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Umude’s Performance Against Georgia Doesn’t Surprise Musselman

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NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— A lot was expected for “Uncle” Stanley Umude coming into the 2021-22 Razorback Basketball season. The graduate transfer from South Dakota put together a solid senior year when he averaged a shade over 21 points per game last season. Arkansas was fortunate to benefit from the transfer portal this offseason landing several talented players and Umude was a priority mid-major prospect.

Umude’s ability to score the basketball overshadowed his willingness to defend, go after rebounds and distribute the basketball. He averaged nearly eight rebounds and four assists last season. Although Arkansas hasn’t put much of an emphasis on him scoring the basketball he has improved in many statistical categories this season including free throw shooting (4%), three point shooting (5%) and field goal shooting (1.3%). While he was hot tonight, head coach Eric Musselman said that they ran a lot of their offense through Umude. Which is something many expected to see happen this season but yet to see much until SEC play started.

Since the Mississippi State loss he has scored 19, 28, 12, 15, 12, 10, and 31. Umude has averaged 12.25 points per game in the SEC which is definitely more of the expectation coming into the season.

This is JD Notae’s team and everyone knows that but having a secondary scorer show up each night is beneficial for this team during the final stretch of the season. Umude’s performance against Georgia on Wednesday night is something players dream of. He was an efficient 12-20 from the field and 6-8 from three point land to finish with a season-high 31 points in the 99-73 victory. Umude was also +25 in the +/- category, four rebounds and four assists on the night.

“It’s a blessing to have a game like this,” said Umude. “I’m thankful for my coaches and teammates for believing in me.”

Something to look for in the coming weeks is three point shooting. Arkansas made a season high 15 three-point baskets which didn’t necessarily surprise Musselman because he didn’t think they shot terrible during summer shootaround sessions. The Razorbacks won a game against South Carolina without even making a three. Umude can flat out shoot the ball and Musselman feels like he can be a guy that can contribute from beyond the arc.

“He makes three’s on a regular basis during the week,” said Mussleman.

Sometimes what you do in practice doesn’t always translate to success on the court but that hasn’t stopped Umude from working hard to get it done. If he can continue to do what he did tonight it bodes well for Arkansas as they face their toughest stretch of basketball coming up.

A couple of notes from HogStats about Umude from Wednesday night:

  • He is the only Hog in the last 25 years to get 31+ pts, 4+ rebounds, 4+ assists, 2+ steals & 2+ blocks in a game.
  • Umude’s 31 points is the most by a Razorback versus Georgia. The previous mark was 30 by Corliss Williamson in the 1994 SEC Tournament.

“He did a good job of mixing up his games,” said Musselman. “He hit some jump shots...a couple rim attacks on isolation...and found himself in the right spot in transition for three balls. We hope this continues to build his confidence.”

Umude and the Razorbacks will return to the hardwood on Saturday as they host Mississippi State inside Bud Walton Arena. The matchup will begin at 7:30 pm. Arkansas looks for revenge against the Bulldogs after the Razorbacks dropped their conference opener to them 81-68 in Starkville.