Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
In the lane:
Young’s struggles continue
Arkansas guard BJ Young leads Arkansas with 15.3 points per game, but only scored a combined seven points in back-to-back road losses against Florida and LSU.
BATON ROUGE Arkansas sophomore guard BJ Young was looking for a big bounce back game against LSU after being held to three points on 0-of-8 shooting in the Razorbacks’ 71-54 loss at Florida on Saturday night.
It didn’t happen.
Young, averaging a teamhigh 15.7 points, scored four points on 2-of-11 shooting Wednesday night as the Razorbacks lost to the Tigers 65-60 at Maravich Assembly Center.
Young, who didn’t start but played 28 minutes, also had six turnovers and six rebounds.
“I thought he was pressing a little bit,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said.
“Sometimes you try too hard. He’s just got to play basketball. Hopefully, he’ll find his groove.”
The seven points against Florida and LSU are the fewest Young has scored in back-to-back games in 59 games as a Razorback. He hit game-winning baskets in the final seconds in the Razorbacks’ victories over Missouri and Georgia prior to the Florida game.
“We need him to play his game,” Arkansas junior forward Marshawn Powell said of Young’ struggles. “I feel he’s thinking too much.
He should just be playing.”
Young seemed hesitant to shoot much of the game but went 1 of 5 from the field in the final 8:55 and had a turnover on a charge.
“I really don’t know what was going on, but BJ usually will take his shots,” Arkansas junior guard Mardracus Wade said. “We obviously need BJ to score, especially on the road.”
Where was Bell?
Arkansas freshman guard Anthlon Bell, who scored 17 points against Georgia and 14 at Florida in a combined 36 minutes the previous two games, went scoreless Wednesday night. He played three minutes and was 0 of 1 from the field.
Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson took the blame for not playing Bell more.
“He didn’t get a chance to get in,” Anderson said. “That comes back on the coach.
The way we were shooting, we needed someone to make some shots.”
Arkansas finished 35.7 percent from the field (20 of 56), including 6 of 25 on three-point attempts. Bell hit 9 of 18 three-pointers against Georgia and Florida.
Arkansas freshman forward Michael Qualls started in place of BJ Young.
Coach Mike Anderson said he decided to start Qualls to help energize the Razorbacks.
“I thought he did a good job,” Anderson said. “He was active.”
Qualls had 7 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots in 27 minutes.
Coach Mike Anderson said he wasn’t surprised Arkansas was able to pull within 62-60 late in the game after trailing 45-23 in the first half.
“With the way we play, we’re capable of doingthat,” Arkansas said. “We did the things we needed to do in terms of attacking and creating havoc with our defense, getting to the freethrow line. Making some, not making some.”
The Razorbacks hit 14 of 23 free throws.
Turn it around
LSU is 8-3 in its past 11 games after starting 0-4 in SEC play under first-year Coach Johnny Jones.
“In a couple of interviews, I said it’s better to lose those games now than later,” said LSU senior guard Charles Carmouche, who scored a career-high 26 points Wednesday night.
“With a new team and new coaching staff, we learned through experience.
“We learned through those tough losses. ... We’re growing and showing that we’re a tournament-caliber type of team.”
Tough at home
LSU improved to 14-2 this season at Maravich Assembly Center, where the Tigers have beaten Arkansas five consecutive years.
Arkansas’ last victory at LSU was 68-52 in 2008.
Sports, Pages 22 on 02/28/2013