Arkansas cruised to their ninth win in 10 games against Vanderbilt. The Commodores are a depleted team with a new coach. The game went how it should when you see the final score, but how it happened was different from anyone expected. Reggie Chaney and Jimmy Whitt were outstanding tonight. Desi Sills played a great game. Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones were nowhere to be found scoring wise. What Arkansas cannot do is make a habit of a game of this type. Is it good to win games when your best players do not score? Absolutely, but we have to remember who the opponent was tonight. Against the better teams in the SEC, this type of performance will not do. Against Kentucky on Saturday, it will not do.
Nevertheless, Hog fans should feel proud of this win and the team for not panicking when the scoring did not come in the way it does most games. The defense delivered again. Turnovers, defensive rebounding, and contesting shots. Musselman has the Hogs playing hard no matter the situation or game and that is what will lead to more wins as the season progresses.
What Went Right
Whitt was phenomenal from the first tip. A career-high 33 points on 14 of 24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds.
Arkansas won the rebounding battle 39-29 with 7 2nd chance points. Yes, you read that right. Arkansas won the rebounding battle.
Chaney had been in the doghouse after a few rough games, but bounced back tonight. He recorded 14 points on six of six from the field.
Arkansas won the turnover battle again, 16 to 7. Those turnovers led to 18 points.
WarMachine13’s Highlight Video
What Went Wrong
Scoring Duo Drought
Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones shot a combined 4-19 for 13 points. Hogs cannot afford that on Saturday against Kentucky.
The Hogs uncharacteristically shot free throws poorly tonight, 8 for 15.
The Hogs get ready for a sold-out Bud Walton Arena on Saturday when Kentucky comes to town.
Around the SEC (January 14-15)
Ole Miss 55 @ Florida 71
Without Khadim Sy and Breein Tyree, Ole Miss was unable to compete with Florida on the road.
LSU 89 @ Texas A&M 85
Buzz Williams has been impressive in SEC play so far. The Aggies could be 3-1, but lost in OT to LSU.
Missouri 45 @ Mississippi State 72
Missouri was unable to repeat its’ incredible shooting performance that it had against Florida. Mississippi State needed a win badly after starting 0-3 in SEC play.
Kentucky 78 @ South Carolina 81
A wild one in Colombia as South Carolina gets the win on a 3-point shot at the buzzer.
Tennessee 63 @ Georgia 80
Anthony Edwards had 20 points at halftime and the Bulldogs did not look back.
Auburn 64 @ Alabama 83
Auburn has not had a game nearly this tough all season. Coleman Coliseum was rocking and the Tide cruised to a win.
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!