PGT: WKU 86, Arkansas 79

"I thought we were not tough with the ball in the first half, and certainly it carried on down the stretch.”

More notes and quotes from Arkansas’ overtime loss at Western Kentucky:

Scottie, I really enjoy your post-game pieces. There’s lots to read in the paper and on the net, but it’s gotten to where the first thing I look for is your post-game thoughts.

Great job, as always, keep up the good work!


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Muss didn’t mention what I thought caused the loss. Beginning at the 45 second mark in regulation, we were up 5 points. They had the ball and Whitt, almost immediately fouled the man with the ball. It was so obvious, that I thought he thought he should immediately foul?? The next time they had the ball (around 30 seconds?), we had a 3 point lead and we foul the man with the ball quickly again?

I thought those 2 defensive mistakes when we had the lead in regulation was what caused the loss. When we went into OT, I thought we were done. Our team looked more gassed than at any time this year. Much moreso than WK. However, that’s usually the case on the road. The home team still has some adrenalin from the crowd.

It certainly was not a bad road loss, but without careless mistakes, it would have been a win.

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The 2 fouls were bizarre, like we were losing by 5 instead of up by 5. And not like they were thinking of shooting a 3 at the time.

I thought one of the calls on Whitt was bogus. The guy was going hard to the basket and Whitt was backing away from him.

Also Joe and Jones are our 2 best FT shooters, but both looked rattled against the press. Harris and Whitt are the better options, but Whitt is shaky on the line.

Disappointing because that would have been a very good road win. Don’t know how they will finish the year without Bassey, but they had some real talent.

Agree with you there. Thought it was a quick, ticky-tack whistle.

Mason Jones clearly got away with a carrying violation prior to his last trip to the line. That was really strange, too. Kind of a brain fart, I guess.

I went back and re-watched the game this morning for my shot chart project, and man, Arkansas had everything going for it after Desi Sills’ last bucket with 1:03 to play. Tough to swallow knowing you could potentially be 11-0 heading into Indiana to close the month.

I agree totally that those two quick fouls cost us the game. We really did them a favor by stopping the clock and giving them the chance to shoot FTs, and they took full advantage.

I agree the 2nd one was not like the first one, but it still involved reaching. Jimmy is our best defender, but he knows in those situations, you have to defend with your feet. Position is everything and you just can’t use your arms to reach at all. Stationary with arms straight up. Many refs, in that game situation, probably wouldn’t have called the 2nd one. The first one was the real head scratcher.

Another head scratcher happened in first half with 7-8 minutes left, when Mason was whistled out of bounds in the corner. Went back and watched it several times-he was no where close to OB.

Regarding the defense giving up a 20 point scorer in the last 4 games, I think it has to do with three things. First, teams now have a scouting report on us and any good coach is going to find seams in any defense and exploit it. Second, the competition level has steadily gone up and that makes a big difference. And third, while Joe, Jones and Whitt have length for a guard, they are not quick on feet like Sills and Harris and other teams are going to exploit that by driving around them and that seems to be happening more and more in the last four games.

As far as giving up an open three after a timeout with 31 seconds left, that happens every night in college basketball. It happens to good teams and coaches we have determined as good. It really is close to unavoidable to give up an open three with that much time left. You just hope it doesn’t go in, but 80% of the time, there will be an open 3 available that late in the game.

Maybe a timely matchup or other zone would help some of these issues.

I am betting Muss will start playing some zone soon. I think by the end of the year, Muss will use some other stuff like press and trap at times when other team least expects or when we have to play catch-up. He has to. He is too good of a coach not to. I don’t think we are going to go through the entire season without getting behind double digits.