It wasn’t the fastest start, but Arkansas had 18 steals and forced 30 turnovers in a 100-63 win over Southwest Baptist in their final exhibition game of the season. Seven different Razorbacks finished with multiple steals, in another example that Arkansas is going to rely on defense this year. A lot of it was Arkansas was just able to overwhelm an inferior opponent with their athleticism, but still, getting your opponent to turn the ball over nearly once a minute is impressive.
Offensively, it was a balanced effort led by Isaiah Joe’s 19 points. He finished 5/9 shooting from downtown. Not far behind him was Daniel Gafford and Mason Jones who each had 17. Gafford also had 12 rebounds and three blocks on the night.
It was the same starting lineup from the previous exhibition, which is a pretty good sign that we’ll see Adrio Bailey and Jalen Harris start alongside Joe, Gafford, and Jones in the season opener against Texas. Harris had seven points and five assists. More importantly he had just one turnover in the game. Overall, the 15 turnovers is an improvement from the previous exhibition, but still isn’t great.
There aren’t a ton of takeaways in terms of quality you can have when playing such a weaker oppoenent, but there are things we can see in how the Hogs will play this year. We have a good sense of the starting five, at least the starting five they’ll start the season with. It also looks like we’ll see Desi Sills, Keyshawn Embery-Simpson, Gabe Osabuohien, and Reggie Chaney as the rotation players coming off the bench. Offensively, Joe and Jones are not afraid to let it fly, and defensively, as is the usual case with Mike Anderson teams, forcing turnovers and getting the advantage in number of possessions will be key.