Monday, December 8, 2014

MBB Thoughts on the Arkansas Game

I'm rewatching the Arkansas game since I didn't get to see all of it the first time.

-So far, the only shots they've missed or not been fouled on have been when guys try to go it alone.  Monte had an ill-advised shot from the free throw line, and Thomas tried a step-back three.  When they move the ball, they're getting good looks and making them.

-Naz is showing a lot of confidence in his ball-handling.  He was really pushing the ball up the court.  ISU was still trying to get the outlet pass to near half-court even with the press defense after missed Arkansas shots.  Naz might even push the ball faster than Monte.

-The drop step make by Nader was really, really sweet.  Hope we get to see a bunch more of that over the next two years.

-Musburger "loves" Hilton, especially when the team gets on a run.

-Fran Fraschilla works hard during the breaks.  Musburger checks to see what time Old Chicago will shut down the "barooni."  And he's still creepy when they show girls on the TV.  "He he he, it's a lovely night in Iowa." Fran - "Are we making a star tonight?" Musburger - "Ahhhhh yeahhhh."

-Georges played defense on Portis, by far the toughest assignment.  If he can play effective defense, without fouling out against a player of that caliber, that'll be HUGE for the rest of the year.

-Naz does a nice job of sneaking into the corner.  When ISU moves the ball, the defense sags off and he can get a set shot.

-Morris shoots a lot of midrange jumpers.  I guess Fred allows this.  In my uneducated view, he's made about half of them.  That's not terrible.

-Edozie's been better than I give him credit for.  When he's in the game, he takes the ball hard to the rim, usually missing but drawing a foul. On the foul stripe he's been really good.

-Hogue picks up some easy buckets.

Final thoughts:  Mike Anderson said they played their worst basketball in the first half against Iowa State.  I haven't watched any Arkansas basketball before or since, but it seemed Arkansas was trying to play their game early and ISU out-ran and out-shot them.  It reminded me of the North Carolina game last year.

Portis played 31 minutes, but it didn't really feel like it.  To me, it seemed like he was missing for huge stretches of the game.  With a player like that, you need to keep them involved throughout.

The starters for ISU all played between 31 and 37 minutes.  Those people looking for a 10-man rotation are disappointed.  Only 26 minutes total off the bench in a game that was in double digits from a few minutes in.

Iowa will be a tough test.  ISU can't hit 60% of its shots every game and the Hawkeyes look a lot more like Maryland than Arkansas.  If the Cyclones prove they can win an ugly game, I'll feel pretty good about the team going into the conference season.

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