Razorbacks find right plan with Hall starting

Posted: January 27, 2018 at 1 a.m.

Arkansas forward Darious Hall takes a breath during a game against Missouri on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE - To find breathing room for Daryl Macon finishing with a flourish, Arkansas Razorbacks basketball coach Mike Anderson started with his Hall.

The three of their last four games that the Razorbacks won started with freshman guard Darious Hall of Little Rock Mills on the court and senior guard Macon on the bench.

The one they lost two games ago at Florida, Macon started and Hall came off the bench.

Little Rock Parkview alum Macon has excelled as a starter since transferring last season to Arkansas from Holmes (Miss.) Community College. But there's no denying he profits initially observing the game's flow given his recent off the bench infusions. Whether as a playmaker -- eight assists in the 65-63 victory over Missouri and six assists in the 97-93 victory over Ole Miss , both at Walton Arena -- or as a scorer (20 points against Ole Miss, and 25 points, all in the second half including 16 in the double overtimes of Tuesday's success at Georgia), Macon has made the second-half difference after not starting the first half.

Anderson couldn't risk playing Macon off the bench if Hall, a 6-foot-6 energetic defender and deceptively opportunistic scorer (10 first-half points against Mizzou and 11 against Ole Miss including 8 for 8 free throws) wasn't playing so well at the start.

"We're not surprised at what he (Hall) can do," Arkansas senior forward Trey Thompson said. "When you talk about him starting and Daryl coming off the bench I think it gives us that balance we need on offense and defense with the starting five and then the second unit coming on."

CONGRATS ON KENNY

The integrity of any organization automatically enhances if Ken Hatfield joins it.

So belated congratulations to the College Football Playoff Committee recently adding the former Razorbacks defensive back-punt returner great from Arkansas' 1964 national championship team and Arkansas' highest winning percentage football coach, 55-17-1 from 1984-1989, to its board evaluating and ultimately determining the four teams that will play for the 2018 national championship.

BEST WISHES, PATRICK

It took just months for the Jeff Long/Bobby Petrino era to sully then nearly destroy the Frank Broyles era's nationally renowned reputation that represented the Razorbacks and Arkansas to media at an apex of southern hospitality and competency nurtured by past sports information directors Bob Cheyne, Jim Bell, Dave Cawood, Bill Curl, Butch Henry, Rick Schaeffer and Kevin Trainor.

To former athletic director Long's tardy credit, he eventually realized post-Petrino's departure that the surly Sean Spicer approach to media and bowl officials wasn't helping the UA.

Long promoted young but already respected basketball sports information director Patrick Pierson to head the entire sports information department. The improvement proved immediate.

Unfortunately for Arkansas, Pierson soon leaves for a similar position at the University of Oregon closer to his longtime girlfriend's family.

He leaves his Arkansas job with it operating far better than he found it, the ultimate compliment bestowed upon anyone when it's time to move on.

Sports on 01/27/2018