BTH Gameday: Under-control Hagins still dominates for UALR

2 p.m. today
Fox Sports Southwest
It was kind of funny listening to UALR sophomore guard Josh Hagins talk in the postgame news conference last Tuesday. It sounded almost as if he was reciting from the Coach Steve Shields manual.

“It’s simply because I’m making the simple plays,” Hagins said after finishing with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 blocked shots and only 1 turnover. He made 7 of 8 field goal attempts including 4 of 4 three-pointers.
What it means is simply this. Don’t go for the thread-the-needle, home run pass. Don’t drive to the basket completely out of control and throw up an awkward shot that has very little chance of going in.
But do take what the defense gives you. Take the ball to the basket when there’s a seam. Force defenders to foul if they can’t stay in front of him. Make the decision to regroup the offense if it’s not there.  And when it is there, finish it off.
It showed some real growth by Hagins. Even though he's still tied for the team lead in turnovers, 1 turnover in 28 minutes on Tuesday was tremendous. He played under control and still dominated the game. And it’s exactly the way UALR needs him to play to be successful.


UALR gets another television appearance today. The UALR-Oklahoma game is being televised by OU’s television network. Fortunately for us, that means it’s available on Fox Sports Southwest and some other outlets today. Tip time is 2 p.m.


We didn’t get an official update, but we don’t expect junior point guard J.T. Thomas to be available today. Thomas suffered a groin strain in last Friday’s victory over Southern. He did not play on Tuesday vs. Southern Arkansas.


R-E-B-O-U-N-D: UALR matches up very favorably with Oklahoma size-wise. The Trojans cannot afford to get dominated on the glass today.
White Lightning: Will Neighbour is the focus of every team’s scouting report on UALR. Expect double teams again today. That should leave some space for James White to work.
Answer the bell: UALR must get off to a good start. There’s no way around it.


Oklahoma opened as an 18-point favorite in Las Vegas. That number dropped to 16.5 points this morning.