UA notebook: Hogs get creative in practice, Smart play design, Barstoolies, more

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LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Razorbacks continued to practice on a limited basis in the basketball performance center last week as third-year head coach Eric Musselman once again had his team doing work both on and off the court.

Here are some tidbits and takeaways from practice and other aspects of the Arkansas men’s basketball program spanning the past week …

* A source said the Hogs went through “a lot of creative drills” during practices — “brick close-outs, defensive slides with towels in hands (to prevent getting touch fouls), and goggles on managers’ eyes (to teach) aggressive close-outs.” Hog fans have become familiar with several of Musselman’s creative teaching drills, used not only in preseason but also utilized at times during the season.

* Arkansas assistant coach Keith Smart put in an NBA rotation for pick-and-roll defense, something the staff now refers to as the “fly wheel.” The Hogs worked on full rotations out of pick-and-roll defense.

* Freshman guard KK Robinson, sophomore stretch-5 Connor Vanover, and junior guard JD Notae had standout performances during various portions of practices last week, according to sources.  

* The Razorbacks ran the mile on Friday, something the team does each year in the preseason. Some of the individual results: Notae, junior wing Au’Diese Toney, senior combo forward Trey Wade, and walk-on guard Cade Arbogast each “passed (the mile run completion-time requirement).” Freshman guard Davonte “Devo” Davis “had already passed.”

* As first reported by Hogville.net, former Arkansas star guard and the 2020-21 SEC Freshman of the Year Moses Moody has been invited to the 2021 NBA Draft green room inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., set for July 29. In preparation for the draft, Moody participated in the draft combine and the recent Klutch Sports Group pro day televised by ESPN, and he’s had individual workouts with the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, and Sacramento Kings. The Little Rock native also has at least two more upcoming workouts with a couple more NBA organizations. Moody — projected in the mid-lottery to late-teens in the first round of the draft — is likely to become the first Hog selected in the first round since fellow Little Rock native Bobby Portis was picked No. 22 overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2015 draft. Should Moody go higher than No. 10 (which is the spot that former Hog Joe Johnson was selected by the Boston Celtics in 2001), he would be the highest drafted former Razorback this century.

* It’s been known since last year that Arkansas would play in the 2021 Hall of Fame Classic on Nov. 22-23, in Kansas City, Mo., and now the Hogs know who they’re playing — Kansas State of the Big 12 conference — in a first-round game set for Monday, Nov. 22. The winner plays the Illinois-Cincinnati winner in the HOFC championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 23. For more details on the HOFC as well as how Arkansas’ non-conference schedule is shaping up, click the link to the Hogville.net article published on Thursday, July 14 … https://forums.hogville.net/index.php?topic=731654.0

* Musselman and the Hoop Hogs welcomed in Marty Mush, Rico Bosco, and Jake Marsh of Barstool Sports — the renowned sports and pop culture influencers and bloggers — to practice last week. Muss used the opportunity to turn the visit into yet another classic photo op …

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