I found a strange quirk about this Arkansas team

I thought the only serious aberration about this team was defense, until watching Oklahoma State stagnate us into oblivion.

We had discussed a lack of point guard leadership now and again - decided to peruse relevant statistics.

Lo and behold - Arkansas is the only SEC team that has nobody who has surpassed 20% assist ratio while on the court.

Assist ratio is the percentage of the team’s baskets that a player assists, while on court.

The best SEC teams have guards over 30% assist ratio. Arkansas’s best is 17%. This wasn’t true of any previous Mike Anderson-coached team, like, ever.

I’m even struggling to find another high-major basketball team that has nobody even close to 20% assist ratio.

One wonders how much it’s due to the lack of a conventional low-post scorer. Moses Kingsley is not the catch-and-score kind. The other big men are either unable or unwilling.

But you’d also think this team would have somebody good at driving and kicking to a shooter. Driving happens. Kicking, not really.

This basketball team scores plenty at times and racks up assists at times. The team’s overall assist production is relatively low. And the lack of a point guard might explain it. Or not.

Are the post players wasting too many assist chances? Or are the guards not creating enough of them? Or does the offense fail to stress defenses and create enough open looks for passers to feed?

Seems to me that our guards are better at penetrating than on recent Hog teams, but when they get inside, they’re not looking to dish. It’s layup or nothing.

Last year we had that one guy with great assist numbers, but we ended up 16-16. As a team, we are pretty good at “assists per game” and “assists / TO ratio” this year, especially for an up-tempo team. Prior to last Saturday’s game (debacle), we were 2nd in the SEC, behind KY in Assist/TO ratio at 1.24 PG, and 3rd in the SEC behind KY and A&M for total assists per game at 15.1 PG. The OK St game dropped us about 20 spots nationally in each of those categories.

By the way, it surprised me that there didn’t seem to be a correlation with top 10 teams and the assist numbers. Villanova (#4 team) is worse than the Hogs in assists per game numbers and Baylor (#2 team) is worse than the Hogs in “assists to TOs”.

Perhaps great assist numbers fall more in line with style of play than the overall quality of teams.

But yes, the Hogs were pathetic Saturday at just about any basketball stats that are available. It was so bad, it had a big impact on overall numbers even this late in the season.

Having huge assists/field goals means you play a highly structured offense.

Having low assists/field goals might mean you miss a lot of jumpers, rebound them and put them back.

Assists are not an absolute indicator, but they are directionally right - the better teams are on the upper half of assists/field goals, because they are more efficient.

Just quantities of assists mean nothing. Distorted by tempo and style factors.

The absence of any guard who is a highly effective passer is the weirdity in these statistics.

Indeed the assist stat is maybe the most important of all stats for the 40’minutes of hell. But it’s not just about having one or two true pgs with good assist numbers. It’s about everybody sharing the ball and scoring at a high rate. It’s about making easy opportunities for a teammate and crucially it is about making shots.

The total assists per season or per game are clearly a major factor in winning. Total points also clearly follow total assists.

Look at these stats. Our most recent tourney team had the most assists since you guessed it the 94-95 team. We had quite the exodus into assists and scoring drought land in between. We are just now getting it back on the way up. Look at these total assists and avg points per game through the years since the advent of the threeball…


Also interesting how people want to contrast nolans style with the modern NBA style run and spread and shoot threes offense. But that was really ingrained in his system. When he had us rolling it was almost like our defense was so devastating that we were always in an all out rush to get a bucket just so we can get back to defense again, instead of the other way around. If you can make shots, you can score a lot of points playing that way. No hesitation. And you have to move the ball a lot to play like that too. If you aren’t shooting it, pass it someone who’ll shoot it. Fast.

I think that Jaylon is getting the hang of it, and Daryl, Anton, and Dusty can turn it on. Its just going to take everybody playing together with that urgency.

This. Anton was the only one who was doing this consistently and he even had an uncharacteristic week last week.

They’re assisting on 47.2 percent of their makes in SEC play, which ranks 13th out of 14 teams. National average is 52.8.

Obviously their guards are all capable of getting their own shot and that’s a great, valuable skill. But you’d like to see them beat the defense and create passing lanes for easier shots off penetration.

Wow, I didn’t look at just the SEC games. There is a big drop-off in assists in SEC games. I should have looked for that. They are at 52.5% over all 21 games, even including the awful OK St game. They must have been over 55% in non-conference games. They need to get back to penetrating and looking for open teammates, and get the assists back in line in these final 10 SEC games.

Totally agree! We need these guys to score as a team going down the stretch instead of a couple 2 or 3 being the main shooters and scoring and usally one doing most of his in one half and then done! We need our guys to get open and to shoot when open and this could be a great team! You take Macon, Hannahs, Beard, Barford and at times Kingsley, getting to hitting half their shots and this team could be great! With better offensive movement this can happen and all 5 are capable of hitting half and at times better. Too many passes on open shots add to too many passes, equals to more turnovers and rushed bad shots in which I see again this year! Here is to hoping they put it all together and make a run to end the season! Gotta admit, I am worried about Bammas defense tonight! Gotta get open and hit half your shots and rebound another half the misses and I think we win!

I know one guy who is not looking for an assist when he gets out on the break. Moses is going straight to the hole and you better get out of his way!

No dime demon on this team, but a lot of our scorers aren’t assist friendly. Macon likes to takes treys facing the defender off the dribble and gets a lot of his points at the line. In fact, the only trey that he missed tonight was a wide open look from an interior pass. Dusty can catch and shoot but has been more consistent off of drives. He’s not looking to pass out off of penetration either and gets to the line. Likewise, Barford barrels to the basket and creates his own shot off the dribble.

This is one of the reasons we’ve been scouting PG recruits. As of late, I’ve been thinking that I’d like CMA to make room for a Juco PG and a grad transfer interior scorer.

I like Macon Beard and Barford a whole lot to handle the rock next year. Can garland handle it a little too?

In backup we have garland, hall, glasper, jones… so I’m not sure we have a ball handler in backup if our three best are starters.

But I would really like to add a big. Have we seen enough from thomas, cook, and Thompson to think let’s just trade Kingsley for Gafford and be good?

Hey guys we had 18 assists and 87 points last night. Did anyone see a true pg out there? I did not. I saw hog ball, fast, sharing the ball, pushing it in transition, and making shots.

I do not think it is all about having a true pg. we need guards that can take care of the ball, share the ball, shoot the ball, and play bad ass defense. Maybe it’s a true point, maybe it’s a combo guard.

one thing I’m confident of though is Mike and Scotty will not recruit any point guards that can’t play D and shoot it well. Our pressure D and making shots are more impactful to our assists numbers than one point guard’s passing skills.