Umude book with ‘D’


FAYETTEVILLE — Stanley Umude came to the University of Arkansas as a transfer grad known for his offense after scoring 1,520 points in four seasons at South Dakota, but the 6-6 guard has become a key defender for the Razorbacks.

In eight games this month, opponents Arkansas are 15 of 62 from the field and 6 of 29 from three points when Umude is the closest defender.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman says Umude is the Razorbacks “” defensive player of the game” when they won 82-74 at Florida on Tuesday night.

“He was absolutely phenomenal when we came back and ranked his defense,” Musselman said.

Umude shot 2 of 12 in Arkansas’ 58-48 win over Tennessee last Saturday but played 39 minutes because of his defense.

“He’s getting a lot lower defensively than he was earlier in the year,” Musselman said. “He does a much better job of defensive blocking than he was earlier in the year.

“He’s definitely made the most progress of all our guys defensively.”

Umude also continues to contribute offensively, averaging 13.3 points in SEC games and 11.1 on the season.

Storm alert

Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek posted a message on his Twitter account on Friday asking students not to take to the field today if the Razorbacks beat Kentucky at Walton Arena.

Yurachek wrote that if Arkansas wins, “We bring you the celebration this time!”

To keep everyone safe, Yurachek wrote that the Razorbacks would come to the stands and celebrate with the students if Arkansas won.

Arkansas has already been fined $350,000 by the SEC this school year – $100,000 when fans poured onto the field at Reynolds Razorback Stadium after a win over Texas last fall and 250,000 $ for storming Nolan Richardson Court last month after a win over No. 1 Auburn.

Another storming on the ground or on the ground will result in an additional fine of $250,000.

Cat Injury Report

Kentucky guards TyTy Washington (lower leg) and Sahvir Wheeler (wrist) have missed the last two games due to injuries.

“When are they coming back? They might not be ready in two days,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said after the Wildcats’ 71-66 win over LSU on Wednesday night. “We can have the same team going down to Arkansas.”

Calipari said in a video call Friday with members of the media that he had not seen Washington or Wheeler before practice and said their status was day-to-day.

The Wildcats are 2-0 with both out, including a 90-81 win over Alabama last Saturday.

“I think that shows you the depth they have,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “You can only face five guys, so whatever five is available to Coach Cal, he’s got a talented group.”

Williams’ charges

Kentucky coach John Calipari and senior guard Kellan Grady didn’t seem too concerned that Arkansas forward Jaylin Williams had 44 charges this season.

“The good thing about us is we shoot a lot of floats,” Grady said. “And frankly, how many charges have been brought against us this year? I think very, very little.

“We’re trained to, if there’s a layup, you go to the rim and shoot the layup. Otherwise, a lot of us shoot floaters. If the big one helps nullify floaters, so we throw it at the rim and we have lob finishers.”

Williams is expected to face Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe, who is averaging 16.4 points and 15.3 rebounds per game.

“[Tshiebwe] don’t drop your shoulder. That’s not how he plays,” Calipari said. “And you just have to rely on people to figure out if it’s a charge or a block or a flop?

Calipari said Williams was a much improved player.

“It’s gotten so much better,” Calipari said. “Skill with the ball. Ability to shoot outside. I’m really impressed with him.”

Callus against pigs

Kentucky coach John Calipari is 13-7 against Arkansas, including 2-0 as a coach at Massachusetts, 1-2 at Memphis and 10-5 with the Wildcats.

Calipari’s first game against Arkansas was the 1994-95 season opener when the No. 3 Massachusetts beat the defending national champion and No. 1 Razorbacks 104-80 in the Tip-off Classic. in Springfield, Mass.


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