Sully Says: Coach Anderson makes all the right moves
The Hogs call their style of the ball "the fastest 40 minutes." I think a more accurate description would be "40 minutes of pressure."
Coach A called it on Friday. The message was repeated over and over during the second half of the TNT broadcast: "the final 10 minutes will be ours."
In the final 6 minutes and 47 seconds on Friday, Seton Hall scored only 3 points. They also committed back to back turnovers with the game on the line. Stuff like that happens to a tired team.
Coach Anderson, like Coach Richardson, has always done things his way.
The so-called "experts" will tell you that you have to shorten your bench come tourney time. During the regular season, Coach Anderson played between 9 and 11 players. On Friday, nine Hogs saw action. Coach Mike doesn't believe in changing his game plan in March.
What was Nolan's old line? "I don't recruit players to have them sit on the bench"." Mike is a lot like his old boss.
The goal of a coach is to get the most out of his players and hopefully get his team to peak at the right time. Mission accomplished this season, on both counts for Mike Anderson.
Who could have predicted that Dustin Thomas would log 30 minutes of playing time? Maybe only Coach Anderson? Thomas has been, at best, a sporadic offensive contributor, but has earned the confidence of his head coach. Friday, Thomas made his 26th start and scored 13 points. Thomas didn't hesitate when he had an open look .
Players 1-9 play hard and play with confidence. It's the result of having a coach who believes in them.
Moses Kingsley hasn't been the offensive post presence that many thought he would be this season. Has that stopped Coach A from ordering his guards to feed the big post man? No. If this was Las Vegas, and feeding the post was like feeding a slot machine, the Hogs hit the jackpot with Moses on Friday.
Many have criticized Anderson's trapping defense. On Friday, it was a perfectly executed trap that led to a critical traveling call.
It's a credit to Coach Anderson that a Razorback team that has several tourney newcomers didn't flinch under the intense spotlight of the best tourney in sports.
Now, 35 games into this season, I would hope that even his biggest critics would acknowledge that Mike knows best when it comes to this team.