Razorbacks report:

Hogs want more from Trey Thompson

By: Bob Holt
Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Mississippi State guard Eli Wright (2) attempts a layup basket past Arkansas forward Trey Thompson (1) during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. (AP Photo by Rogelio V. Solis)
Mississippi State guard Eli Wright (2) attempts a layup basket past Arkansas forward Trey Thompson (1) during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Starkville, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. (AP Photo by Rogelio V. Solis)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson is hoping to see more of what forward Trey Thompson gave the team at Auburn last Saturday.

The Tigers beat the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 88-77 in Auburn Arena, but the 6-9 Thompson was a bright spot with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes off the bench.

It was the most minutes the senior from Madison has played in the last 10 games.

"Trey can orchestrate things on offense," Anderson said. "He's a great screener. He's a tremendous passer.

"But Trey also can shoot the basketball. So I want him to be more assertive."

Thompson is shooting 53.8 percent from the field (21 of 39), but he's averaging just 2.6 shots per game. He made 3 of 4 field goals at Auburn and 2 of 2 free throws.

For the season, Thompson is averaging 3.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 17.5 minutes.

"Your senior year is that time to really showcase all the things you can do," Anderson said. "That assertiveness is something we need. I think all it does is add more strength to our bench."

Anderson said he has talked to Thompson about being more aggressive on offense like he was in the Auburn game.

"We've had a couple of meetings here lately," Anderson said. "So hopefully we'll see more of that Trey."

Anderson said Thompson has shown in practice that he can have a bigger impact.

"So now it's just got to be on display in the game," Anderson said. "It's not as easy as you think it is, but if there's a guy that can do it, Trey is one of those guys.

"You've also got to remember you've got some other guys on this team who have seen the things he's capable of doing and they're echoing the same things I'm saying. 'Hey, Trey, you've got to step it up for us in order for us to be that team that we want to be.' "

First time

Tonight will be the first time LSU Coach Will Wade has been involved in a game in Walton Arena.

"I've just talked to a lot of people and they've all talked about the atmosphere there," Wade said. "I know their staff well. Coach Anderson does a phenomenal job."

Wade said he knows Arkansas assistant T.J. Cleveland and Matt Zimmerman, who has transitioned from being a Razorbacks assistant to the director of operations.

"I've known Zim for years," Wade said. "We used to talk pressing when I was an assistant at VCU. I was the assistant kind of in charge of the pressing and Zim was in charge of it at Arkansas, so we would talk once a week and just compare notes.

"I've always followed their program. Their home record is tremendous. They shoot the ball really, really well at home and they've got a phenomenal home court advantage -- and good players.

"If you have a bunch of good players, that's a pretty good recipe."

Brady on LSU radio

John Brady, a former head coach at Samford, LSU and Arkansas State University, will be back in Walton Arena tonight.

Instead of being on the visiting bench in Walton Arena as Brady was for 10 games against Arkansas when he coached the Tigers, he'll be sitting at the scorer's table calling the game as a color analyst on LSU's radio broadcast.

In 11 seasons as LSU's coach, Brady was 12-12 against Arkansas, including 4-6 in Walton Arena. He didn't coach in the Razorbacks' 87-61 victory over the Tigers at Walton Arena in 2008 because he was fired at LSU midway through the season.

Brady finished his coaching career with nine seasons at Arkansas State, where he led the Red Wolves to a 121-129 record before retiring in 2016. He has a 404-344 record in 25 seasons as a head coach, including 192-139 at LSU.

Room to get better

LSU comes into tonight's game against Arkansas off a 69-68 victory at Texas A&M on Saturday in which freshman guard Tremont Waters made a last-second three-pointer, but Tigers Coach Will Wade is looking for improvement from his team.

"Tre bailed us out at the end, which is what great players do and that's what he is," Wade said. "But throughout the course of the game we left a lot of stuff on the table that, had we lost, we would be kicking ourselves.

"Hopefully, we'll learn from that and not make the same mistakes that put ourselves in that position."

Gafford's fouls

Arkansas freshman forward Daniel Gafford has been called for 54 fouls in 15 games, including 11 in three SEC games. He had four fouls in 17 minutes at Auburn.

Coach Mike Anderson said going through the season -- especially in SEC play -- Gafford needs to learn to play without fouling excessively.

"I thought he kind of figured some things out, and then as we got into conference play, you can see some of the little ticky-tack fouls," Anderson said. "I think he got a couple of them just reaching over a guy that was probably 15 feet out on the floor.

"That's just going to come from experience."

Turn the page fast

LSU (10-4, 1-1 SEC) has struggled dealing with success in the next game after some of its biggest victories this season.

After the Tigers opened the Maui Invitational by beating Michigan 77-75, they lost to Notre Dame 92-53. After an 80-77 victory over Houston, the Tigers lost to Stephen F. Austin 83-82 at home. A 71-61 victory at Memphis was followed by a 74-71 loss to Kentucky at home.

LSU Coach Will Wade is hoping his team will be at its best against Arkansas (11-4, 1-2) after winning 69-68 at Texas A&M.

"Well, we haven't been very good at it," Wade said of playing well after a big victory. "So we've got to clamp down and get better and turn the page quickly and play as well as we can at Arkansas.

"Fast starts are critical, especially on the road in that type of environment. You know Arkansas can bury you. Early, middle, late they can go on one of those 12-0, 15-0 runs and you're pretty much done.

"So we've got to do a good job making sure it doesn't get away from us. ... We're going to need to prepare the right way just to give ourselves an opportunity in those last six minutes."

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