Tuesday, February 13, 2018
OXFORD, Miss. -- Arkansas Razorbacks seniors guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon go into tonight's game at Ole Miss as the top two scorers in SEC play
Barford is averaging 19.9 points in the 12 SEC games to lead the conference. Macon is averaging 19.2 points to rank second. Georgia senior forward Yante Maten is third while averaging 19.1 points in conference games.
"I think they've done pretty well in the scoring department," Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson said of Barford and Macon. "My job as a coach is to make sure our team is efficient, too. We've got to make sure the other guys are also doing their part as well."
Barford and Macon, who both transferred to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville from junior colleges last year, combined for 43 points when the Razorbacks beat Ole Miss 97-93 in Walton Arena on Jan. 23. Barford scored 23 points and Macon 20.
"They're really good, and I think they've made big strides in their consistency, which is what you expect in year two in a program," Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy said. "They're guys that are on everybody's all-league ballot.
"Barford has the ball a lot. He's a very strong lead guard that makes a lot of plays for himself and others. Then Macon may be the best shooter/scorer from a guard position as there is in our league. So they're a very good combo, and I think they complement each other with their games."
Anderson said Barford and Macon have continued to improve since last season.
"They're good players, and they've gotten better," Anderson said. "They've gotten comfortable in their roles.
"But as we move on, it's going to get a little bit more difficult, because people are going to come after them."
Arkansas sophomore forward Adrio Bailey, who missed Saturday night's game against Vanderbilt because of the flu, is questionable for tonight.
Coach Mike Anderson said Monday that Bailey still wasn't feeling well.
If Bailey can't play, Arkansas' options at the power forward spot include seniors Arlando Cook and Dustin Thomas, and freshman Gabe Osabuohien.
Cook started against Vanderbilt but played only the first two minutes. Thomas played 23 minutes off the bench and Osabuohien played 16.
Anderson said it's possible Arkansas could go with a smaller lineup against Ole Miss, which could mean freshman Darious Hall getting a start.
"Ole Miss is a team that plays a lot of time with four guards, so that could be another scenario," Anderson said. "So we'll see. That's a game-time decision."
Razorbacks guard Daryl Macon has scored 20 or more points in seven consecutive games. He scored 14 of his 21 points against Vanderbilt in the second half to extend the streak.
Vanderbilt Coach Bryce Drew said the Commodores made stopping Macon a focus of their defensive game plan, but they weren't successful.
"Everyone knows coming in they've got to defend him and he's still doing it," Drew said. "That makes it even more impressive.
"He's very fast with the ball and he can make really tough shots. He's having one of the better years of anyone in our league."
Ole Miss junior guard Terence Davis scored 30 points against Arkansas earlier this season when he 10 of 15 shots -- including 5 of 8 three-pointers -- and 5 of 6 free throws.
"First of all, we've got to find him in transition," Razorbacks Coach Mike Anderson said. "Offensively, they're going to run a lot of stuff through him, and he does a good job of getting to the basket and making some tough, tough shots."
OT doesn't pay
One of the reasons Ole Miss is 11-14 -- and three games under. 500 for the first time in Andy Kennedy's 12 seasons as coach -- is because the Rebels lost three nonconference overtime games at home.
Ole Miss lost in overtime to South Dakota State 99-97, to Virginia Tech 83-80 and to Illinois State 101-97.
Kennedy said it's the first time in 13 seasons as head coach -- including a year at Cincinnati when he was Bob Huggins' replacement on an interim basis -- one his teams has lost three overtime games.
"I don't know if I've been part of a season with three overtime games, much less three overtime losses," Kennedy said. "And all at home in our nonleague, and every one of them was so different.
"We played South Dakota State and we're behind and fought back and took a late lead and couldn't hold it. Then we played Virginia Tech and we were up 15 in the second half and couldn't hold it. Against Illinois State, we've got a shot to win in regulation and don't make it, don't get stops."
South Dakota State is 22-6, Virginia Tech 18-7 and Illinois State 14-12.
Sports on 02/13/2018
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