Some Takes on the first game in Spain...

Not a great performance overall by any means, but Arkansas did play well the last half of the third quarter and in the fourth when they rallied to tie it 75-75 after being down by as many as 18 in the third quarter.

• Horrible shooting night, especially to begin when they were like 2-14. Ended the first half 9-33, but bounced back to hit 19 of 30 in the second half.

That was in large part to better defense. The Spanish team got to the rim a lot and either scored or got fouled or both, especially in the first 2 1/2 quarters.

• Moses Kingsley had 7 points and 4 rebounds and fouled out in a night that was certainly not his best. He looked a little tired to me. Got to play better and I am sure he will.

• I think Dustin Thomas is going to have a big year at the 4.

• All of the newcomers seemed very tentative and nervous at the start, but most settled down. Macon and Barford showed in the second half why they are so highly regarded.

• Arlando Cook scored 8 points and played better than he had in practice to me.

• Neither Anton Beard of Dusty Hannahs (11 points) had great shooting night as they went 5-of-17 together.

• I thought the rims seemed tight, but Casvi won because they got more inside shots.

• Trey Thompson had 7 rebounds, but did not score. He has got to get more aggressive and not defer.

Hazen and Glasper both just played a minute. CJ Jones played just 4 minutes, but did score 5 points.

My take based on the play-by-play and stats.

It would be silly to project much from that game for a lot of obvious reasons. Many things went wrong that we know won’t be a nightly problem for this team. Kingsley isn’t going to foul out in 24 minutes or have the line that he did very often. Considering that he has crossed a gazillion time zones in the last week and a half, his performance was not that surprising. I’m pretty sure he and Hannahs won’t combine for 33% from the floor on a regular basis either.

Neither will Arkansas suffer a -20 in FTAs in many games. It happened once last year in that preposterously officiated game in Baton Rouge against the NBA #1-pick. I’m guessing that was some combination of eight guys learning our system, international refs, and home-cooking.

The first half seemed brutal at both ends as we fell behind by, I believe, as much as 16 points. We had only two players, Jones and Hannahs, make a non-layup in the entire half according to the play-by-play. The team settled down and played much better at both ends in the second half. ECC only shot 32% in the second half after being 50%+ for most of the first half. We shot 60%+ in the second half, but 11 TOs contributed to the comeback coming up just short after closing the gap to a single point. That and the FT disparity allowed ECC to hang on.

The biggest positive for me was how Thomas stuffed the stat sheet. For one night at least he looks like a solution at the #4. The frosh Bailey also put a lot of digits in the ledger for abbreviated minutes. Arlando Cook, already written off by some who probably dislocated a knee watching practice, scored 8 points in 13 minutes. Trey Thompson did his usual yeoman work on the boards but took a single shot in 21 minutes. He will probably need to be more of a scoring threat if he wants to start unless the backcourt is shouldering most of the scoring responsibility. In any case this game didn’t discourage the notion that we have options on the baseline this season.

For the guards Manny Watkins played lights out in the second half, which is bad news for the fans that want to relegate him to the end of the bench. He was arguably our top performer on the play-by-play. Macon and Barford seemed to put in some solid work in their debuts with mainly positive contributions. They seemed to be two of our five best, as advertised. I was especially encouraged by Barford’s 5 assists and 3 steals. CJ Jones also had a surprising 5 points and 3 steals in only 4 minutes. He’ll get more minutes if that production continues.

Beard had a bit of a disappointing night, at least on the stat sheet. He led us in minutes but scored only a deuce in 6 FGAs. Perhaps he provided some intangibles. His plus/minus was +8, but he and Thompson can’t start together, play 20+ minutes, and score a bucket between them.

On D we recovered to induce low FG percentages over the whole court and forced a decent 17 TOs. The rebounding was weak, and we fouled a ton. The D would have come out pretty good if the FTAs had looked more normal.

On O we almost managed 50% on deuces after the horrid start but only converted 25% on treys. The TOs were high for us, especially in the second half, but we managed a decent 70% at the line. As at the other end, the rebounding was poor.

Here’s hoping for more boards, fewer TOs, fewer fouls, and more string music in the next outing.

My very razorback passionate daughter who was at the game had some very harsh things to say about the officiating. This very young team will need to learn how to overcome that. I suspect they may see more of that this trip. Its a good experience for them to learn how to deal with the adversity.

Dudley, Heather says you came over and talked to her after the game. She was very appreciative to talk to someone from home. She’s been over there for 8 or 9 years and I think about ready to come home. . . we’ll see.

I suspect our boys were a little over excited about this trip.

Buckle down and win these games, boys!


Definitely unexpected from a team I have very high expectations for, but hey, get it out now. That is what these games were for. This exact scenario in all honesty is probably the best outcome for them. Snaps them back immediately to, “this is for getting better #1 and vacation #2”. Overall, I bet they gain a lot from this.

Have to admit I expected more after all the enthusiasm we have had for new players et all.

Hopefully it’s just that we just met each other as players and are learning the game.

I hope it’s not a talent issue because we evidently got an infusion.

Got to make NCAAs

Guess I don’t care if we lose all the games in Spain as long as we make NCAA’s at year end

For what it’s worth, when I talked to Matt Zimmerman last week, he said going 3-1 would be a good trip.

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I’m high on him and how he fits next to Moses, evidenced by the piece above. Think he will be a different player than he was at Colorado. He really impressed me in practice and some of the playmaking I wrote about was on display today with the 4 assists.

Hey, I thought the first 2 games were against lesser competition. Maybe not. We’re see what happens. :frowning: :frowning:

They had two weeks of practice with eight new players. One of those weeks was without their best player. I have no expectations for this trip.

Yes, seems like a very nice young woman.

My wife and I and the Dusty’s parents Gerald and Lynette talked to her before the game and I saw her getting plenty of pictures with the Razorbacks after it

Boils down to a bad shooting first half plain and simple.

Seeing as how they were 19-of-30 in the second half, the play improved, but it was too big a hill to climb over although they did get it tied.

I suspect they will play much better today.

There is more talent and versatility on this team.

All that talk about learning to play together wasn’t just talk

Mike said in a press conference that the most important part of the Spain trip was the 10 practices. The games and the trip were a chance to try different combinations and provide an opportunity for the players to bond. Sure he would have liked to win all the games, but that was probably 3rd in importance.

I strongly suspected that could be the case. I certainly hope so. I hope we get every bit of adversity that a team can get during this trip. Disappointed that our opponent seemed to have absolutely no fan support. In fact, we seemed to have them out numbered. None the less, I’m happy with the loss. Wouldn’t mind another one before ending the trip strong.

The problems experienced in the first game were disturbingly familiar to those who have been following the team under Mike Anderson. Rebounding discrepancy, shooting inefficiency, and inability to score late in games have hounded Razorback basketball for years. Could it be that Larry Johnson’s admonishment concerning “need to get some men” is still haunting the Hogs?

Oh dear Lord. 26 years and it just keeps freaking going

was more representative of what this team is about than Monday’s game was.

If you were here in Spain, you would see there are plenty of men wearing Arkansas uniforms.

They have played 5 1/2 good quarters after 3 1/2 bad ones.

Certainly way, way, way, way early to be throwing out dire predictions