Arkansas is 8-0 for the first time in 22 years. Nolan Richardson was still the coach, Pat Bradley was lighting it up from the three, and the Slobberin’ Hog was still at center court. Twenty-two years later, Eric Musselman is at the helm and the Hogs are playing with a similar effort and energy.
Arkansas’ offense was efficient, but the turnover bug was back with a mean bite. The Hogs’ defense held Jordyn Adams in check, but Terry Taylor scored 20 points for the Governors.
Austin Peay played man-to-man defense most of the game. That is likely why the offense felt much better at times for the Hogs. Eric Musselman still has to get these Hogs to figure out the annoying matchup zones that have been their demise to this point.
What Went Right
Now you may think I watched a different game based off that header, but when Arkansas did not turn the ball over the offense was efficient. 47.8 FG%, 39.1 3P%, and 16-18 from the free throw line. Eliminate the turnovers and those numbers will make a real difference on the scoreboard.
The Hogs did what the Hogs do. Forcing 21 turnovers.
Mason Jones was back in the starting lineup and helped tremendously with spacing. He added 16 points in his return.
What Went Wrong
The Hogs reverted to their old ways of the early season with 20 turnovers committed tonight. Mason Jones and Jalen Harris had six each.
Arkansas gave up driving lanes to the basket all night that opened up many things for Austin Peay’s offense.
Arkansas heads to Bowling Green, Kentucky to face the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky on Saturday. This will be Arkansas’ toughest test yet. WKU got the best of the Hogs in BWA last season. They return almost everyone from last year’s team. However, the Hilltoppers have three early season losses so far.
Around the SEC (December 1-3):
LSU rolls to a blowout win over in-state foe New Orleans.
Missouri loses their 4th straight. This time the Tigers fall victim to Charleston Southern. Missouri was a 26 point favorite.
Ole Miss (5-3)
The Rebels welcomed #24 Butler to Oxford. The Bulldogs won by 9 over the Rebels.
South Carolina (5-3)
South Carolina picked up a 9 point home win over George Washington.
Texas A&M (3-4)
Texas A&M continues their struggling free fall by losing in the 7th place game of the Orlando Invitational to then 1-6 Fairfield. It is going to be a long year in College Station.
Vanderbilt cruised to an easy win over Buffalo.
Like many in our state, I didn’t have a choice in who my favorite team would be growing up. I was raised on Razorback. I remember watching the early season games on ARSN or conference games on JP Sports. My first favorite players were Brandon Dean and Joe Johnson. Great memories. I never thought years ago I would be writing about Arkansas Basketball. I don’t have a journalism background or anything like that. When given the opportunity, I wanted to challenge myself with something new and it has been a blast!