Razorbacks report:

Anderson: Reviews opened some eyes

By: Bob Holt
Published: Friday, March 1, 2019
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Kentucky won 70-66. (AP Photo/James Crisp)
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. Kentucky won 70-66. (AP Photo/James Crisp)

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson didn't hesitate when asked if he had contacted the SEC office about two replay reviews late in the Razorbacks' 70-66 loss at Kentucky on Tuesday night.

"Absolutely," Anderson said Thursday when he met with the media.

And the SEC's response?

"It's what they didn't call," Arkansas said. "So from that standpoint and putting [the plays] in [for feedback], I think it opened up their eyes to some of the things taking place in that game that probably were not called."

Kentucky was leading 68-66 and with 3.2 seconds left when Ashton Hagans appeared to shuffle his feet while inbounding the ball -- which should have resulted in a turnover -- to Keldon Johnson with 3.2 seconds left.

Arkansas guard Mason Jones and Johnson both reached the ball about the same time. The officials ruled it was Kentucky's ball and they upheld that call after review.

What the officials missed -- along with Hagans' shuffling -- was Kentucky guard Tyler Herro pushing off Arkansas' Isaiah Jones when the Wildcats again inbounded the ball.

"They're a work-in-progress, we're a work-in-progress, and sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't get them," Anderson said of the officials and the calls. "There were some calls that obviously they're judgment, but we came on the wrong end of them. I know that."

Anderson was asked if the SEC office apologized for missing calls that would have resulted in Kentucky turnovers.

"We had a good visit," Anderson said, without elaborating.

Corliss to miss out

All of the members of Arkansas' 1993-94 team except Corliss Williamson are expected to attend this weekend's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Razorbacks winning the national championship.

Williamson, an All-American forward in 1994 and 1995 and most outstanding player of the 1994 Final Four when Arkansas beat Arizona and Duke, won't be able to attend the celebration because of his duties as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns.

The 1994 team will be honored at halftime of Saturday's Arkansas-Ole Miss game in Walton Arena.

No victory cigars

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said he's not into moral victories in the wake of the Razorbacks pushing Kentucky to the limit in Rupp Arena before the Wildcats came back to win 70-66 on Tuesday night.

"But obviously we played well," Anderson said. "We didn't play well enough to win the game, and that's how I look at it.

"We did some positive things, we created some things. To go into that environment and put yourself in position [to win], it tells you what these guys are capable of doing."

Anderson said losing a close game at Kentucky was another case of "growing pains" for a young team.

"To me, when you can get over that hump, I think that makes it even more special," Anderson said. "Close, but no cigars, don't get it."

2 sports for Hill?

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said Justice Hill, a 5-11 guard who enrolled at the UA in January and has been practicing with the basketball team as a redshirt not yet on scholarship, is concentrating on basketball for now.

Earlier this week, Chad Morris, the Razorbacks' football coach, said he had talked with Hill and expected him to join the team for spring football practice after the basketball season ends.

Hill starred at point guard and quarterback at Little Rock Christian.

"I hadn't talked to Chad yet, but Justice and I had a visit before he even came up here if that's something he wants to do," Anderson said of Hill playing two sports. "Obviously, he has my blessings to do it. At the end of the day, he will inform me of what he wants to do, but right now his focus is on basketball."

Sills coming on

Desi Sills, a freshman guard from Jonesboro, is averaging 10.3 points and shooting 47.4 percent (9 of 19) from the field in the last three games, including starts against Texas A&M and at Kentucky. He scored a career-high 15 points in Rupp Arena.

"Desi's brought some toughness," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "I think he's brought another defender. I think he can create [offense], not only for himself, but he creates for others. He fixes things on defense.

"I think he shows he can score as well, and get to the free throw line. It's confidence. He's been playing well in practice, so it's good to see him bring it on the floor."

Anderson decided to put Sills in the starting lineup after he scored nine points off the bench at Auburn.

Sports on 03/01/2019

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