Arkansas men’s basketball is having its worst SEC start in 13 years. Dropping their first three games on the conference schedule, some Razorback fans board the bus in panic. Meanwhile, the Muss Buss drives late into the evening looking for answers.
“I remember a lot of times on a Sunday night when I was still in the office, where I was in the office all day with the staff, I went home for dinner and came back in the evening,” he said. Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman. . “Like, we’re trying. We are looking for. We are trying to do whatever we can.
Musselman has always been an analytical mind when it comes to basketball. And after losing five of their last six games, maybe a new perspective from his team is needed.
“We asked an outside company to do a self-tracking, which I never did in the middle of the year. We always did it at the end of the year, so it’s something I was reading. It was 29 pages, so I went through all (Sunday) night with notes and some of the players have already seen their individual reports.
But some positive things do not show up on analytical statistics sheets. Restlessness, heart and fight. Slashing up to 17 points on the road to Texas A&M in the second half, Arkansas recovered to come close to a single point in the dying moments of the game. Unable to make a comeback, they fell to the Aggies 86-81.
But to strike back without one of their best players, Stanley Umude, who fouled out of the game with just under 14 minutes to go, is a silver lining.
Eric Musselman says his team may be down a bit after losing their first three SEC games, but that doesn’t mean they are defeated.
“You have to build your own confidence right now, that’s really what it is… when another team is doing a race you have to have mental toughness as a group, everyone included, than when another team goes racing, you. We’re able to come back and fight and I think we’ve shown that a bit at Texas A&M.
The losses must hurt, Musselman said. But he’s starting to understand how his team works. It’s not the same squad as Arkansas last year, with players like Moses Moody, Justin Smith and Jalen Tate – all of whom, Musselman said, could more easily understand how a team was playing and make adjustments in the game.
There was a brief moment in that game against the Aggies where Arkansas switched to zonal coverage, the same pattern Musselman used when coaching for the Lakers G-League team.
“Normally there aren’t a lot of blow-bys in an area. But there were more blow-bys in our area than in our man, ”Musselman said with a laugh.
Incorporating new ideas on the fly may not be the answer Musselman and his team have been looking for on those late Sunday evenings in the office. Adopt your identity as a team and master it.
“We just have to stick to our basics and try to get a little better at who we are. I think sometimes you start to change everything and then you just move furniture around. We have to improve ourselves in who we are, ”Musselman said.
Some fans might want a brand new living room to go with the new kitchen they got last year, but it’s not yet time to renovate it.