In our first preview, we talked about a group filled with experience and explosiveness. Now? Well we have a whole lot less experience. The wings will be all freshman and sophomores for Arkansas. While some real athleticism and potential is there, we have a lot of questions among them that need to be answered.
6’7” 217 lbs. Sophomore
Bailey is right on the fence between being a wing player or more of a post type of guy. He will be shorter than a lot of guys he’ll face in the post but against North Carolina he showed that fearlessness that he needs to have. Three steals after playing sparingly for the previous month is hopefully an indicator of things to come.
Another hopeful performance came in the Red-White game where he had 18 points on 9-16 shooting. Throw in 10 rebounds and five assists and that’s an all around performance that will get anyone excited. The question become can he perform at a high level consistently. He’s going to have a bigger role this year, can he maintain it?
6’5” 198 lbs. Freshman
Widely viewed as the second best recruit coming out of the state of Arkansas behind Daniel Gafford, Garland was a top-100 recruit according to ESPN. Right now this biggest issue is whether or not he will be healthy enough to play. We’ve heard little from Mike Anderson on the nature of what is keeping Garland off the field, but it’s serious enough to keep him off the court for an extended period.
Once he is cleared, Garland is an attacking guard who has shown an ability to get to the lane and finish with contact. He could be a guy who spells Beard and Macon for a lineup with some added height once he’s back on the court.
6’6” 210 lbs. Freshman
One of the less heralded recruits, Hall may not have a big role this season. He did however put together a good performance in the Red-White game with 14 points, eight rebounds on a couple of assists. He did go 0-4 from deep though. For a team that needs shooting, being able to knock those down is the quickest way for Hall to get on the court.
6’5” 175 lbs. Sophomore
Jones didn’t get a ton of playing time last season, he never had more than 5 minutes in an SEC game. He could end up being one of the most important players this year for the Hogs. With Dusty Hannahs departure, Daryl Macon is the only proven deep shooter on the team. CJ Jones has shown in exhibitions and practice that he has a smooth stroke, can he carry that to games?
In his first five games, he went 9-15 from deep, the rest of the season was just 3-9. Even if he keeps it above that 33% mark he could have a huge impact spreading the court. All of these guards with their driving ability will only have a tougher time getting to the lane if no one can shoot. Jones ability could help open up lanes for them inside.
While this group has a lot less experience than the main three guards, their development will be crucial to the success of this year. Bailey and Jones have that year of going through the rigors of an SEC season, despite not playing as much. That experience will still be a factor, and if their offense comes around, it lifts a lot of the burden off Macon, Barford, and Beard to score.