Razorback hoop update

This week they did individual skill .

Muss and staff have put in their basic concepts on offense and have been switching teams and looking at different combinations.

Jaylin Williams has been a vocal leader.

JD Notae has been really scoring well in live segments.

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Thanks for the basketball report Richard. Great to hear that about Notae! I tend to forget about JD in the midst of all the great (on paper) new incoming transfers. If Notae has taken another step forward defensively, he will be a huge part of this team’s success. Be it as a starter or 6th man scoring machine again.

RD didn’t say anything about JD’s defense, only that he’s been scoring. We know JD is a microwave off the bench, heat up quickly. But D is why he doesn’t start. I hope he’s getting that message too.

Although here’s a stat that shocked me. Who led us in steals last year? Not Tate, not Devo, not Smith. It was JD with 46. Devo was second with 35. So maybe JD played better D than we’re acknowledging.

Which is why he used the word “if”

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How’s Connor looking? He’s a big part of next season’s success IMO. Hopefully he’s developing 2 or 3 good low post moves that he can fall back on when his 3-pt shot isn’t going down.

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Notae is already there defensively. He lead the team in steals. JD just needs to play D with the same intensity he did the last 2/3 of this past season.

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Notae definitely improved his defense as the season went along. There is a lot more to defense than just steals. When Muss pulled him for his defense, it was primarily related to “team” defense. He was slow to recognize situations when “help” defense was needed. He switched instead of hedging (or vice-versa) on pick and rolls. He sometimes failed to recognize that the other guard had driven to the basket and it was his job to drop back to prevent an open transition basket by the opponent (several games he was pulled for this). As he “learned” these thing through Muss’ “teaching style”, his defense improved. That doesn’t mean “he’s already there defensively”.

It’s not that Notae doesn’t or didn’t have the skills to be a good defender. I’m sure he’s continued to work with the coaches on defensive techniques this off season (as rules permit), especially when it comes to footwork and positioning. That’s an area he needed to work on so he can improve his on ball defense and better prevent his man from dribbling around him and penetrating.

All college players can improve their defense. And if they do, they see their minutes go up.

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Wrote several times last season that JD was a bit better defender than he got credit for. Even back in January when the team was scuffling a bit, he showed something of a knack for playing passing lanes, tallying deflections and blocking jumpers, but it was pretty much ignored because the team was losing and he’d get lost off the ball or give up a score on a baseline out of bounds play. He made good strides toward the end of the season when Eric Musselman basically told his guys, “I’m allowing you offensive freedom as long as you give great effort defensively.”

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I agree. I think it is going to difficult to keep JD on the bench. I am not sure there is a better three point shooter on the roster since Moody has left. I know we have stats showing a lot of guys shooting at a good clip, but can they make shots with high degree of difficulty like Moody and JD did last season?

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There were also times that JD was pulled not because of defense but because of his shot selection. Muss said he pulled him several times because his shot selection and holding the ball on the dribble for too long killed offensive momentum. JD has the chance to be very special for this team. He does not need a huge jump in skill level he just needs a slightly more cerebral understanding of how to manage his game on both the offensive and defensive ends.

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I said last season, Notae won 6th man when he made that extra pass on the drive. At the beginning of the season teams would drop two or three defenders on Notae because he would never pass the ball when driving to the basket. When he would finally start kicking it out for an open shot to a teammate, he started scoring more points because teams couldn’t collapse on him anymore.

Yes, of course. I’m just saying that it’s highly unlikely that JD will revert back to making the same defensive errors that got him benched early on last season. He definitely improved his D as the season went on. I doubt he takes a step back defensively is what I was saying.

I would say Jaxson Robinson is a better perimeter shooter than JD, but certainly won’t be taking away minutes from him.

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