Thoughts on next year team

I am glad that Daniel Came back to play his sophomore year. But I am worried that we will miss the 3 point shooting that we had this year. Teams knew that we lived and died by the 3 Pointer. There was a lot of attention to the threats that we had on the perimeter. Which open up the lanes for gafford to get put backs and Transition. It seems with this incoming class the Reliable 3 Point threat is Joe. Desi can shoot the 3 but I figure he will be a lot like Anton And not be as consistent. This Mason kid , has a good percentage, but how many shots did he take??

He came from a basketball family, why did he only play 1 year. Maybe Dudley can ask him? Did he hit a growth spurt? Both of his siblings were All-Americans. I do like height, but he looks , a little thick to be athletic. And next is Keyshawn , I think he may be a decent 3 point shooter. But my point is good 3 point shooting will keep defense from sagging in paint.

Mason Jones said he played football and ran track, try to take his own path and then realized he should give basketball a try.

Also mentioned that he was very immature and into things he shouldn’t be and talked about the strides he has made it that regard in the last few years, especially this season under veteran coach Bill Muse.

People are comparing him to Barford build-wise. That seem to work out well.

Jones averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 51.5 percent from the floor, 42.9 percent from behind the three-point line and 77.4 percent from the free throw line.

He was 183-of-355 overall shooting, 72-of-168 from 3-point range and 106-of-137 from the free throw line.

Jones had one game where he was 8-of-11 from 3-point range and had 33 points overall.

Isaiah Joe is as pure a shooter as it gets, Keyshawn Embery can fill it up, Jones’ numbers seem to lean toward him being a good shooter. Desi is streaky, seems to hit more when its crunch time. Jordan Phillips can make 3-pointers, but only shot 25 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Arkansas shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range last season led by Barford and Macon.

CJ actually shot 37 percent (43 of 166) from 3 despite the long periods between made ones at some point.

Darious shot 40 percent (14-of-32) from 3.

My guess is that Arkansas doesn’t shoot close to 40 percent from 3 next season, but overall better defense (especially from 3) will negate that.

I think they’ll be better from inside the arc as well.

Especially at the 4.

I think they may have more guys that can shoot the 3, I am not going to shy away from them being a good 3 shooting team. The upside for these guys is high IMHO to be solid 3 point shooters. I definitely hope so, or we are toast.

If you can’t shoot the 3 or don’t shoot the 3, you are in trouble. I think these guys will surprise as a 3 point shooting team. Actually it really won’t be a surprise.

This staff has a good record of putting a quality offensive team on the court. They have done so for four years straight despite losing at least one leading scorer every year. They even managed it in 2015-2016 when four of the projected starters either left, got kicked off the team, or were suspended for half the season. We lost Portis and Qualls to the pros. It became a lost year for Beard. Williams got sent packing. The player most likely to replace Qualls was Babb, who transferred.

It’s easy to forget now that in the summer of that year our projected lineup included Moses Kingsley (who averaged 4 points the year before and was considered more a defensive player), Jabril Durham (who had a disappointing season as a junior), Anthlon Bell (who was shooter that had never shot over 35% from three on the season), and Dusty Hannahs (an unathletic player who averaged 7 points and 37% from the arc the last we saw him at Texas Tech). Where points were going to come from in that group looked daunting. Ironically the player fans were most optimistic about was frosh Whitt whose scoring chops proved to be more limited than expected.

That team proved to be capable on offense. It probably would have made the NCAAT if the rotation had not been decimated to 7 or 8 effective players for most of the season. We never did replace Williams. If just one of Qualls or Williams or maybe even Babb had been available, that team probably would have squeaked into the NCAAT. We lost a ton of close games that season.

With Gafford as the anchor this team could be better than expected IF CMA can find 9 or 10 reliable players to man the full rotation. That’s a big IF with all the frosh. From what we have available I expect CMA to find a quality five to put on the floor. The question is whether he can fill out the complete rotation to keep the team from wearing down over the season. However, on paper this team looks far more talented offensively than the 2016 team did at this time. You can write down a credible two-deep that looks pretty solid if the frosh are as expected. We couldn’t come close to that in the summer of 2015.

Ok Dudley that sounds good on Mason shooting a lot of 3’s gives me a lot of confidence. I hope all of them get to campus fine. Ethan said he will report May 27th him and Isiah need to hit the weights big time , and put on some muscle.

Yes, Joe needs to on some weight and strength, but not lose that pureness in his shooting.

I think he likely starts at the 2 - if not the first game, soon afterwards.

Niles had a good post about this in this thread. I am not worried about the 3 PT shooting. I think fans worry about that each year. I bet you didn’t project Barford lighting it up from the 3 better than Macon last season.

I hate to see the seniors go, but it is always exciting to me to watch new guys play. I think that part will be enjoyable … watching how the new pieces fit together.

I can’t imagine that we won’t take a step back offensively. Barford and Macon were so, so productive and efficient. That is a ton of points and efficiency to be missing on the offensive end.

I also very much suspect that we will be better defensively, if for no other reason than that we were so bad at it this season. All in all, I would expect us to take a step back … but will be optimistic that this won’t be the case.

I think the defense will be better, and that will give us a chance to hang in while all these puppies learn to bite.

I agree with you about the defense.

There are certain intangibles about Macon and Barford that we should not overlook. They were two of the best I have seen in a Razorback uniform in scoring with the clock running out.

With the shot clock, such game situations are unavoidable, regardless how pretty and smooth you run your offense. I am worried who would do that on this team, but at the same time excited and intrigued about finding who is that next clutch player.

I keep hoping for a 3 shooter like Pat Bradley or Rotnei Clarke and a ball handler who can disrupt by driving like Patrick Beverley. But, hopes and dreams are just that. We will have what we will have and right now we have no idea what that will be.

I think we can have a good idea of what’s coming in. A few things based off your statements:

  1. I do not (DO NOT) think we will be as good a 3 PT shooting team. However, I do not (DO NOT) think we will be horrible. I’m thinking we will probably be an above average from deep, just not as good as we were last year. As for 2pt shooters, I see several guys who have midrange games, and much better shooters and rebounders at the 4. I think you’ll actually see a higher scoring and better shooting team than last year as an overall product.

  2. Last year we had two guys that could handle the ball. We had a third that was ok (Beard) handling the ball. Others really weren’t ball handlers. This year we have as many as seven (if Garland is cleared, if no we will have six, but Mason Jones is a wildcard, I don’t know much about his ball handling). So, from the ball handling standpoint, I think you’ll see a much better team.

JMO

You are describing a prototype SG who can do it all. As you noted Bradley, Clarke and Beverley were not that.

But since you did not mention defense as a requirement, were your dreams not met last year by Macon and Barford and by Dusty the year before?

I think that is an enigma. Yes they were good at scoring with the clock running out, but that is not a good position for our fast paced offense to get into. To start, they dribbled around way too much, they didn’t use the motion offense like they should, they slowed the game down without making the defense play defense, and then reduced it to a 1 on 1 game in the last few seconds.

We are fortunate to have Gafford at the 5 to ease the freshmen into their new roles in the early season. The offense can go through Gafford and further develop his offensive game. This will pay off as the season progresses for DG to develop his offensive game beyond dunks. The area that DG has to develop is his post passing to open shooters because he could be deadly with the attention he will draw.

Dudley when you have the threat to make the 3 and don’t put enough attempts up it’s a wash anyway. The lack of a true point guard killed the hogs at many times the last few years. That part of the game may be changing. A good point guard will get shooters open 3’s.
The defense can’t get anymore nonexistent than it’s been. I hope the defense becomes common place for this new bunch of hogs.