Prior to this season I complied a list of the best/worst offensive/defensive efficiency ratings of Eric Musselman’s college coaching career. I update it after each game when necessary. As we know, Arkansas has posted some great defensive figures through six games - South Dakota/Georgia Tech have the highest OER against the Razorbacks at 79.2, according to KenPom.
Updating the list last night, I noticed the top 10 defensive ratings of Muss’ college coaching career have come since Jan. 2. That is over a span of 27 games, and his teams are 22-5.
I totally understand the opponents that make up the top 10 are not great, but, personally, I think it says a lot about he and his staff’s attention to detail, their preparation and his teams’ buy-in and commitment to the defensive end. He’s just getting warmed up if you ask me.
After Musselman was named our coach last spring, I have been reading things about him, watched the ALL ACCESS videos online from his season last year at Nevada, etc. I never really got the impression that his defenses at Nevada were just outstanding. The emphasis seemed to be more on the Pace & Space offense, so I’ve been surprised at how good our defense has been so far. We probably don’t have enough offensive threats right now to make this offense hum like he wants it to, but defensive effort and intensity can go with you from game to game and can make a big difference. All of his assistants are new this year – not the same ones he had at Nevada, although he obviously had worked with Clay Moser before. I wonder how much influence they may have had on our defense. Anyway, just ramblings on my part. If we continue to play defense this hard in the future and add more offensive pieces…well, let’s just say I’m looking forward to it.