Razorback Basketball Fans Turn Out for Red-White Game at Barnhill

Nate Allen

Obviously, JD Notae hadn’t scored since he and his White teammates trailed the Red, 13-0 at 3:26 of Sunday’s first quarter of the Arkansas Razorbacks’ Red-White intrasquad basketball game at Barnhill Arena.

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But with returning senior guard Notae scoring a game-high 22 points, the White finished with a flourish for a 74-63 victory before what actually appeared a larger than announced 4,813 that seemed to fill the arena where the Razorbacks used to play.

Coach Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks will be at their customary Walton Arena for next Sunday’s 2 p.m. exhibition game against East Central (Okla.) University.

Asked if he was surprised by the Red’s start and the White’s finish, Musselman replied, “We just talked about that.”

“You don’t want to get off to a poor start like White did,” Musselman said. “On the flip side, they stuck with it. They understood that there was a lot of minutes to play. They started sharing the basketball a little better. It shows how quickly a game can have a 20-something point swing. It is what it is.”

Stanley Umude, the graduate transfer forward via the University of South Dakota debuting with a 16 points/11 rebounds double-double in the 32-minute game divided into four 8-minute quarters, and Notae both were asked postgame about the divergent starts and finishes.

“I don’t know,” Umude, the game’s leading rebounder and Red assists leader with five replied. “Just a game of runs. We weren’t really playing too consistent.  The Red team kind of started lagging there  at the end of the first half.  We’ve got to clean that up, but they (the White) played well.  JD made some tough shots and Jax (Robinson, the transfer guard via Texas A&M scoring 14 for the White including 4 of 9 threes) got hot.”

Asked his version, Notae replied, “We knew we had the better shooting team, so we just had to get going a little bit. I feel like the Red came out and they executed their game plan a little bit. I feel like we came out a little sloppy, but we got it going.”

Jax Robinson, not to be confused with Arkansas returning sophomore KK Robinson who tallied six points and four assists for the Red, certainly helped the White, Notae said.

“Jax, he’s a good shooter,” Notae said. “So I’ll just be trying to find him and get him going early.”

Graduate transfer point guard Chris Lykes via the University of Miami also scored 14 for the White while returning sophomore center Jaylin Williams scored 12 for the White with a team-leading seven rebounds.

Umude’s 11 boards led all rebounders while returning sophomore guard Devo Davis of Jacksonville, playing all 32 minutes, also scored 16 points for the Red with via University of Pittsburgh graduate transfer guard Au’Diese Toney and returning junior center Connor Vanover each scoring 10 points for the Red.

Notae briefly seemed in Musselman’s doghouse, barked at and briefly benched for what the coach obviously deemed an ill-advised shot.

“Every team has its hurdles,” Musselman explained. “With this team it’s going to be the quality of what shot we take.”

Given Notae finished 4 of 12 on threes and 9 of 18 overall shooting plus a game-leading six assists and four steals, Musselman did more postgame praising than chiding.

“He scored the ball and he did have six assists,” Musselman said.

Musselman, Notae, and Umude all said how special it was playing the Red-White game at Barnhill from which all of  Eddie Sutton’s great Razorbacks teams from 1974-1985 and the 1985-1993 Southwest Conference championships portion of the Nolan Richardson era ending in 2002 were played.

“It was exciting pulling up to the game and seeing two lines of people waiting to come into the game,” transfer Umude said. I’m not used to that. It felt good.”

Musselman said it was just what his newcomers needed.

“Number one, great turnout with the crowd,” Musselman said. “A lot of people were here early. It’s really, really good for our team to be able to play in front of a crowd with referees. We needed it.”

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