The Razorbacks finished off exhibition season with a 74-40 win over Delta State Tuesday night.
It's hard to say how much you ever learn from exhibition games, but you can safely say they handled business in the exhibition games. At no point were the Hogs in any threat of an embarrassing defeat before the season started.
The team wasn't playing as well against the Fighting Okra (it's unofficial, but it's a real thing) in the first half as they did in the game last week, shooting just 36.1% and starting the second half sloppy, but the Hogs closed strong thanks mostly to 15 second half points from Dusty Hannahs, which included 6-9 three point shooting including a couple of NBA-range shots.
Conversely, Moses Kingsley was much better than last week. Arkansas will be relying on him to be an offensive presence down low, and after shooting just 2-10 last week, he scored 16 points tonight on 6-9 shooting and 4-4 from the free throw line.
Also, last week, Mike Anderson was disappointed in Arkansas' free throw shooting after making just 55.2% of those shots, but against THE FIGHTING OKRA, they made 85%.
Jabril Durham hasn't scored much, be he's been an effective distributor, totaling 16 assists and only three turnovers through these two games. Likewise, Keaton Miles hasn't scored much be has had 16 rebounds. Jimmy Whitt has scored consistently, making 5-10 shots against Delta State and 7-12 last week. Also, after fouling out against Southwest Oklahoma State, he didn't commit a single foul against THE FIGHTING OKRA.
There have been reports that Trey Thompson has lost some weight and seems like a totally different player. I'm here to confirm those reports. They are accurate. The few times Thompson got on the floor last season, he was hesitant and didn't always look like he knew what to do. He's ready this season. At one point, he caught and slammed home an alley-oop dunk and ran back to deflect the ensuing outlet pass. He only scored four points tonight but scored 13 last week. He'll only get better at the rate he's going.
That's probably going to be the theme of this season: inconsistency. They will look amazing at times. The Hogs are athletic, and aren't afraid to shoot, and will force some turnovers. But they're not at a point where they can do it consistently. It feels like it's a smaller team, and it probably is, but they have skills. There is talent here. How it stacks up to better competition we'll find out soon when, on Friday, they begin the season for real and no longer face teams like THE FIGHTING OKRA.