Full disclosure: I was unable attend the Red-White game. I asked a few people to cover it for us and none of them were available. Such is life when these things are weirdly scheduled for 5:00 pm on Sunday, but from the box score and the reviews that were written, there's plenty available to discuss.
1. Can Moses Kingsley be a team leader? He looked the part in the scrimmage, tying for the game-high with 27 points on 9-12 shooting from the field and, perhaps more impressively, 9-12 shooting from the free throw line (he was 62.3% from the stripe last season). That's certainly a good sign.
The flip side to that is that Kingsley also played well in last year's Red-White game, going for 18 points on 9-10 from the field. The obvious question is whether Sunday's performance is an indication of what he'll be able to do this season, or was it more of, like last season, a flash of something great but won't happen much in the season. It's impossible to tell right now, although I think a good sign is that he drew enough fouls this year to get to take 12 free throws. He didn't take any free throws in last year's game.
Also, he and Bobby Portis were not on the same team in last year's game. Could it be that when he's thrust in more of a leadership position on his team, he flips a switch and becomes much more assertive? That would be the best-case scenario. Arkansas will desperately need him to live up to his high-profile billing as a recruit if the team is to win many games this year.
2. The biggest surprise had to be Trey Thompson. Throughout all of last season, Thompson took just five shots, making one. Even in last year's Red-White game he was just 1-4 for two points with no free throw attempts. It was the lowest point output by any player in the game.
This year, as one of the team's starters he was 7-9 from the field and 5-9 from the free throw line for 19 points. He also tied for the game-high with 9 rebounds. There are plenty of examples in recent years of players having great games in the Red-White scrimmage and then doing nothing throughout the year, but this is at least a good sign when there really wasn't one last season, and Arkansas will need all the help they can get from him in the frontcourt this year. The ADG's Bob Holt has more on the new-and-improved Thompson.
3. Jimmy Whitt had solid numbers in his public debut. Arkansas' hyped freshman scored 19 points on 6-14 shooting and 7-9 free throws. Interestingly, he did not attempt a three-pointer. Scoring guards at this level tend to be big three-point shooters. That's okay, though. He also had six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
4. Whitt won't have to take many threes because Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs will take plenty. This isn't really a surprise at all, but Hannahs and Bell combined to go 9-18 from beyond the arc. Bell tied Kingsley for the game-high with 27 points. Anytime Arkansas can get at least one of these guys going from deep, it will mean good things.
Manny Watkins had the game's only double-double with 14 points and 10 assists.
Jabril Durham had nine assists and seven points.
Newcomer Willy Kouassi played 27 minutes, had five points, four rebounds, and two blocks.
Keaton Miles played 36 minutes and scored 16 points, 9 rebounds, and six assists.
Kikko Haydar played 13 minutes for some reason, more than scholarship freshman Doobie Jenkins, who played 10 minutes and did not score but had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.
By all accounts the new scoreboard is really freaking huge.