Arkansas basketball:

2019-20 season review: Reggie Chaney

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Friday, March 27, 2020
Reggie Chaney dunks in Arkansas' 78-51 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at Bud Walton Arena.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Reggie Chaney dunks in Arkansas' 78-51 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at Bud Walton Arena.

The sixth in a nine-part series reviewing Arkansas basketball in 2019-20.

Reggie Chaney

Position: Forward

Class: Sophomore

Height: 6-8

Weight: 222

Stats: 4.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, .7 assists, .6 blocks, .6 steals

67.1 percent FG; 67.1 percent 2-point FG; 52.6 percent free throws

Per 40: 6.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.7 steals

SEC stats: 4.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, .3 assists, .3 blocks, .5 steals

66.7 percent FG; 66.7 percent 2-point FG; 61.5 percent free throws

SEC home: 3.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, .3 assists, .6 steals, .2 blocks

77.8 percent FG; 77.8 percent 2-point FG; 45.5 percent free throws

SEC road: 4.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, .3 assists, .6 steals, .3 blocks

59.3 percent FG; 59.3 percent 2-point FG; 73.3 percent free throws

Best month: February - 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, .2 assists, 1.0 turnovers, .8 steals

53.6 percent FG; 53.6 percent 2-point FG; 68.4 percent free throws

Worst month: December - 2.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 turnovers, .6 steals

71.4 percent FG; 71.4 percent 2-point FG; 44.4 percent free throws

Strengths

• When he played well, he really played well. In games Reggie Chaney was locked in, he could be very productive, and when he was productive he was, in my opinion, the best forward on the Arkansas roster. I found Chaney to be a player who would provide great minutes if something positive happened early in his run. Those brief moments of success gave him a shot in the arm and allowed him to loosen up a bit.

Chaney played 20-plus minutes seven times as a sophomore, and he was terrific in those games, averaging 8.9 points and 7.9 rebounds on 68.6 percent from the floor. Included in those outings is a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double at Missouri and two other 11-rebound performances against Northern Kentucky and Alabama. He broke out of an early SEC funk, too, against Vanderbilt on Jan. 15 to the tune of 14 points on a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor.

Chaney was hyper-efficient around the rim for much of the season. Through January, he had finished 30 of 40 attempts at the rim and 31 of 42 in the lane, according to my shot chart data. During the first month of conference play, Eric Musselman said SEC length was not bothering Chaney at all. He got 14 of 16 shots to fall in league games in January, including a 12 of 13 stretch against Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Mississippi State.

The sophomore could also be a force defensively when fully engaged. He recorded a season-high four steals against Texas Southern in November and tallied at least one steal in eight of nine games starting in mid-January. He blocked three shots in games against South Dakota and Western Kentucky, then turned away three in what was the season finale vs. Vanderbilt.

• Terrific offensive rebounder. Some players are able to quickly analyze the flight path of a shot and project whether it will miss short, long, left or right. Chaney can do that, and he used his instincts to work himself into proper rebounding position and snag offensive boards at a pretty impressive rate this season. Jimmy Whitt led the Razorbacks in offensive rebounds with 41 over a team-high 1,184 minutes played. Chaney grabbed 39 in 424 minutes on the floor.

Beginning with that Vanderbilt game on Jan. 15, he recorded at least one offensive rebound in 10 consecutive games, and he grabbed five or more twice - a career-high six against Missouri on the road. Chaney finished the season with an offensive rebound rate of 10.6 percent, according to KenPom analytics, which led the team. Arkansas was not a great offensive rebounding team with Chaney on the floor, but it did grab 23.4 percent of its misses when he was versus 18.7 percent when he sat.

• Underrated interior passer. This is a part of Chaney's game I have really liked since he arrived at Arkansas. He had a pair of four-assist games as a freshman against Texas-San Antonio and Missouri, then set a career-high with five this season in a home win over Northern Kentucky. Chaney was pretty good at catching in the lane and quickly spotting open teammates in the dunker spot once multiple bodies came at him. I think he was shorted a couple of assists at Missouri when he did exactly that. His assist in the home finale against LSU was sweet, a no-look dime to Whitt for a dunk. I loved the flair on that play. Hopefully we get to see more of that in the future.

Weaknesses

• When he didn't play well, he really didn't play well. An early miss at the rim, a turnover or two, or a blown defensive assignment seemingly derailed the rest of Chaney's game on a given day. As a forward who did not have the ball in his hands a lot, he finished with nine multi-turnover games, including three in the SEC opener against Texas A&M. That was the beginning of a trying three-game stretch in which he played just 18 minutes.

For a majority of the season, Chaney was a very good finisher at the rim, but he also missed some bunnies. He struggled in that regard in February, making just 15 of 28 such shots.

• Struggled a bit defending pick-and-roll. One game that stood out to me was Florida. Chaney played just five minutes against the Gators, one game after he had started seven straight. In that run, he missed a shot at the rim, grabbed one rebound and got lost twice defensively on ball screens, giving up two jumpers. I think this is one of the reasons why Ethan Henderson got more playing time late in the season.

• Body language. Chaney wore his emotions on his sleeve. It was easy to see when he was upset or frustrated, and he had a couple of regrettable moments. He was assessed a technical foul at LSU after he slapped the basketball off the floor, which led to a return to Musselman's doghouse. He also received a tech in the final game of the season for trash talking a Vanderbilt player. I didn't really mind that one. He was sticking up for a teammate following a foul he didn't think was completely necessary.

It will benefit Chaney if he can learn to move on from instead of dwell on his mistakes during a game. If he can become a more mentally mature player, he'll be dangerous.

Extra points

On floor: Offense (783 poss.) - .99 PPP, 23.4 percent offensive rebound rate, 50.0 percent 2FG; Defense (782 poss.) - .94 PPP, 28.1 percent offensive rebound rate, 54.8 percent 3FG

Off floor: Offense (1,623 poss.) - 1.02 PPP, 20.0 percent offensive rebound rate, 52.4 percent 2FG; Defense (1,627 poss.) - .92 PPP, 31.8 percent offensive rebound rate, 48.7 percent 2FG

Best Chaney quote: "I came in and gave my best hustle and earned a little bit of his trust back." - Chaney after scoring 14 points against Vanderbilt in mid-January

Best quote on Chaney: "Reggie has done a great job of finishing around the rim. Obviously when you get into SEC play as opposed to nonconference play you face longer, better rim protection. It has not affected Reggie at all. He’s actually increased his productivity around the rim from nonconference, and that’s certainly something we want to try to utilize going forward." - Eric Musselman

Season review series

Part 1: Desi Sills

Part 2: Isaiah Joe

Part 3: Adrio Bailey

Part 4: Mason Jones

Part 5: Jalen Harris

Discussion

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