Scotty Pippen Jr. started the game with a 3 for Vanderbilt, but it was all Hogs after that! The Arkansas defense in the first 30 minutes of the game was stifling. Vanderbilt shot just 38.3% from the field while the Hogs shot 49.0% including 42.9% from 3. Arkansas made 12 threes compared to Vanderbilt’s 6. Desi Sills was the spark for this team tonight. Mason Jones did what he does and Isaiah Joe put some points on the board. Tonight was just the beginning of the run the Hogs will have to make to earn an NCAA bid.
What Went Right
Mason Jones did what Mason Jones does. 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals to lead the Hogs to victory.
Desi Sills has been incredible for Arkansas the past 3 weeks. He started the game 5 of 5 from 3 point range and ended the game with 20 points. That is the kind of production this team needs off the bench.
Ethan Henderson and Reggie Chaney had a block party tonight. The two combined for 6 blocks on Wednesday night.
What Went Wrong
13 was the number of turnovers committed by the Hogs tonight. They forced 14. There won’t be a run in this tournament with that kind of turnover margin.
Late Game Defense
For several games in a row, the Arkansas defense has not been good in the final minutes. Defensive intensity must be consistent.
Arkansas moves onto to face South Carolina tomorrow(Thursday) night around 8:00-8:30pm. The Gamecocks may be without big man Maik Kotsar who has had success when facing the Hogs. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced just before the Arkansas/Vanderbilt game that the remaining SEC Tournament would be restricted from the public. It will be an odd feeling inside Bridgestone Arena for the rest of the tournament. Television coverage will continue!
Around The SEC Tournament (Day 1)
#13 Georgia 81 vs. #12 Ole Miss 63
Georgia rolls over Ole Miss easily in Game 1 in Nashville. Rayshaun Hammonds had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs. They will face Florida on Thursday.
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!