Arkansas athletics/courtesy
Arkansas forward Darious Hall is improving.

Darious Hall starting for Daryl Macon helps Arkansas basketball

Eric Bolin

SEC Country reporter Eric W. Bolin will candidly answer your Arkansas Razorbacks sports queries each weekday in our Mailbag Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryHogs or by email to Eric at ericwbolin@gmail.com.

Question of the Day: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

arkansas-arkansas basketball-darious hall

Let’s put it this way, the shape of Arkansas’ roster is a lot stronger if Darious Hall is in the starting lineup.

Coach Mike Anderson tinkers with his lineup a lot. It seems Arkansas goes six or seven games, maybe, with the same bunch, then makes a change. Lately, those starting units have consisted of three guards out front, a forward and big man Daniel Gafford.

That’s great and all for putting the best five players on the court at the same time. But on a roster severely lacking guard depth, it doesn’t leave much margin for error off the bench. Swapping out one of those guards for a forward, small or power (though, in this day and age, such labels are misnomers), instantly provides more flexibility with the reserves.

That’s what Anderson did Saturday. Daryl Macon, the team’s second-leading scorer, came off the bench and Hall was injected as a starter. Hall responded by having the best game of his young career. Macon played well … though, it didn’t seem like he preferred coming off the bench; he declined to answer a postgame question regarding his feelings on the move.

Macon’s point total took a massive hit. He scored just 8 points after averaging 16-plus entering the game. The thing is, he also grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 8 assists. On a team that needs more and better rebounding and more and better ball-sharing, Anderson will take that all day, even if Macon may not prefer it. Hall had 10 points, 5 boards, 1 assist and 2 steals in 21 minutes as a starter.

If it works, it works. The players will ultimately say all the right things if they keep winning, too.