Small Forward

After Darious Hall transferred I was really worried about how we would fill the void at small forward. Through the first three games, I’ve got to say that Mason Jones has softened that blow considerably. In fact, I wonder if we would have even signed Jones if Hall had stayed. And now I’m looking forward to seeing what Jordan Phillips will add as he comes back from injury.

They were down the road with Mason so I think he numerically replaced CJ Jones.

Iby was added with the Hall spot.

I cannot remember the timeline. Are you saying we had Mason wrapped up before Hall transfer rumors emerged?

Not to speak for Dudley, but I think he meant we had been following and recruiting Mason for awhile. They had a visit for Mason already set up for 4/6 and he committed on 4/7. Hall’s transfer request was official on 4/4. Rumors of Hall and CJ’s wanting to transfer were, I believe, toward the end of March.

I guess it’s possible, if Hall and CJ hadn’t requested transfers, Mike might not have accepted his commitment. I believe though, that Mike really wanted Jones and would have let the numbers work themselves out. Either way, IMO Mason was a definitive upgrade over either Hall or CJ.

He is an upgrade over both

Yes, they were recruiting him and would have signed him even if Hall had stayed because Jones was headed out.

[quote=“DudleyDawson”]

Yes, they were recruiting him and would have signed him even if Hall had stayed because Jones was headed out.

[/quote]I’d say Hall had more potential than Jones (having watched Jones for only three games). In my opinion Hall is more of an athlete…(I like that). But, Jones can handle the ball, now. It never looked to me last year that Hall ever practiced dribbling. Most importantly, during last Sunday’s game Jones really looked like a sophomore…measured and under control, playing against a top D1 program. (Lost in the scoreboards is the fact that Jones also guarded and was guarded most of the game by Romeo (who appears to be a likely top 10 NBA pick in 2019).

Make no mistake I wish Hall remained a Hog. I don’t understand exactly why he left, but if his replacement was Jones…we’ve won that flip thus far.

[quote=“daBoar”]

I really liked Hall and also wish he had stayed. He had some adult feeding him nonsense that he would have been a one and done player if Mike had given more minutes. He had a great chance to start at the 4 for us this year (he was a legit athletic 6’8"). That would have left Adrio to back up the 3 and the 4. Not sure I think he had more potential than Mason as a college player, but more potential as an NBA player. He would need to develop a handle and become a more consistent shooter. I would have loved to see he and Jones playing together for the Hogs.

IMO, Jones is a unique all-around baller. For instance, in our first 3 games he was our leading rebounder once, our leading scorer once, and our leading assist man once. On his averages for the first 3 games, he’s our 3rd leading scorer (less than half a point from Joe), our 2nd leading rebounder (no one close in 3rd), and tied for first in assists. He’s what I’d call a skilled well rounded college player that is very good in all phases of basketball, but not great in any one skill (has a chance to become a great shooter).

I don’t know who on our staff spotted him first, but it was a great job of evaluating the talent of a Freshman in JUCO. It’s not often you get to pick up a JUCO player with 3 years eligibility that hasn’t red-shirted. His overall stats last year were good, but not eye-popping. What most coaches probably didn’t pick up on was that his coach didn’t recognize what he really had until after their 10th game, when began to start him. As a freshman on a very good D-1 JUCO team, he averaged 19 points and 10 boards over those 20 games he started. I’m really glad Mike and staff discovered him and went hard after him.

I hated to see hall go, if for no other reason than realizing that he didn’t like playing for Arkansas as much as I (we) liked watching him play for Arkansas. He could have been very special here by the end of his second year, or 3rd year if he stayed that long. Mason Jones is and will be a fine basketball player, but there’s a feeling you get when watching an Arkansas kid ball out that just can’t be beat. Probably why I liked Macon over Barford.
I hope his decision works out well for him in life.