Arkansas has long been known as “40 Minutes of Hell” and the “#Fastest40 Minutes in Basketball,” but what does all that mean when it comes to the statistics of the game and how it relates to wins and losses?
During the Mike Anderson era over the last five years, Arkansas is tied for fifth in the country and leads the nation among high major programs in forcing the opponent to 25-plus turnovers in a game.
It’s happened nine times. Three of those games were against Southeastern Conference opponents, and the other six came in non-conference action. The result? Arkansas is 9-0 when forcing 25 or more turnovers in a game since Anderson returned to Fayetteville.
“When we step between the lines, we want to create two hours of organized chaos,” Anderson said. “We want to speed them up and disrupt what they want to do. When we do that, the turnovers will come.”
When opponents commit 20 turnovers in a game, the Razorbacks are 26-2.
What if that number is reduced to 15 turnovers per game? Arkansas has the fifth-most games forcing 15 or more turnovers in the last five years with 98, and the second-most among high major programs behind Louisville. The final outcome in those contests was 73 wins to 25 losses, including a perfect 20-0 record during the regular season two years ago.
We all know turnovers lead to points, so how often has Arkansas turned those coveted miscues into baskets on the other end? Most of the time.
During the last five seasons, Arkansas has forced 705 more turnovers than it has committed, leading to 3,149 points off turnovers or 18.97 points per game. With nearly 19 points per game coming off turnovers, the Razorbacks have outscored their opponents by 5.92 points per contest in that category over the last five years.
“It’s all about our defense,” Anderson said. “The tempo we want to create starts on the defensive end of the floor.”
The high-pressure defense that forces turnovers can usually lead to easy buckets and Arkansas has taken full advantage with its explosive transition game. In a five-year span, the Razorbacks have averaged 9.19 fast break points per contest, giving Arkansas a +2.31 point differential in the transition game.
The Razorbacks are one of 10 teams in the country returning two players that averaged at least 15.5 points per game last year. With loads of new talent surrounding Dusty Hannahs and Moses Kingsley, a seasoned offense meshed with organized chaos on the defensive end could be the perfect match for a special year.