So? How ’bout them Hogs? I’m sure everyone is handling the 32 point loss to Mississippi State with level heads and dear lord, please don’t light Moses Kingsley’s car on fire, please?
That one hurt, no doubt about it. However, if we had to get beat down by a Mississippi school, at least it’s the one everyone doesn’t hate! MSU fans are generally pretty cool, cowbells and all. There’s also another bright spot! We get a chance to bounce back against the EVIL Mississippi school. The Ole Miss Black Rebel Ackbar Bears.
Ole Miss brings a 15-9 overall and 5-6 SEC record into the game. The Razorbacks on the other hand, bring a 12-12 and 5-6 SEC record into “The Pavilion at Ole Miss” which honestly doesn’t quite have the same ring as the “Tad Pad.” Which is the new Basketball arena OM moved into in January.
Honestly, at best I put this game as 50/50, Ole Miss is a pretty up and down team and statistically I doubt the Hogs shoot like 20% from the field again, right?…right? While Vegas doesn’t have the line out at the time of this writing, I imagine the Rebel Bears will be a slight favorite due to just Arkansas on the road. On offense, Arkansas as a whole has played a little better than the Ackbars. The hoop Hogs have shot 45% overall from the field, while Ole miss has shot at around 42% on the season.
The biggest threats for Ole Miss will be Stefan Moody. While he’s only 5’10, he puts up 23 points a game. Ole Miss will be relying heavily on their explosive guard as the team’s second leading scorer and top rebounder, forward Sebastian Saiz, is out with a detached retina. Which sounds like anything but a good time. They’ll be keeping an EYE on his condition I would imagine. Get it? Eye? Retina? I’ll be here all week, tip your waitress! Also, what’s the deal with airline food?
On the defensive side, it’s a little more even. Both teams average 37 rebounds a game, but the Razorbacks have more blocks and force more turnovers. The Ackbar Bears have a steal more a game than Arkansas and foul just a little less.
(A phrase that’s likely to be said many times during the game.)
Hopefully, Coach Anderson opened a whole pallet of “Arse Chewing” and full-court sprints and got a fire lit under the Razorbacks ice-cold butts. The Hardwood Hogs are needing every win they can get to get a shot at the NIT with a good showing in the SEC tourney, and as young as this team is, ANY post season play at this point would be huge, or “YUUUGE” as Donald Trump likes to say.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Shoot Better: As John Madden always says, “Whoever has the most points at the end of the game, usually wins.” Arkansas followed the exact opposite of that strategy on Tuesday. The Hogs trio of Hannahs, Bell and Kingsley are going to need to come out on fire, and keep the crowd and energy down in the “Tad Pad 2.0.”
Stop Moody: Ole Miss goes as far as Moody takes them. As mentioned, Arkansas has the size advantage which is nothing new, as Moody is under 6 foot. However, Bell, Hannahs, Durham, or whoever is matched on him will have to be on their toes all night and not allow Moody to dictate the game.
Seriously, Shoot Better: While I was a football guy in High School/College, I think I could go shoot 20% from the field with my patented “awkward stumble layup” or the almost as famous, ” Post up, with a terrible fake left and slow jump shot in the paint.” I imagine Coach A has metaphorically and very likely physically pulled the teams heads out their posteriors and inserted his freshly shined shoes in them, sideways.
Tip-off will be at 1 P.M and the game will be on ESPNU and ESPN 3.
Let’s go trap us some Rebels! Woo Pig.