Arkansas to host blueblood indiana on sunday, plus pro hogs report gas oil ratio 50 to 1


1) Free throw shooting and turnovers … if this is beginning to sound like a broken record, so be it until the Hogs show significant improvement … 61.5% overall from the foul line is not going to cut it, but was a 21-of-27 effort (77.8%) in the second half against UC Davis an anomoly or a turning point? Too soon to think the latter might be true after a shaky preseason followed by 3 consecutive dismal halves against the Longhorns and Aggies … encouraging, though, that Gafford and Bailey went from a combined 4-of-11 against Texas to a combined 15-of-20 against UC Davis … as far as the turnovers, 33 in two games is not a complete fail but so many have been unforced, and coupled with a low output in assists to this point (only 22 in two games) the miscues seem more glaring … most of the individual giveaways have been a result of Gafford (12 total turnovers) struggling to play through defensive double-teams … can the Hogs clean things up at the free throw line (Indiana opponents are averaging 19 attempts per game) and take care of the basketball (Indiana is forcing nearly 20 turnovers per game)? They’ll have to have a chance to win this game.

3) Bench … completely out of the norm for an Arkansas second unit to average only 8.0 points while being outscored 42-16 and playing only 53.5 minutes per game … the Hogs are still operating with a 9-deep rotation, and top reserves Gabe Osabuohien, Desi Sills, Keyshwn Embery-Simpson, and Reggie Chaney have simply been out of sync and often in a hurry once they check into the game … gsa 2016 new orleans Osabuohien makes energy plays (takes charges, crashes the glass, gets defelctions, etc.) but he’s been overly aggressive offensively with several ill-advised drives and off-balance shots … u gas hampton Chaney has appeared rushed on offense, which has led to turnovers including offensive fouls, but he appears to have the size, strength, quickness, and talent to help Arkansas around the basket at both ends of the floor … given the Hoosiers have been excellent in offensive pace and efficiency while 10 players are averaging at least 12.5 minutes per game, the Razorbacks are going to need production and meaningful impact from their bench in support of the starters … will they get it?

4) Gafford must get better against double-teams for Arkansas’s offense to maximize its potential while shaving down the turnovers … another broken-record moment for obvious issues still facing the 6-11 El Dorado native … the 12 turnovers — 6 in each game — have mostly been a result of poor management when defenses spring double-teams on him … against Texas, Gafford appeared to react slowly while not moving the ball to teammates … against UC Davis, Gafford made some good passes but was often playing too fast which disrupted timing and still led to turnovers … several things here: a) Gafford has not done a good job of catching a pass and immediately turning to face the defender and the basket to see where the help is coming from (if he did it would allow him to make better-placed, timely passes, or smarter moves away from the double-teams; b) most of the double-teams have come from behind Gafford on his high side, which means if he’s not going to face-up but still expects to beat the double with a move, he needs to be decisive and drop-step or spin baseline-side — too often he’s tried to beat the double going to the middle of the paint toward the help before it gets set, but that too has resulted in awkward spacing and turnovers; c) don’t think, just pass out quickly to the nearest teammate in line of sight and reset — that makes the defense work harder while the ball moves, and a reset to re-establish low-block position makes the second interior pass more adventageous for Gafford to finish … will Gafford make necessary adjustments in time for Indiana?