The Arkansas basketball team returned to action on Saturday afternoon with an 86-69 win over Gardner-Webb in Bud Walton Arena. It was the first game of a basketball/football Saturday Double Dip.
The game was back and forth early, but the Razorbacks had it well in hand by halftime.
The Hogs improved in a few critical areas over Tuesday’s win against Mercer. For example, the Hogs had a 23:9 assist to turnover ratio Saturday afternoon after a lackluster 13:15 outing against the Bears.
The Hogs also shot much better from three-point range going 13-27 (48.1%) versus the Bulldogs.
Let’s give out some game balls!
Game Ball #1: Arkansas basketball big Jaylin Williams
Sure, he only had three points on two shot attempts, but there is no doubt about the impact Jaylin Williams had on Saturday afternoon on both sides of the ball.
On defense, he was a menace for most of the afternoon. Williams finished the game with 8 total rebounds–all on the defensive end, and drew multiple charges.
On the offensive end, Williams did his best Nikola Jokic impression. The big man kept the ball moving and played the role of facilitator with five assists.
Williams combined with our second game ball recipient for over half of the team’s assist total.
Game Ball #2: Arkansas basketball guard Devo Davis
Don’t call it a comeback!
After earning extra laps for his performance against Mercer, Devo Davis showed on Saturday why he is arguably the heart-and-soul of this Hog basketball team.
Davis did a little bit of everything all afternoon. He finished with a stat line of 10 points, six assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
JD Notae will almost certainly continue to lead the team in scoring, but Davis and Williams might be the true tone-setters.
Extra Laps: Arkansas basketball three-point defense
It has yet to have a tremendous impact on the outcome of a game, and I tend to believe three makes a pattern, but the three-point defense looks like it could become a weak point for this Hog basketball team if the trend continues.
The Hogs let Mercer, a team that loves to shoot threes, hit on 13-31 (41.9%) of their attempts. That’s not a bad performance in a vacuum.
However, when the team follows that up by allowing Gardner-Webb to hit the exact same figure, some questions start to arise. Especially considering Gardner-Webb was 3-20 (15.0%) on opening night.