Like It Is:

Several recurring themes plagued Hogs

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, February 22, 2019
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson talks to an official during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson talks to an official during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Julie Bennett)

A few things hurt the University of Arkansas Razorbacks on Wednesday night when they got their heads handed to them by Auburn, 79-56, for their fourth consecutive loss.

Here’s a list of some of the struggles against the Tigers:

• They didn’t shoot well. Outside of Isaiah Joe, the Hogs were not a consistent jump-shooting team, or another way to put that is the UA has shooters but not enough makers. Six guys attempted three-pointers, but only Joe made any, and he had four. Arkansas shot 15.4 percent from beyond the arc (4-26).

This is not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• They were not a strong rebounding team. They were only outrebounded by 42-35, but Daniel Gafford had eight of those. Both teams had 11 second-chance points, but because Auburn was making so many shots it only had nine offensive boards to 12 for the Hogs.

This is not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• Not consistently good on defense. They can play pretty decent pressure defense in short spurts, but it is more like four minutes of hell every once in a while.

This is not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• Perimeter defense was bad. Auburn made 17 of 33 three-pointers. Add 10 free throws and the Tigers didn’t need the other nine field goals. For the season the Hogs have allowed SEC opponents to make 112 of 303 three-pointers. That’s 37 percent made. The Hogs have made 93 of 301, 31 percent. Take Joe out of the mix and they are 48-193, 25 percent.

This, obviously, is not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• Halfcourt offense didn’t work. The Razorbacks’ three-man weave leaves players with a green light to shoot. Against Auburn, nine Razorbacks attempted 58 shots and made 19. Only two Hogs shot better than 50 percent, Gafford was 4-5 and Gabe Osabuohien was 3-4.

This is not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• Didn’t protect the basketball. They had 15 turnovers that the Tigers converted into 24 points. Oddly, Auburn had 20 turnovers, but the Hogs cashed in for just 18 points.

This not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• The Razorbacks were not very good off the dribble. Creating a shot was difficult.

This is not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

• Gafford got more touches with rebounds than he did in the paint. Granted Auburn did a great job of fronting him and denying entry passes, but five shots for a guy who will most likely be in the NBA next season is not a good stat. Gafford has taken 122 shots in SEC play, third on the team behind Mason Jones with 145 and Joe with 136.

This is definitely not the first SEC game this has been a problem.

Wednesday night the Razorbacks never led. Auburn controlled the tip, and with 10 seconds gone in a game that seemed like it lasted days for the Hogs and their fans the Tigers made their first three.

No one could have known it but the game was basically over. The Tigers went on a 22-1 run and never looked back.

The Hogs are now in 10th place in the SEC, and if they don’t beat Texas A&M on Saturday they could fall into a play-in game in the SEC Tournament.

The Razorbacks have only one option to make the NCAA Tournament, and that’s go to Nashville and win the SEC Tournament. As of today that would mean winning four games in four days, but finish below 10th and that changes to five in five days, something that has not been done.

Of the last 27 SEC Tournaments only Arkansas in 2000 and Georgia in 2008 have won four games in four days, so the odds are not favorable.

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