Whitt is the key

I have noticed that in most of our losses, Jimmy Whitt has been almost a nonfactor in those games. Over the second but Whitt half of the season, Whitt needs to be THE focal point on offense. Not saying reduce the rolls of Joe and Jones,but Whitt needs to be option one on offense. When Whitt is scoring, he takes a lot of pressure off Joe, Jones, and Sills. Right now, with our lack of scoring threat inside, opposing teams are focusing primarily on Joe and Jones. Joe must also drive the lane more and get to the free throw line instead of running around the three point line jacking threes. One final point. This won’t be popular. If Henderson is not ready to play Division 1 ball by now, he’ll never be. He doesn’t have the physicality to play at this level and needs to transfer.

I think now it’s becoming an either/or thing with Jones and Whitt. Jones needs the lane cleared out to be most effective and Whitt’s game is in the lane. If Jones is going to continue to be the ball dominant option, Whitt’s game and his effectiveness will suffer.

Joe doesn’t have the skills right now to do a lot driving to the basket. His handle is not that good, he’s not quick with the ball in his hands and he lacks the strength to absorb contact. You can’t ask him to drive to the basket very often and expect good results.

So… Sills, Jones and Harris will have to do the driving to the basket and picking up fouls. Joe needs to concentrate on what he can get better at now, like being more consistent at coming off of screens hard, figuring out how the defenders are reacting to ball movement in the front court (so he can find more space sooner), and moving more effectively without the ball.

If Joe wants to play at the next level, he needs to develop those skills. He also needs to hit the gym and get a lot more muscle mass. Can’t be a string bean and last long in the SEC let alone NBA.

I think that assessment of Whitt is fair, @lovemyhawgsforever, for the Razorbacks’ last three losses. He finished with 14 against Kentucky and 20 at Mississippi State, and there were definitely some empty points there, for sure. South Carolina, he was a nonfactor, but at WKU and LSU he finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and 22 points, respectively, finishing well above 50 percent from the floor. He was pretty big in those games.

I don’t disagree about working on the skill set and getting stronger.

But we have to fight with the army we’ve got now, not the one we wish we had. Joe is not going to develop that skill set during the next five weeks of in-season practice. We have to maximize what he can do now to win games now.

You make an excellent point.

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