Any win away from BWA is a good win. Our 3 primary transfers + Connor won this game tonight. That’s great to see. Notae and Devo played maybe their worst games as Razorbacks and we still won.
One thing for sure, Chris Lykes is a GREAT clutch free throw shooter!
Muss slowed this game down with isolation
clock control with a 13 point lead and about 7 minutes left. I didn’t like it, but he used it a lot last year and took us to the elite eight. I’m going to shut up, sit back, and enjoy all these wins he’s bringing us fans!
Really miss Tate in those situations. Muss trying hard to find someone to lead that situation. Has to handle the ball perfectly, and be sure to get off a GOOD shot when the time comes. Also, of course, must hit FTs. In those situations, there will usually be someone wide open and often under the basket. Have to see them and get the ball to them. Turnover cannot happen. Not an easy thing to do.
Actually the best guy for that “isolation, work the clock” guy was Mason Jones in Muss’ first year. He led the team in scoring, assists, and was 2nd in free throw percentage. We don’t appear to have a Tate or Jones on this team right now.
When he gets his shot back (hopefully tomorrow), Notae should be almost as good as Jones. But tonight, he was terrible. They just laid off him and let him miss a shot or make a bad pass.
Is Devo hurt, or has he just lost his confidence?
Notae had a terrible night. Thankfully we got the win. Our new transfers came through. It’s a good thing KSU was off from outside. No help way too often when they took off for the basket, either a lay-up or easy dish at the basket.
Nolan would have called several timeouts and blown a gasket! The players wouldn’t like practice today either.
Muss learned some more about combinations to have on the floor last night. The sky isn’t failing but it would be nice for JD Notae to realize when his shot isn’t failing to pass the ball.
I just think after all the hype and publicity, he is pushing too hard right now to try and live up to it all instead of just letting the game come to him. I think in time it will all settle in and work out.
I felt this team has a ton of talent, but with so many new faces it would take some time to learn to play as a team. So far this season I’ve seen nothing to change that opine. And I’ve seen parts in games that looked like what the team could become with time. The first 10-15 minutes of this game the Hogs played some very intense defense, and some unselfish offense. It looked fantastic. That’s what I hope to see for 30+ minutes. I would say 40, but every team has some slow moments.
Lykes is a true point guard while Notae is a shooting guard and Devo is a small forward trying to help at point. Devo will struggle dribbling against smaller quicker guards. He is not a primary ball handler. His outside shot is better this year and he needs to become a better version of last year’s Devo, not the new primary ball handler. Notae, last night, was guarded hard but they did not foul him and his layups were mostly off during prime time. The first thing a point guard needs to do is protect the ball and put pressure on breaking down the defense, then he makes everyone else better with assists, and then he scores so that they have to put more of the defense on him thus generating more assists. Lykes appears good enough at ball handling, really good at crunch free throw shooting, but a work in progress on the generating assists part. The whole team is finding their roles with each other and beginning to refine them. Definitely a work in progress but lots of potential if they can make it work.
While the TV morons were extremely irritating, I agreed with them that we were standing around too much in the second half. But it’s good to know that in crunch time Lykes can go to the line and knock down FTs. There have been too many years we didn’t have someone who could do that.
I think I’ll dial up Chuck on the app and mute the TV tonight.
You could tell that something was way off in terms of the offense last night in the second half because at one point J-Will was screaming his lungs out at everyone on the court trying to get them in the right position. I was dismayed by the confusion but really proud of the leadership in that moment.
At times, these guys still don’t seem to know where they are supposed to be on offense–this includes both Notae and Devo, which is quite disheartening to see.
That negativity out of the way, we saw glimpses in the first half of an elite 8 team at the worst and probably a Final Four contender.
That’s pretty hard on Devo. I think he is trying to learn to be a point guard, figuring out how to play with a target on his back, and missing the freedom of just letting the game come to him on the offensive end. His role has changed completely as have expectations and he doesn’t seem comfortable with that yet.
Nailed it! Great post. Devo excelled while playing the 2/3 last season. He was totally comfortable in that role. Every phase of his game was better. He was a good assist guy, good mid-range shooter, great on ball defender, good crunch shooter. He’s so into his head right now, it’s even affecting his D.
When Devo is on the bench, then playing Muss’ PG, also affects Notae’s overall game. Of the 2 though, I think Notae is currently the better choice for the entire team. If Muss is set on Lykes off the bench (I like that too), Notae is a much better ball handler, passer, and shooter than Devo.
KK where are you?
Muss will get this fixed and settle on the right combination. We may be on a little bumpy road for the next month or so until that happens.