Joe gets hot as Red beats White

By: Bob Holt
Published: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe shoots the ball during an exhibition game Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe shoots the ball during an exhibition game Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Razorbacks lost six players who hit 267 of the team's 269 three-point baskets last season, including guards Jaylen Barford (87) and Daryl Macon (85).

The only returning University of Arkansas player with a three-pointer last season is junior walk-on guard Jonathan Holmes, who hit 2 of 6.

Isaiah Joe, a 6-5 freshman guard from Fort Smith Northside, looks like the leading candidate to fill the three-point void, based on his shooting display in the Red-White game Friday night at Walton Arena.

Joe hit 9 of 14 three-pointers and scored a game-high 31 points for the Red team, which won 105-82 before an estimated crowd of 7,500.

"I was trying to find a bucket of cold water to pour on [Joe] because he got a little hot out there," said sophomore forward Daniel Gafford, a preseason All-SEC first-team pick. "He was sucking the oxygen out of the building. It was crazy."

Joe finished 10 of 17 from the field and hit 2 of 3 free throws.

"He had his stroke going on tonight and I thought our guys did a good job of getting it to him," Coach Mike Anderson said. "He did his job spotting up, and he's got pretty good range, too."

Joe scored the game's first basket on a layup three seconds into the game, then heated up from the perimeter.

"It felt great just being able to know that my teammates were feeding me the ball and I was able to knock down the shots," Joe said. "I give them all the credit."

Gafford had 24 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 assists for the Red team. He shot 11 of 16 from the field.

Sophomore forward Gabe Osabuohien added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Red team.

Jalen Harris, a sophomore point guard who redshirted last season after transferring from New Mexico, had 16 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals.

One of Harris' six turnovers came when he made a steal and had a breakaway opportunity to the basket, but bounced the ball off the rim and couldn't control it.

"He almost missed the backboard. How bad is that?" Anderson said with a smile. "I told him, 'You try that in a game, you might be sitting with me the whole year.'

"I think it was him having a fun night. Not only that, this was his first time really having an opportunity to play in front of fans. He wants to so bad, I think.

"We'll clean that up, but we can see he can put a lot of pressure on defenses."

Junior forward Adrio Bailey had 22 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals for the White team. Sophomore guard Mason Jones, a junior college transfer, had 22 points, 4 assists and 4 steals.

Desi Sills, a freshman guard from Jonesboro, had 16 points, 8 assists and 4 steals. Freshman forward Reggie Chaney had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

Gafford won a pregame dunk contest when he put the ball between his legs and then slammed it through the basket.

"I thought I was going to be a judge," said Gafford, who had 74 dunks last season. "They asked me if I wanted to do it. I said 'I'll go ahead and show y'all a little something.' "

Joe said he was pleased with his performance but wanted to keep it in perspective.

"I still don't want to weigh myself on this game," he said. "I want to look to the future so I can get prepared for the next game and get better each day."

Freshman guard Jordan Phillips is continuing to recover from a knee injury and didn't dress out.

"Hopefully, we can get Jordan back here by the end of the month," Anderson said.

Former Razorbacks Joe Kleine and Charles Balentine were honorary coaches for the Red team, and Corey Beck and Elmer Martin coached the White team.

"It's great when you get legends to come back here and spend some time with our guys," Anderson said.

The Razorbacks will play the first of two exhibition games against Tusculum University next Friday night in Walton Arena.

"There's a lot of work ahead of us," Anderson said. "We just have to continue to develop and work and find our identity.

"It's going to be a totally different team than last year. You see some guys a little ahead of other guys at this stage. Next week we'll put it all together and become one."

Sports on 10/20/2018


Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.