It's Time For Moses

After getting drubbed on the boards at Georgia in an overtime loss and ahead of traveling to face the league's best rebounding team in Tennessee on Wednesday, Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson says it is time for 6-10 freshman center Moses Kingsley to get a significant increase in terms of playing time.

Arkansas got absolutely drilled on the boards Saturday at Georgia and it's not going to get any easier Wednesday at Tennessee.

That's because the Vols (11-6, 2-2) – who host the Razorbacks (12-5, 1-3) in a 7 p.m. game - are the Chairmen of the Boards in the SEC as evidenced by the fact they lead the league in rebounding margin.

In fact, Tennessee drubbed a big Kentucky 39-24 on Saturday in a 74-66 loss in Lexington.

"One of the things that was problematic for us at Georgia was rebounding the basketball, especially keeping them off the offensive boards," noted Anderson, whose team was outrebounded 56-34 and lost on the scoreboard 66-61 in overtime.

"That is going to be the challenge with Tennessee, a team that is plus 12 in conference play," Anderson added. "We want to continue to play good defense, but the finishing part of defense is rebounding the basketball."

To try to help his team in that regard, Anderson plans to increase the number of minutes that 6-10 freshman center Moses Kingsley is getting.

Kingsley is averaging 4.8 point and 3.8 rebounds, the board average being the best on the team in terms of caroms grabbed per minutes.

"If you look at a guy like Moses, I think he gives us the best physical presence from a shot-blocking standpoint, challenging shots and just being strong going and getting the basketball," Anderson said. "He plays with that nastiness you have got to play with.

"That is what I am looking for," Anderson added. "I am looking for those guys that are going to get dirty and get nasty and get grimy."

Bobby Portis – another 6-10 freshman forward - leads the Razorbacks in rebounding at 6.6 per game while playing an average of 25.1 minutes.

Fans who have been calling for Portis and Kingsley on the floor at the same time will apparently now get their wish. "There is a high chance of that taking place," Anderson said. It would also help Arkansas if Coty Clarke – who is averaging 5.6 rebounds per game can stay out of foul trouble. "Coty…has fouled out the last two games and we have got to keep him on the floor as well because he has a nose for the basketball," Anderson said.

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin has a pair of bruising 6-8, 260-pound forwards in junior Jarnell Stokes (13.8, 9.9) and senior Jeronne Maymon (10.9, 8.2) – who missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"We spend time on rebounding and we have two of the better rebounders in all of college basketball and they take pride in positioning their bodies," Martin said. "…Both have good footwork and good positioning. We spend a lot of time on rebounding. They take pride in it and know it is an opportunity to score."

Stokes had 20 points and 15 rebounds and Maymon 12 points and 5 boards in the Vols' 74-66 loss at Kentucky on Saturday.

"Obviously he (Stokes) knows how to use his body and he is banging around that basket and making his free throws," Anderson said. "…He has always been a guy that is a physical specimen and now he is using that to his advantage on the floor."

Jordan McCrae (18.4) - a 6-6 senior guard - added 17 points in the loss in Lexington and is the team's leading scorer.

"They are a very physical team and Jarnell is playing awfully well," Anderson said. "McCray. He's just got so many weapons. And then you add Maymon to that team as well and it makes it a very potent team. We have a big challenge on our hands, but we have a big opportunity."

Martin refused to call Arkansas a bad rebounding team.

"In Arkansas' case, you are playing four guards out that can run and slash and that is what they do," Martin said. "I don't think that is an indication of those guys not being good rebounders. I think it is just how they play. They press you and they turn you over so they might not get as many rebounds."

Anderson is a big fan of Martin, whose team has also won at LSU (68-50), lost at home to Texas A&M (57-56) and has a home win over Auburn (78-67) so far this conference season.

"I am very impressed with Tennessee and Cuonzo has done a tremendous job in trying to galvanize this team," Anderson said. "They played a very good non-conference schedule and you can see they are battle-tested."

Moses Kingsley

Hawgs Daily Top Stories