Today, Eric Musselman fielded questions prior to next Tuesday’s season opener inside Bud Walton Arena. The big news lies in Musselman’s expectation that Forward’s Jaylin Williams and Kamani Johnson will be fully healthy to begin the season. Both players were absent from last Saturday’s exhibition action in which the Hogs beat North Texas 68-60. The return of Williams and Johnson should help the Razorbacks space the floor and provide the first authentic look of how Musselman plans to attack the minutes for a loaded roster.
Against North Texas, the Hogs were slow during the first few minutes before playing like a well-oiled machine to end the first half. At one point, the Hogs led by 17 points before the break. However, the Hog’s first-half performance fizzled in the opening minutes of the second-half. KK Robinson seemed to provide the most significant spark for the Hogs by grabbing four rebounds and contributing four assists.
Stanley Umude showed off his capabilities during 29 minutes. I can recall a handful of possessions where Umude made smooth drives to the basket. JD Notae knocked down four deep baskets to give the Hogs a boost throughout the game as well.
But, ultimately, I thought the performance of Trey Wade was the main takeaway from last weekend’s exhibition. The game was Wade’s first minutes in a Razorback uniform after missing the Red/White game and the initial exhibition. I thought he was a physical force in his 16 minutes and showed impressive quickness.
The Hogs open the season against Mercer on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 pm inside BWA. Go Hogs!