Arkansas Razorbacks Basketball: Win over North Texas, good and bad

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The Arkansas Razorbacks played their second game of the season against North Texas. They would not beat their opponent as handily as the last, but managed to pull out a 69-54 victory.

The Arkansas Razorbacks basketball squad is 2-0 on the season with a recent win over North Texas. Their opponent was not of the highest competition, but the hogs used that to their advantage as head coach Eric Musselman used a different lineup combination than last game. With all of the changes this season due to COVID-19, this season will be different.

Overall Summary

The Arkansas Razorbacks played very good defense, but their offense was dull at times. After making 20 three pointers in their last game, the hogs shot only 27% from three making just six of their 22 attempts. However, the Razorbacks did allow only two males from beyond the arc.

Arkansas lead both teams in every statistical category besides assist and turnovers, which both teams were tied in.

The Razorback defense was the deciding factor in their win, as they had nine steals and eight blocks.

Arkansas Good Performances

Connor Vanover, PF

The 7’3” giant was a force on the offensive side last game as he lead the team in scoring with 23. However, that was not the case in this game. Vanover finished with just six points, but his defense and rebounding were unreal.

Connor Vanover racked up the blocks with six, and made his presence felt around the rim. He completely changed the way North Texas played offensively when he was in the game, making them take tougher shots than they would have liked.

Anytime a player has 16 rebounds it’s a good sign for your team. Vanover was able to pull down those, while also protecting the rim. He had eight rebounds in his last game, but that was with another big on the floor in Jaylin Williams who finished with ten rebounds. With him not getting any playing time this game, Vanover was able to show his skills on the glass.

Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – NOVEMBER 28: Zachary Simmons #24 of the North Texas Mean Green goes up for a shot in the second half against Connor Vanover #23 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena on November 28, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Mean Green 69-54. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

JD Notae, G

JD Notae came off of the bench and was an immediate spark for Arkansas. In his 24 minutes off of the bench, he was able to torch North Texas for a couple of three’s while also playing solid defense.

His 16 points was second on the team, he also strung together a couple possessions of scoring that led to North Texas taking several time outs. At 6’1”,  he was able to grab six rebounds and push the tempo up the floor. Notae was also aggressive on the perimeter playing pesky defense and snagging a steal while playing a passing lane.

Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – NOVEMBER 28: JD Notae #1 of the Arkansas Razorbacks drives past Zachary Simmons #24 of the North Texas Mean Green at Bud Walton Arena on November 28, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Mean Green 69-54. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Justin Smith, F

When hog fans saw that the 6’7” forward was transferring from Indiana, they had no choice but to be excited. The senior has amazing athleticism, and fans already knew that from him past few season. However, I don’t think many people knew he could shoot as efficiently as he has. At Indiana he shot 25% from three on less than one attempt a game. This year he has improved those numbers dramatically. Granted it is just two games, Smith is shooting 66% from three on nearly two attempts. Against North Texas he finished with 18 points, with two males from behind the arc.

His defense has been key this season as well, especially in this last game. With three steals on the night, he had the North Texas offense discombobulated. Not to mention his six rebounds he snagged.

Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, AR – NOVEMBER 28: Justin Smith #0 of the Arkansas Razorbacks drives to the middle against Terrence Lewis II #34 and Mardrez McBride Jr. #1 of the North Texas Mean Green at Bud Walton Arena on November 28, 2020 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Razorbacks defeated the Mean Green 69-54. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

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