just questions

i caught Dudley on Bo’s show the other day and he made a comment that got me to thinking. i have no answers, i am no coach, just need some educating or explanation or opinions on some things. we are well into Anderson’s tenure here at Arkansas. Dudley’s comment was he worked under both Sutton and Richardson, and what he had learned was that the systems were drastically different, yet he had learned both worked and were very successful. 2 ways to skin a cat so to speak. Now to present day. i watch both Arkansas’s mens and women’s basketball games. from my untrained eye, the men’s game is more akin to Nolan’s style, and the women’s is more like Eddie’s style. Neither are producing consistent results.

Men’s basketball observations:

  1. rebounding. per the paper this morning we are last in the league in rebounding. i can remember folks complaining of this during Nolan’s tenure. i can see why in some cases we get out rebounded, but at times we get smoked on the boards. being close and getting smoked are two different things. Why is this under this system. A disturbing comment a MSU player made after the game. Coach told us they don’t block out well so hit the boards. Now this a comment from another coach, so apparently looking at film, a professional sees a fundamental glitch in our game. i can see when you have a shot blocker like Kingsley how that would leave a lane open, so what is the problem here. is it the 4 position? do we have too short a lineup with the 3 guard lineup we play? why don’t we box out? are we out of position because of overplaying everything on the outside? i don’t know, just curious. is it an effort problem? worked at UAB and Missouri, why not here in the 5th year?
  2. giving up the open 3 shot. my gosh, folks have been commenting on our 3 point defense forever it seems. i can see why in some cases. any double team creates a wide open shot when teams pass quickly. how many steals/deflections do we get vs an uncontested shot? do we not rotate? is it the structure of the defense or the players that allows this consistently. against MSU we gave them momentum. They are a very good shooting team according to their coach. our defense seemed to keep them in the game. what is the ratio of our press working vs giving up a wide open shot or a drive to the bucket. i realize that we are trying to tire teams, but none of our three SEC loses were to teams that played 10 like we do. (i did get a chuckle of Holland’s comments on the heat inside Bud Walton). i actually like that from Anderson.
  3. stopping the drive. announcers commented on this many times during the Kentucky, Florida, and MSU games. and i read an article this week and Anderson comments, players have to make subtle changes to their defense when opposing guards are continually blowing past them to the rim. i understand we overplay everything outside. we pick up usually near half court. Can’t hand check anymore. isn’t this the coaches job to make that correction if the player apparently is too headstrong to see whats happening to him? Why does this happen? structure of defense? lack of talent? we willingly give that up to increase pace of play? just trying to understand.
    women’s basketball observations.
    they play very good fundamental eddie sutton type defense. they rebound fairly well. yet we are getting smoked on the scoreboard. their offense at times is horrendous. LSU press killed them in the last 4 minutes of that game. turnover after turnover. when we did break their press, we rarely attacked the rim. i remember during nolan’s tenure, when teams had to press and trap because they were usually behind, his teams would eat that up. layups, wide open shots, etc, as frank would say a thang of beauty. the girls don’t do this at all. Does Dykes teach we are going to milk the shot clock no matter what? Is it purely a talent issue? Why are we having so much roster turnover on the girls team? seems like we always have a shortage of players, then an injury occurs, well the results are fairly obvious.

so Dudley’s comment got me to thinking, two styles, both can work. we seem to embrace both styles in mens and womens basketball, yet neither are working? if it purely a talent issue, both coaches have had time to get their players on campus. is it stubborness on the coaches part? is it neither style is effective anymore, some new fangled wave has taken over college basketball? is it the coaches just need more time? Anderson does have some highly rated classes on the way which is a positive. But this years team i think is very talented also. we all were encouraged by one half of play against Kentucky. But my oh my, to lose by over 20 and we are encouraged? how low have we as fans sunk in our expectations. We might get an 11th seed in the tournament if we get in at all? yeah right now i would be overjoyed if we even made the tourney, but an 11th seed, well we used to worry what regional we would head as a top four seed. and women’s aren’t going anywhere. watching A and M and MSU in women’s basketball, well both coaches were here at one time. Can’t blame Long for Blair leaving, but did we even look at the MSU coach when we had an opening?
i know this is a long post, i think we smoke Missouri today, and we destroy LSU next Saturday. have a chance against an underperforming A and M team on the road in between. We need 3 or 4 wins per loss the rest of the way to make the tourney, then anything can happen. i really want our basketball to succeed and both coaches to win big time here at Arkansas. Just had some questions is all.

You have a bunch of legitimate questions that many have been asking ourselves also and you will probably get 300 different answers. On the men’s side we try to tire out our opponent so that we have the advantage in the last 10 minutes of a game,this is nearly impossible when playing today’s game with all the TV timeouts,reviewing of plays and shooting so many foul shots. We looked pretty good against lesser competition early in the season and some coaches and many players start drinking the Kool-aide and believe what they are hearing and reading, then tougher competition shows up and we show our weaknesses that have been there all along but was swept under the rug because they won the game and everything is great and you hear the phrase" We are still coming together as a team". We don’t rebound,can’t press,get our bigs playing D 30 feet from the hoop and get beat on drives to the basket and allow to many run outs for layups in transition. How we address these issues will determine future of this team, it all starts today with the Mizzou game. We need to come out today and take whatever steps it takes to eliminate our pit falls by whatever measures he sees necessary, just to win the game is not enough because we should win this game, you can’t change a team overnight but you can make the decision overnight to change and begin that change today! As far as the Lady Backs, roster turnover plus a young coach in a tough conference usually is a recipe for tough times and JD is knee deep in tough times right now, how he handles this season will prove out to be where the program is headed. I believe both of these coaches are great guys and wants to win and be at Arkansas for the rest of their career but changes will have to come for this to happen. Not many answers to your questions, but my thought on the situation. WPS

[quote]We don’t rebound,can’t press,get our bigs playing D 30 feet from the hoop and get beat on drives to the basket and allow to many run outs for layups in transition.

That pretty much sums us up. Its really frustrating to watch. Especially when you see other teams get in to position to rebound time after time. Probably like a lot of fans, I can watch a game and see something is wrong, but I have no idea how to fix it. But when I see a Gonzaga or a Butler (or a Florida) just carve up a defense and get lay ups and easy shots, I get really jealous. Especially when I see us throw it around the perimeter and Moses is 30 feet from the basket, and we heave up a clanging 3 with no time left on the clock. We look so inept.

Not an expert, but what I see is too many guys trying to block shots. We routinely have two guys trying to block the same shot, and sometimes three. It is very hard to block out and get in position for a rebound if you leave your man and are up in the air trying to block a shot from somebody else’s guy.

And you are correct, everyone complained about it when Nolan was the coach as well.