FAYETTEVILLE — Moore from less besets the Arkansas Razorbacks in today’s 4:30 p.m SEC Network televised game at Walton Arena.
The 3-7 opposing North Florida Ospreys of the lesser known ASUN (American Sun Conference) likely have lesser name recognition than the previous eight teams on the 7-1 Razorbacks’ schedule. But their Dallas Moore is scoring more than anyone these Razorbacks’ have faced this season.
Though last season’s Razorbacks routed the Ospreys, 97-72 last Dec. 22, Moore dazzled at Walton Arena. Moore scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished seven assists vs. two turnovers against Arkansas’ press.
This season, the 6-1 senior guard averages 21.4 points despite hitting only 1 of 13 shots and scoring but five points in a season-opening loss at Auburn. From the season’s second game on Moore has sizzled. He’s scored 37, 12, 13, 18, 20, 19, 29, 31 and 30 points.
Moore scored 37 in a 109-73 rout of little-known Edward Waters College. Those last two games he scored 31 and 30 against former national champion names you know: Syracuse, now of the ACC but winning the national championship while in the Big East, and the two-time national champion Florida Gators that will open Arkansas’ SEC season Dec. 29 at Walton.
Whether on the point or at off guard, Moore does it all for coach Matthew Driscoll’s Ospreys, Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said.
"He has run the point and they have him at off guard now," Anderson said. "He’s a crafty guard. He’s scoring. He can really shoot the basketball.’
Apparently from all over.
"He can get in the lane and gets to the free-throw line," Anderson said. He makes people foul him and he’s also a pretty good free-throw shooter (29 of 33) and he’s shooting 46 percent (31 of 68) from 3-point land, He’s leading their team in assists (31). He just does a lot of things. He’s ’s a veteran kid. picked to be the Conference Player of the Year."
Moore gets more help inside from 6-11 junior center Romelo Banks. Banks averages 10.1 points, second only to Moore on the Ospreys, and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds.
"The’ve got some size with Banks in the middle," Anderson said.
A big battle looms between Banks and 6-10 Arkansas senior center Moses Kingsley, voted the SEC Preseason Player of the Year by SEC media covering basketball’s SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.
Kingsley has blocked 25 shots and averages 10.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. The last three games, victories over Stephen F. Austin, Austin Peay and Houston, Kingsley has scored 12, 13 and 14 points and grabbed 6, 7 and 9 rebounds after a season-high 13 rebounds against Mount St. Mary’s in Fayetteville.
Kingsley, Anderson said, especially asserted himself in Arkansas’ 50-37 second half of the Razorbacks’ last game, Tuesday’s 84-62 victory over a good 6-2 Houston Cougars team at Walton.
During the "monster" schedule that Anderson said Dricoll’s Osprey have played, Banks grabbed 10, 9 and 10 rebounds in losses at Arkansas SEC rivals Auburn and LSU and also at Syracuse. North Florida lost only 77-71 to the Orange at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., Banks scored a season high 16 points at Auburn and tallied 13 at LSU.
Banks has been without 6-8 senior starting help inside since senior Chris Davenport began serving an indefinite suspension on Dec. 1.
So North Florida played Syracuse to the wire without Davenport and played the aggressive, uptempo style that Driscoll’s Osprey’s love to play, Anderson said.
"They won’t come in fear," Anderson said. "I know that."