LIKE IT IS:

Hogs can’t afford to lose intensity in crunch

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, January 24, 2014
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson shouts to his players from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Tennessee won 81-74. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Lau)
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson shouts to his players from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA basketball game against Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Tennessee won 81-74. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Lau)

Mike Anderson did not have a good view of Kikko Haydar’s foul on Tennessee’s Jaronne Maymon with 2:52 to play Wednesday night in Knoxville, Tenn.

Anderson did not have the luxury of instant replay.

After the game when he expressed his dismay that the foul was called flagrant, he said what any coach would have said.

The problem was, it was a good call.

Haydar, 5-10, hacked and then grabbed Maymon, a 6-8 forward, with both hands. Maymon made both free throws to tie it at 68-68 and the Hogs, who had led by eight, would never lead again.

Haydar’s foul did not lose the game. It was a team loss to Tennessee.

The Razorbacks snatched a loss from the jaws of victory by losing their intensity on both ends of the floor. Defense is the foundation for Hawgball.

Remember, a defender let Maymon get free, and Haydar never should have been in a position of trying to guard someone 10 inches taller. That’s a mismatch every coach dreams about.

Arkansas led 63-55 after Moses Kingsley’s layup (off an assist by Haydar) with 11:30 to play and seemed to have a firm grip on the momentum.

To that point, especially in the first 8:30 of the second half, the Hogs were in the Vols’ faces on defense and attacking on offense.

Most coaches will tell you the trick is getting a lead to 10 points or more or, if you are behind, getting it under 10.

In the last 11:30 the Hogs went 4 of 18 from the field. That’s a chilling 22 percent.

They committed 10 fouls and had four turnovers. Before Haydar’s foul the Hogs got back-to-back offensive boards and zero points.

All of which is a recipe for disaster.

One thing Mike Anderson might want to consider discussing with the SEC officiating folks is the difference in free-throw attempts.

The Hogs have shot more free throws than their opponents once in five SEC games,when they had a 41-40 advantage in their overtime victory against Kentucky.

SEC opponents have attempted 172 free throws to 119 for the Hogs. That’s an average of 34.4 free throws per game for opponents to 23.8 for the Hogs.

Opponents have made 103 and the Razorbacks 77.

Back in the 1990s when Hawgball was sucking the gum out of an opponent’s mouth and sticking it in his ear, that might have been understandable, but these Razorbacks have not been 40 minutes of hell very often, and never on the road.

Tables and tickets for the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 28 at the Statehouse Convention Center are on sale.

This year’s inductees include former Razorbacks linebacker and captain David Bazzel; PGA golfer Ken Duke, who last weekend had a hole-in-one and chipped in for a par on the next hole; former Lady Razorbacks Coach Gary Blair (who won the 2011 NCAA championship at Texas A&M); basketball player Bennie Fuller, who scored 4,896 points for the Arkansas School for the Deaf; former Razorbacks and NFL standout Dennis “Dirt” Winston; Stephanie Strack Mathis, Arkansas Tech’s all-time leading scorer for women’s basketball; legendary high school football coach Don Campbell, Arkansas-Monticello women’s basketball and softball coach Alvy Early; football coach Ken Stephens, who won three state titles at North Little Rock and four AIC titles at Central Arkansas; former 1960s basketball great Jim Barnes and former player and basketball coach Harry Vines.

Tables are $1,000 and tickets $125, and they can be purchased by calling (501) 663-4328 or (501) 838-1636.

Dusty Hannahs, who played at Pulaski Academy, set a Texas Tech record Wednesday night when he made seven consecutive three-pointers.

Hannahs, a sophomore, finished 8 of 9 from the field and led the Red Raiders with 25 points, a career high, in Texas Tech’s 87-81 loss at West Virginia. Hannahs has made his past nine threepoint attempts.

Sports, Pages 19 on 01/24/2014

Discussion

Submit