The Razorback men’s basketball team took the court Sunday in Barnhill Arena for the team’s annual Red-White scrimmage in front of a crowd of 4,813 fans.
The White team earned the 74-63 victory over the Red squad in the Hogs’ first action since losing to Baylor in their Elite Eight matchup last season.
Senior JD Notae, sophomore standout Jaylin Williams and transfers Jaxson Robinson from Texas A&M and Chris Lykes from Miami led the White Team.
“Jaxson, he’s a shooter who plays hard,” Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman said in the postgame press conference. “He’s one of those guys that in practice, you’re not having to correct him. Him and Stanley (Umude) are the two guys, as far as new players (who) understand our offense more.”
Notae was the star of the show for the victorious White squad, recording 22 points, two rebounds, six assists and four steals. He shot 9-18 from the field and 4-12 from behind the arc. Following the game, Musselman spoke highly of his senior guard.
“All the SEC coaches and returning players understand that JD is as good a one-on-one player that there is in the country,'' Musselman said. “With that, he also needs to learn how to get his teammates involved as well, he did have six assists.”
The Red team was led by sophomore guard Davonte Davis and a trio of newcomers including graduate senior Stanley Umude, senior Au’Diese Toney and freshman Chance Moore.
“(Umude), the game comes easy to him, scoring it, but the assists are really important for him,” Musselman said. “At South Dakota, when he wasn’t scoring it he had the ability to make some really good passes. We’ll be able to play through him a lot because he is a high assist player.”
Umude recorded five assists with only one turnover during the 31 minutes he played during the scrimmage.
Davis made the first points of the scrimmage, as he took a Euro step from the free throw line, weaving through Williams and redshirt junior Kamani Johnson. The Red team built a 13-0 lead, but with 3:01 left in the first quarter, Williams hit a 3-pointer on an assist from Lykes. Notae followed the 3-pointer by getting a steal leading to a vicious fastbreak windmill dunk.
The White squad brought the game within eight points as the first quarter came to a close. It only took 15 seconds for the White team to continue its scoring run as Williams recorded a dunk assisted by Notae on the first possession of the second.
The scoring woes for the Red team ended as the two teams went shot-for-shot at a high percentage. The White team ended that pattern when it forced a turnover on a pass by Moore that led to a 3-pointer by Jaxson Robinson.
After sophomore KK Robinson made a 3-pointer, White went on a 9-0 scoring run, in which Johnson recorded four points, one steal and one assist.
The White team fed off Johnson’s great first-half effort to carry a 32-31 advantage in the half.
Williams led the game in scoring at halftime with 10 points, and was 4-7 from the field and 2-3 from the 3-point line. Williams also led both teams with five rebounds in the first two quarters.
Davis led the Red squad with nine points, a rebound and an assist in the first half. Johnson complemented Davis with seven points, four rebounds and one assist.
White came out as hot as it was when it went into the locker room, as Lykes hit a deep three to kick off the scoring in the second half. Lykes had major success in the third quarter, highlighted by a play in which he used his small frame to his advantage. After getting a rebound, he took the ball coast to coast, dodging under defenders for a driving layup.
The transfers played hard for both teams in the third quarter, with Umude and Toney recording eight of the 16 total points scored for the Red team. Umude assisted for two more points on a dunk from redshirt junior Connor Vanover. On the other side, Lykes and Jaxson Robinson were responsible for 12 points. With strong performances by transfers on both sides of the ball, bringing the score to 54-47.
As the game was drawing to a close, it was all Notae and Lykes. The guard duo combined for 16 of the 20 White points in the fourth quarter.
Mussleman said he was happy the team was able to show fans what it is made of.
“We’ve worked harder than ever over this offseason,” Musselman said. “We were just happy to get out and play in front of a crowd.”
The Hogs will play an exhibition match against East Central University at 3 p.m. Sunday at Bud Walton Arena.