Justin, Desi, and Connor

Through 2 games, it seems pretty clear that Desi and Justin are the 2 primary leaders on this team. If you’ve noticed, it is usually Justin who calls the short team huddles and does the talking before free throws and the other players listen intensely. Desi is the guy who is constantly talking to the players and encouraging them. I think this is great and is necessary for great team chemistry. This can only make our team better.

Both players had great games tonight, while also having 2 different specific things they have to improve on. Justin had a near perfect game in every phase of the game except for free throw shooting. Desi played great in all phases except for careless TOs. Both need to work on those 2 things, and I’m sure they will.

Connor, - Just wow! The unquestioned MVP of this game. What a force around the basket and on the boards.

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To me, Harley, the thing they both need to work on is finishing at the rim. They missed way too many bunnies.

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Yeah, Justin missed a couple I imagine he will normally make. I think, for his size, Desi is a great finisher. Most of what he doesn’t finish he gets fouled on. Justin is a big ol’ strong boy and he should be able to finish with contact if he doesn’t get hammered on his arms.

Being, with those great Razorback teams, I’m certain that you know that what some fans call bunnies can be very difficult shots to finish. Especially when you have big strong seniors, like NO TX had under the basket bouncing their bodies against you while you are in the air trying to finish. It doesn’t take much of a mostly unnoticed bump to knock you 9 to 10 inches off course. It takes great concentration to finish in those circumstances. Corliss was as good as you’ll ever see for giving those “little nudges” with that big body. And he did it on both ends of the floor.

After tonight’s game, Justin Smith said Jalen Tate and Desi are guys standing out to him as leaders on the floor. Justin falls in that category, too, he just won’t say it himself. I see Desi talking a lot, getting guys in the right spots, for instance, on BLOB plays defensively. Re-watching Wednesday’s game this morning, I noticed quite a bit of that. Like Justin’s leadership a lot. Very levelheaded and steady, which will come in handy on the road in nonconference and in close, contested games in league play.

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Justin Smith’s offense has surprised me. Indiana fans are wondering where was this jump shot last three years.

Perhaps your prediction of Smith’s shortcomings was based on too small of a sample size?

Hopefully Indiana sample was too small. And now hopefully a two game sample at Arkansas is not too small. I am liking what I see. Confident, no hesitation in shooting. Aggressive going after the rebounds. Doesn’t look like the same player. Heck, he looks like our best player right now.

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Glad to see you coming around on Smith. That’s about the only thing we’ve disagreed on regarding this team.

I think one reason you were hesitant on Smith was his offense at IN didn’t stand out. I blamed that more on Archie than on Smith. He is a very defense oriented coach, maybe even more so than Muss. Also, his offense was guard and low post oriented.

I really missed on Notae, but after these 2 games, I’ve finally come around. Not so much on his scoring as the complete game he’s shown in these 2 games.

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