It appears that Coach Stan Heath captured his team's attention with the complaints earlier in the week about not playing fast enough. They really got after it in the full-court portion of yesterday's practice. Ronnie Brewer continued to come up with steals and deflections leading to baskets and Olu Famutimi had by far the best day I have seen him have, looking very comfortable with the fast pace and the open court opportunities.
Rashard Sullivan practiced yesterday and in fact was very active and effective, even scoring on a couple baseline turnaround jumpers and grabbing more than his share of boards. And Mike Jones was shooting very well.
I have to agree with the majority who are picking the White team to win the Red/White game, but I think it will be close. And a hot night by Kendrick Davis, Mike Jones or Pookie Modica could just as easlily turn it the other way.
A few little sidebars to watch for:
Eric Ferguson's defensive pressure on the ball and pushing the ball upcourt on offense.
Ronnie Brewer finding the open man in transition or under the basket and getting at least a couple steals or deflections.
Olu gliding and then exploding for a dunk and hitting a jumper from the baseline.
Wen Mukubu setting some serious screens and in general knocking people around. And it's Wen you'll hear bellowing encouragement to his Red teammates.
Billy Pharis, calm and collected, hitting a top-of-the key three and a turnaround jumper near the basesline.
Pookie Modica driving from the wing and showing remarkable body control on a contested lay-in, not to mention a corner jumper or two.
Chuck Tatum's quick-release 3-pointer... and then another.
Jamar Blackmon just driving people nuts with his tough defense and surprising by grabbing an offensive board or two.
Rashard Sullivan getting out ahead of the pack at least once for an uncontested dunk.
Vincent Hunter sliding with surprising grace into an opening down low for a quick turnaround lay-in.
Kendrick Davis going on at least one hot shooting spree.
Mike Jones showing his still-sweet jumper, but surprising by getting down low and mixing it up.
Preston Cranford hustling up the court faster than you'd heard he could, and nailing at least two threes.
Come to the Red/White game. Let Kyle Lowry know how much you want him. Enjoy the new scoreboard. And appreciate the true beginning of a new era of Razorback basketball.
Friday Hoops Update, 10/31
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