Here’s how I agree with you. I blame our players for the times they flat out stink and don’t do their job. I blame Mike for not punishing them afterwards. Or if he does, it doesn’t seem to be working. They should fear him. They don’t. But they also shouldn’t suck as bad as they do at times. That has nothing to do with Mike. He can’t be there to hold their hand all the time. At some point a player has to care. I’m embellishing no doubt. I love our players. I’m talking about 5% of the time. And it’s not having an off night. It’s not even trying.
I do not see this as an “oh, those misbehaving players” problem. That is illogical. It is an excuse to avoid confronting underlying problems.
This roster provides flexibility against a lot of opponents but also has limitations. Lack of a point guard and a wing forward has figured into each loss and other tight games.
The power forwards have problems with some matchups, running into some superior talent and more physical players. Moses Kingsley at the five has struggled all season to fit into the system on both ends. Overall, ballhandling has been a problem in some games.
Arkansas has been stuck between philosophies, unable to play effective pressure defense much of the time, not totally dedicated to contesting shots and rebounding, sometimes getting flurries of fouls on defense. You can see that the Hogs have moments where they are very good. But success appears to depend on 1) how good the opponent’s guards are, 2) how successfully Mike Anderson can rotate players and shuffle defensive calls, 3) whether the opponent succeeds at freezing the movement of the halfcourt motion offense (which falls back on guard matchups).
Blocked shots distort our metrics. The Hogs have a serious 2-pt field goal defensive problem. It’s masked by the large number of blocked shots, a high % of which turn into offensive rebounds. I don’t give opponents a ton of credit for getting shots blocked and retaining possession. Somewhere in there, maybe our defense breaks down while trying to rotate in response to the block. If you take out blocked shots and the related offensive rebounds, Arkansas is giving up a huge 2-pt shooting percentage. I can’t get the exact number, but it’s really bad.
You see a number of easy drives to the basket per game, and people remember those, but the bigger problem is elsewhere. Missouri’s forwards outscored ours 42-14. That was the game.
You continue to provide great insight. I feel you are absolutely correct and I imagine Florida’s roster as I read your break down. They have all of the above and they primarily play fundamental defense without all of the trapping rotations. What are your thoughts?
The lack of a point guard is glaring. If we had a serviceable PG, this team would be pretty dangerous, even with our inside deficiencies. That being said, there is one thing no one seems to talk about. I love Macon, but his failure on the defensive end is confusing. I lot of his problem seems to be lack of hustle on defense (i.e. not closing out on shooters). He seems to have the fire but that fire hasn’t reached his britches on defense. I think he has the athletic ability to be a good defender.
Macon is a good player and has the ability on the offensive end that’s for sure. The defensive end is an adjust that have shown he has problems in the hectic pace we play staying in front of his man cutting off driving lanes to the hole and closing out.
It is probably as much for him a half court game would help him. We can’t press 40 minutes a game with this team and win I don’t see it.
We could all post on opinions about all of these young me. But it would not help. My hope is they find a way to focus and play together. Win or lose they are my hogs!
Maybe MA can make some adjustments with this team that will fit their ability! You can’t force people to do things they are not capable of doing. That’s the way I see it
Coach’s job is to get them to play. Like it or not, that is true. This team is so lax in effort that comes from somewhere. There is no consistency. None. Mike needs to get them to play. That is why he gets paid the bucks.