If there is any kind of silver lining to the 9-0 start for the Razorback Men’s basketball team is that they’ve been efficient offensively no matter the opponent this season.
The Razorback are currently scoring 83 points per game, good enough for 21st in the country. Sure, it’s great that they are scoring so much but they’re doing a great job inside the arc. The Hogs are taking the thirteenth highest amount of two point shots in the country with 44.1 per game. However they are making 56.9% of those shots which ranks 36th in the country and top three in the SEC.
Led by JD Notae’s 18.7 points per game the Hogs a dependable shooter that can hit from any spot on the floor. Although his three point shooting has dropped nearly eight percent his two point shooting percentage has risen by 14-percent. That’s a testament to Musselman and his staff to help make Notae more of a complete player and have the role of leader similar to Mason Jones just two seasons ago.
How about Au’Diese Toney? No, he hasn’t completely surprised me by this play but he’s been completely different than I expected him to be coming from Pittsburgh. A secondary scorer was his role at Pitt while having a few breakout games including a 22-point performance at Duke last season. His ability to rebound is similar to how Dennis Rodman of the Chicago Bulls did it back in the day. Tipping the ball in the air and away from defenders until he can snatch it with both hands is Rodman-esque and fun to watch.
Toney is currently averaging 13 points and seven rebounds a ball game and shooting nearly 70-percent from the field. The Hogs needed a player that could play the role of Justin Smith in the post and Eric Musselman may have found that replacement if he has plans of making a deep run in March. He is a physical downhill player, too, who can create off the dribble and find his way to the charity stripe. Toney is currently shooting 33-44 from the line at a 75% rate.
A Razorback March Madness run will go as far as Devonta Davis can take them. The sophomore out of Jacksonville, (Ark.) is an explosive player who has shown his ability to score in spurts and be a defensive stalwart. Davis had a slow start finding the bottom of the net. Now that he has scored in double digits the past three games maybe he has put his short sophomore slump behind him. He is the x-factor and life of this team. Davis will absolutely play a role in how far they can go.
The Hogs will take the court on Saturday at 12:30 to face the Oklahoma Sooners in Tulsa at the BOK Center. The matchup will be broadcast by ESPN2. The Razorbacks will be looking for victory number 10 on the season in their first “elite” matchup of the season. If Arkansas beats them surely they’ll return to Jeff Goodman’s top-25. *eye roll*