Nate Allen is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Allen is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has authored three books about the Razorbacks.
Bell plans to stay patient with shot
Arkansas guard Anthlon Bell (5) celebrates after shooting a three-pointer against Indiana State guard Manny Arop (3) during the second half of an opening round National Invitational Tournament NCAA college basketball game in Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Bell led all scorers with 28 as Arkansas defeated Indiana State 91-61. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
FAYETTEVILLE - Forcing the issue and becoming a force in the issue don’t equate.
At least not to Anthlon Bell. Arkansas’ sophomore shooting guard and the Razorbacks’ hottest hand going into tonight’s second-round NIT game against the California Golden Bears in Berkeley, Calif., has forced himself to confront the issue from both directions.
Bell scored a career-high 28 points, 18 in the first half that Arkansas led 37-31, of the 91-71 first-round NIT victory over Indiana State last Tuesday at Walton Arena.
Especially off that hot first half and with California looming in Round Two at Berkeley, Bell was asked postgame wouldn’t this be the time to “force it” on the road?
“I wouldn’t say force it,” Bell replied. “If you start forcing it, it won’t work for you. You have just got to let it come to you.”
That’s what Coach Mike Anderson has been telling his most lethal but streakiest three-point shooter about not opening the game forcing sprees of threes.
“The thing that I like about it is it’s not like he’s trying to get the game,” Anderson said. “I think he’s letting the game come to him. He started out [against Indiana State] attacking the basket, getting a littleshort floater or get a layup. He even had a tip-in. Once he sees the ball going in, our guys are doing a good job of screening and getting in position to knock shots down.” ACES WILD
With 2013 starting pitchers Barrett Astin, Ryne Stanek and Randall Fant off to the pro game’s minor leagues, it seemed Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn was starting this baseball season out of aces.
Now he’s got two pitching so well that he debates which regularly will start the SEC series openers.
Junior left-hander Jalen Beeks of Prairie Grove has opened every weekend series so far and pitched superbly leading the team with a 1.56 ERA.
Beeks started Friday’s 17-9 SEC loss at Baum Stadium to Alabama but don’t pin that slugfest on Beeks or Alabama starter Spencer Turnbull.
They were locked in a 1-0 game in the fourth when a 53-minute lightning and rain delay so stiffened their arms that neither could return.
Despite a 1-3 record, Trey Killian, the sophomore right-hander out of Norfork via Mountain Home High School, has pitched outstanding three times out of four.
After a poor first start in a 5-3 loss to South Alabama, Killian pitched into the eighth inning of a 2-1 loss to California in Berkeley and in the SEC has pitched complete games in a 1-0 loss at Florida and a 2-1 victory over Alabama.
In 17 SEC innings without relief Killian has allowed 11 hits and struck out 13 against 3 walks. He sports a team-leading 1.06 ERA in SEC games.
“We’ve talked about moving him [Killian] to Friday,” Van Horn said. “But really they all count the same.”
Sports, Pages 16 on 03/24/2014