My goodness. They look really, really good.
Offensively, their raw rating was a 131.5. UCLA had a nation-best 121.1 last year. Asked Mike about the ball and player movement afterward and he said he thought they were stagnant some but solid. I guess there were some stagnant moments in the second half today, but I was honestly extremely impressed with how guys moved off the ball, shared it, screened for each and all that. Didn’t look like the same team they had last year. Been very impressed with the buy-in.
Adrio Bailey did a complete about-face from the exhibitions. He’s everywhere. Playing with a lot of confidence.
Macon and Barford are so smooth. You can’t really guard Jaylen when the jumper is falling. Got hot and took maybe a few too many contested mid-rangers, but he looks great.
Very interested to see the numbers for the group with one of the senior guards, Jones and the 3 freshmen. Eye test, they looked very good. That’s a lot of length when you go senior, 6-5 Jones, 6-6 Hall, 6-8 Osabuohien, 6-11 Gafford. The last three all have wingspans of 7 feet or longer.
Both teams liked to shoot 3s and Arkansas didn’t really prevent that. A combined 47 percent of attempts were from 3, a lot of them open tonight. But they’ve done a pretty good job vs dribble penetration and that led to some forced perimeter shots from Bucknell tonight.
You can tell their length is causing turnovers, whether by getting in passing lanes, steals or just forcing bad passes. Had nearly a 24 percent turnover rate tonight, which is huge against a veteran team. The press worked some and led to some open 3s. Give and take you have to live with.
Trey has been a beast the first two games. Daniel will have to learn to avoid the ticky tack fouls. He’s gotten hit with some tough calls, too. So active. Was better against ball screens tonight.
Darious and Gabe aren’t shy at all. Darious has no left hand right now. That last dunk was nasty. Gabe has been really good as a help defender. Those two will be big pieces down the line.
Jonathan Holmes went all-out to get the ball to set up his last shot, so I was happy it went in. Crowd went nuts and his teammates mobbed him.
This is a confident team, for good reason. Strongly suggest watching Jaylen and Daryl’s postgame interview.
They looked about as good as anyone could’ve hoped this weekend.