’s why we can overlook Macon’s TOs and lack of Orebs. He’s really strong in all other categories at both ends. Having exceptional strengths is more important than having no weaknesses.

Barford has a lot of talent. I don’t even have any problem starting him on the wing to try to get him going if you play Beard at PG with him and have Watkins provide the ballhandling on the second unit. Any feasible guard combo in my book has either Watkins or Beard on the court as the primary ballhandler. With Beard we can get by with only one other shooter in the backcourt. Until proven otherwise, with Watkins or Barford we need two of Macon, Hannahs, Beard, or Jones on the court with them. Watkins and Barford are a bad combo because of scoring deficiencies unless at least one of them has it going in a particular game. Barford and Macon are dicey together because of their TO problems. Of course, what is happening in a particular game should override all season stats. Play who is playing well.

I don’t know where you seen in my post where I said I don’t appreciate the strengths of Watkins, I actually compliment Watkins a lot, he’s a decent player. My whole argument this whole time is Barford is a better player with a higher ceiling than Watkins and needs to play more than Watkins. I think in a perfect world, Watkins is a 15 MPG energy guy off the bench for a good team. I don’t think he’s a 22-23 MPG starter on a good basketball team. You can tweet any basketball analyst right now and ask them who has a higher ceiling Barford or Watkins, 100% of them would say Barford, even after you’ve showed them all those statistics. And again, if you can point me to a good basketball team that has a 6’3 guard that plays 20+ MPG that is a career 0/8 from 3 point please let me know. I would be curious to see how they made that work.

Also as far as the numbers, like I said before, numbers don’t tell the whole story. If you pass most of the time rather than shoot, you’re going to have good assist numbers, if you don’t try to initiate any ball movement towards the basket unless the lane is wide open and most of your passes are basic passes above the 3 point line, your T/O numbers will be low, if you only shoot the ball 10 feet out, your field goal percentage will be high. I think most people like myself think Watkins is a decent player, but, realize if we want to be a really good team, guys like Barford are going to have to get to the level that everyone thought he would be at. Stars win you games at high levels, Barford has star potential, that’s not my opinion what guys that know the game better than myself have said about him, I know Dudley and other Arkansas media guys have said he’s a guy they believe will be in the NBA one day, never heard anyone say that about Watkins.