My thoughts

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Four games in a row away from home is too much. I was expecting a double digit loss but not by 26. Eerily similar to UNC’s game against Michigan State. Sometimes body just doesn’t want to cooperate with the mind and eventually the mind just gives up.

I’m not worried. Long season. Super tough schedule. Opponent lying it wait.

I would have taken 5-2 preseason had I known we would open with Sanford, Bucknell, Fresno, OU, Unc, UCONN and Hou with the last four being away from BWA.

Yeah, impossible to play great or even well 35 times a year. Nights like this will happen. Houston did a great job of being physical. Some of the tough shots they’d been hitting coming in didn’t go. Their offense wasn’t crisp and allowed Houston to get some open transition looks and heat up.

I thought of you when Dustin hit the 2 jumpers haha. Someone on staff has continued to try to tell me he’s shot great in practice. I wrote about him being a good shooter before last year and got burnt, so I’m taking a wait-and-see approach, but if he can shoot like that it’d be big. Biggest thing was he shot without hesitation.

I think it’s interesting Mike has leaned more on him than Adrio the last 4 games. Different players with different strengths, but I kind of like Adrio’s game better. But I’m sure they’ll both have their moments.

Yeah, it’s why I wrote before the year that if they go into SEC play at 9-3 it means they’ve had a pretty good nonconference run.

Yes. Minnesota is a really bad matchup. We may get them, but they’re a bad matchup. I’d be very happy at 10-2.

I also wonder if Macon’s ankle is still a little gimpy.

It was just a bad night. I also don’t think Macon is 100%. It never seemed like the hogs had the energy to play today.
It’s one game and no big deal. We have a good team and they are fine. No reason to sound an alarm.

Minnesota game is a big one. A win will look great on the resume in March. I want to see whether Cook can bring the same intensity and hunger that we see from Thomas after his suspension.

My thoughts are we as a fan base believed the hype as we always do and set expectations to high. Now we are saying we had a bad night, Macon is gimpy, but in reality we have along way to go to become relevant as a team. There’s no doubt we have the potential but until we discover a half court offense and a suffocating defense we will have our struggles this season. This team is full of promise but we need to see improvement every game before conference play begins. WPS

Most disappointing thing to me was the effort on defense. Sometimes shots just aren’t going be falling but you can always bring it on the other end and when you do good things usually happen. Good D will jump start bad O.

We were completely uninterested on defense and showed no fight after half.

I’m confident Mike will get their attention with that game film this week.

Some were ready to put this team in the Final Four. That’s unrealistic. I do think where this team will be in six weeks will be pretty good. There are some nice pieces there for Mike to build with. There are some youngsters that will probably have some up and down games and are probably learning what getting knocked around means in Division I basketball.

I think this will be CMA’s first Sweet 16 Team here at AR as HC. Don’t know if they’ll make it further, but I definitely believe second weekend. And I agree, I think they’re learning about D1 b-ball. In March this will be a much better team.

That’s an overreaction. We’re relevant right now, unless you’re definition of relevant is exclusively top 10. They were horrible on Saturday, but they have wins over Pomeroy #29 and Pomeroy #86 on neutral and easy wins over Pomeroy #71 and #85 at home. Bama lost to Pomeroy #72 at home last night. It’s not like we have 5 SWAC wins.

We’re currently oscillating in the Pomeroy 30’s, which looks to be where we belong right now. This team has a lot of moving parts. The growing pains showed up on their fourth consecutive away game, but this team has a lot of room to grow. It’s college basketball. December usually brings some strange results. We weren’t as good as we looked against UConn, but we are a lot better than we looked against Houston. They’ve got plenty to work on, but so does every other team in the nation.

Really believe having both Thomas and Cook back will put this team on right track. I just don’t trust Bailey as the primary 4 right now. I think by junior year, he will be hard to leave on the bench. He has that much upside. His perimeter game will be where Thomas is today. Maybe even better.

I agree with Mike in that this team needs to win with defense as well as offense. Gafford starting could help.

Where I see the same issue as every year is our need to ask guards to try and double down on the paint player and get halfway or all the way off the perimeter player. We are the easiest defense in America to get an open look three against. If they can shoot we are in trouble without takeaways and effective offense.

That just has to get rectified. Matchup zone helped some last year or just a straight up man.

Honestly I think if you fix that the rest will take care of itself and we are off to a great great season.

On a side note I think bailey brings more than Thomas because he’s an actual inside threat pulling teams away from our guards. And giving us offensive rebounding potential.

I don’t think making the final four is unrealistic for this team. South Carolina made it last year and were picked to finish 8th in the league. The reason they were so good was they had really good senior guards in Thornwell and Notice. Plus they lucked up in the NCAA tournament and got placed at a site near home and they got hot at the right time. Barford and Macon can hold their own against any guards in the country, if Gafford comes along nicely and we get the right bracket, it wouldn’t be world shocking if they made a final four run. Rarely does the best 4 teams make it to the final four, it’s mostly all about being hot at the right time and catching a break from the committee in your bracket placement. Heck, if it wasn’t for us getting placed against UNC last year, we may have made the final four.

None of what you wrote is wrong, but it isn’t going anywhere. It’s a staple of his halfcourt man defense he believes in. Wrote about it a few weeks ago. When it works, it looks great and leads to transition opportunities. When it doesn’t, the ball gets swung to an open 3 if rotations aren’t perfect.

I know you are right jimmy but I do think we can play that defense more effectively. Don’t double off the other teams best and dominant shooter. Be more decisive. Help less when you have gafford in the game. Play it less against great shooting teams. Tonight it was the right team to deploy that defense.

Yeah, you’re right on everything.

It can work if you nail the rotations. NBA teams that play small a lot will double the post and either pre-rotate or zone up everywhere else, which allows them to get away with it. Obviously with college players who are less talented and less experienced, there are typically going to be more errors.

The main thing I think that gets them into trouble is not doing a good job rotating and being on the same page once the ball is kicked back out. Everyone has to know their next rotation and work in unison.

Eustachy said he’d have pressured his team the way Arkansas did because he knew they’d struggle with it.