Must Win vs Ole Miss

I’m curious how many of us thought coming into this season that today’s game at home with Ole Miss would be a must win for this Hogs teams hopes of possibly salvaging what most thought would be better season than the last and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament and a deeper run in the Tournament?

Gafford has done a good job most games of filling Moses Kingsley’s role, accept for his terrible FT shooting and stupid fouls.
CJ Jones has not lived up to expectations of filling the scoring void of Dusty Hannah.
Thompson is a guy that has been I the program since a freshman and his overall development has been disappointing because he has not progressed to be anything more than a role player for four seasons. He appears to have potential that he has for whatever reason not attained, where that blame lies who knows.

Macon, has talked a Big game ever since he felt snubbed by not being selected for preseason all conference teams and unfortunately that told me things about him that I didn’t like hearing. He was already putting himself above team and that has bled over into his play, he has played HERO ball many times this year instead of team ball and it’s not working for him and if it continues it certainly won’t help his future prospects or the team.

Barford has had a pretty solid season, been more reliable than Macon, but does tend to get into foul trouble most games. Probably our best player other than Gafford on the team.
Anton Beard is another player that looks almost exactly the same on the court as he did his freshman season. His lack of development is another example of lack of player growth while being in the program for four years.

Our lack of production from the Powe Forward spot I knew would be a problem if we came back this season with Cook and Thomas whom neither give you much offensively and minimal defensive contribution, Cook does give a bit more on the defensive end, but he can’t shoot and I’m personally sick of seeing him try and float up a shot inside the lane from six feet away and clank it off the rim.

Hall has been a bright spot at times during this season, but unfortunately, he’s about the only one off the bench that has been and that lack of quality depth is killing us this season. Some may point to Garland not playing his freshman season for whatever health issue is hurting our bench, but we don’t know really what we would have gotten out of him.

If they don’t start playing together and for one another from now on then I can see this ending in a record of about 18-13 and out of the Tournament once again.
I hope they prove that to be wrong, but the ball is solely in their court for the rest of the season and we will find out how good they actually are and how good this staff is as well when everyone thought they had the talent this year to do great things.

Go Hogs!

From a basketball standpoint the Moo U and LSU games were must wins as well.
This is a team that has no drive or heart to compete ! They are just simply average when they don’t play solid defense.
If they get beat at home today put em in the NOT!

Glad to see the Hogs get the win today, but they still have some serious problems. They got outscored in the second half and at times didn’t look like they wanted to win. I hope they can correct their problems.

This teams’ defense gets shredded every time they play a decent point guard. Almost through Anderson’s tenure, his teams get big leads. But instead of finishing off the opposition team, they take their foot off the pedal and allow opposing teams to come back. Anderson’s team have never had that “killer” instinct. Instead of playing to win, they play not to lose.

Good win.

Ole Miss has been playing very well lately, so taking them down is a good stepping stone to getting back on track.

Love the starting line up and rotation by Anderson. Inserting two energy guys to start was a good idea. It set the tempo for most of the game for us. Macon coming off the bench with Jones looks like a very good idea. Seeing Jones break out a little more this game was very good to see. We need his confidence and shooting.

Free throws were VERY good tonight. 28 for 35 makes you wonder where this has been all conference season. It won the game for us.

It was a complete game where all that played scored. This is what will give us success. Our bench has got to produce for us to win.

All that said, our defense in the first half was decent, but in the second half it suffered. Granted, the officiating was atrocious and Ole Miss got a lot of their FT points in the second half, but there were still too many break downs, especially with guys trying to double team. It was better tonight, but still needs lots of work.

I do wonder why Dustin Thomas didn’t play.

Good to see Arkansas pull back some from that trapping defense (maybe Mike’s reading this board (ha)). As well, good to see a win. Had opportunities to make it a bigger spread but at this point. the RPI math isn’t paying attention to close games or blow outs, its all about the W. So … good there. That Ole Miss has been playing well and shooting lights out - getting this win was important.

If you watched the game, you saw two examples of the kinds of things that have to be driving Coach Anderson nutz. Just under 7 minutes, 3 point miss by Ole Miss with Beard and Macon both standing in the lane. Ole Miss player goes right between Macon and Beard for an uncontested tip in. I ran that play back a couple times to watch that sequence. Barford is the only one to turn and put hip on a Ole Miss player. Both Macon and Beard … neither with an interest in attacking the board or blocking out. That’s not a teaching moment. That’s a benching moment. Second one - Minute forty on the clock. Arkansas gets the steal with the ball poked directly to Macon. Here’s a senior guard, with the ball, a 6 point lead and a fresh shot block. (at this point I’m politely suggesting to the Macon via the TV that he hold the ball and walk it upcourt). Instead of holding on to the ball and eating game clock (waiting for the foul that was certainly coming), he tries to thread a needle on a 3-quarter-court bounce pass to Barford who can’t catch up and control it (the pass was well in front of him) and (surprisingly) grabs and throws the ball back blindly on the court where an Ole Miss player is waiting. The result is a push up court by Ole Miss, a Hog shooting foul, and two Ole Miss free throws.

I’m just saying. Blocking out (e.g. getting into proper defensive position) and seniors not playing heads up smart, clock-centric basketball. The Hogs have not done well these past three weeks with either. Watch game tape - very little effort in blocking out. Gafford goes AFTER the ball so he gets a pass on blocking out for the most part.

Positives - free shooting and 3-point shooting. If they shoot free throws like they’ve done the past two weeks, they lose this game.
Negatives - beaten again on the offensive boards, plus one on the defensive boards.

But hey - none of that COB (Chase the Ball) stuff that gets em in trouble on defense. Thanks Mike. My remote appreciated that adjustment.

For GA - gonna HAVE TO get on the boards. GA will sit in the paint and pound. Hogs better be ready for a physical game.