The bright spot early this season appears to be the play of junior point guard J.T. Thomas.
Through three games, Thomas is averaging 7.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and has turned the ball over just three times (twice on Monday vs. Middle Tennessee).
One area we’d like to see go up are his assists. He has only five in three games. But when your teammates are only shooting 36 percent from the field, it’s difficult to get assists.
UALR continues to get nothing out of the 2 guard position. It got so bad on Monday that UALR played about three minutes with junior DeVonte Smith at the point and starting point guard J.T. Thomas at the 2. Last night’s numbers from the 2 guard included sophomore Josh Hagins with 4 points in 23 minutes and sophomore Kemy Osse with 1 point in 16 minutes. Thomas, who finished with 11 points, didn’t score in his three minutes at the 2.
NUMBERS NEVER LIE
0 made three-pointers. Perhaps someone else will research the last time UALR didn’t make a three-pointer in the game. The closest in the past four seasons came when UALR made 1 of 14 vs. Florida Atlantic in 2011-2012. That same season the Trojans made 1 of 8 vs. Oral Roberts.
GLASS HALF FULL
Middle Tennessee double teamed Will Neighbour every time he touched the ball. And he still was almost unstoppable last night. Neighbour finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. He made 5 of 7 field goals and 11 of 16 free throws. Neighbour is now averaging 18 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
GLASS HALF EMPTY
While Neighbour has been good, the inconsistent play from UALR’s other forwards has hurt. James White was bad vs. North Florida and good against Florida. He had 5 points and 8 rebounds in 28 minutes last night. Gus Leeper was good against North Florida and bad against Florida. He had 4 points and 3 rebounds in 8 minutes last night. And Mareik Isom was good against North Florida and bad against Florida. He had 3 points and 1 rebound in 8 minutes last night.
Glass Cleaner: UALR outrebounded Middle Tennessee 37-31, including 12-7 in offensive rebounds. Grade: A.
Value the Ball: UALR had 13 turnovers to Middle Tenneseee’s 10. Grade: B.
Two solid: See Burn Unit Above. Grade: F.
WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS
UALR entered as a 12-point underdog and Middle Tennessee pulled away late to secure that number. Betting on the Trojans vs. the spread this season would leave you 0-3 at this point.
It gets no easier. UALR travels to Baton Rouge, La., to face Southern on Friday. Southern dropped to 1-4 with a 67-53 loss at Florida last night. Southern trailed 35-19 at halftime.