Razorbacks' renewed energy evident in win over Tulsa

“I think people can feel our team’s got some passion right now,” Eric Musselman said.

After a week off, Arkansas brought renewed energy Saturday against Tulsa. More on the Razorbacks’ 98-79 win:

To me (not being very knowledgeable about basketball) it appears that they are already playing like a “well-oiled machine”, given their lack of height at the post. I’m especially impressed by the defense and how well they position themselves for rebounds. For this early in the season (with brand new coaches and schemes) the communication and knowing what to do when seem impressive. I really enjoy watching this team play!

Mason has clearly established himself as our most consistent and best player and a clutch one at that. He is probably the best NBA prospect on this team right now, if he can maintain his weight.

Today he showed me an additional skill of finishing at the rim.

I need to watch the 29 second sequence on the replay. That sequence came right out of the last media timeout when I usually take a bathroom break so I can make the two and a half drive home without stopping, and can you believe I was 39 seconds late getting back to my seat. But from the restroom I heard the arena rock loud. For a split second, I thought it was Gafford with a mammoth dunk.

Our defense was very impressive in the first 10 minutes. But as in other games, the intensity just slacks off after that. That is typical of man-to-man defense. Hard to maintain that intensity,

As far as Tulsa, I could see why Arkansas State beat them at Tulsa and I couldn’t see how Tulsa beat Vandy. They just don’t have the shooters and their bigs just don’t have any lift like Bailey does. Cannot believe how many bunnies they missed by simply not getting off the floor.

It just depends on how Mason starts a game off. He disappears at times. At the end of games he settles for the long ball and fails to go to the hole.

Could be he is a little tired at the end of games.

That’s part of it for sure for all of the players.

Renewed energy? I’ll buy they were a bit rested, not playing a mid week game, but I feel the best indicator would be defensive results, such as field goal percentage (by Tulsa). They were averaging about 46% and they shot 44% on the road at Arkansas. I think a good argument could be made that “renewed energy” would dictate a 35% result in Fayetteville - after a rest.

Tulsa also has averaged 13.4 TO’s per game – they had 13 against the Hogs.

I think the real difference was 3 point shooting.

23 points off those 13 turnovers, 27 fastbreak points, seven blocks, 12 steals. I don’t know, sounds like good energy to me.

Last night after SNF, I watched the game replay and was even more impressed with our effort and Tulsa is not as bad as I thought. I am always amazed how much I miss watching it from the stands, even though there is a TV set on top of my seat and I can watch replays.

One comment Scottie. When will our opponents resort to not guarding Whitt close on the perimeter? They still play him like he is going to shoot a three.

Good question, and I don’t really know. I figured it would have happened by now considering there is plenty of tape on Jimmy out there, but perhaps we’ll see it against Indiana or early in SEC play.

If that does take place I would guess, since Musselman probably doesn’t want to take Jimmy off the floor, he would move him to an off-ball role and give him some freedom to create for himself. He’s been terrific just kind of freelancing for scores. I think Musselman is comfortable letting Mason, Isaiah or Jalen Harris initiate the offense. When/if that happens, I think he’ll have a counter of some sort.

Well, he also leads the team in RBs and is second in assists. Gotta put a body on him at some point.

Correct. I meant not guarding Whitt tight on the perimeter, which allows him to dribble around the defender easier than if the defender has room to go either way and stop the dribble penetration. Once he enters the paint, you absolutely have to guard him because that is where he becomes lethal.