Panthers face Razorback pressure on quick turnaround

There is a saying that you will continue to face the same challenge in life until an individual proves themselves capable of handling the challenge. In this case, it’s a team. But regardless of subject, this statement is an accurate description of the Milwaukee Panthers as they continue their longest road trip of the season on Monday night against the Arkansas Razorbacks. So what exactly is the challenge who recently brought that challenge to the Panthers?
The challenge is dealing with a defense that features an aggressive mind set. The Razorbacks are coached by Mike Anderson, who loves to press in various forms ranging from half, ¾ and full court pressure. He also likes to trap passes in corners and against the side line. Teams like the Razorbacks use their defense as a means of getting to and creating opportunities for their offense. They want to use their defense to create turnovers and easy opportunities for their offense to score in fast break situations. That is a carbon copy of the Auburn Tigers, who the Panthers lost to in the opening game of the season. The Panthers also had issues dealing with Auburn’s pressure as it caused the Panthers numerous turnovers and made the Panthers burn several time outs since they could not get the ball in bounds.
The Razorbacks are lead in scoring by sophomore forward Bobby Portis who averages 15.8 points per game on the season but he will be coming off a 24-point, nine rebound performance in the team’s victory over Missouri State on Saturday night. In addition junior guard Michael Qualls is averaging 14.3 points per game. He scored to this average in the Missouri State game. Ports and Qualls are also the top rebounders on the team as well in the same order.
This is going to be another difficult game for the Panthers. The Razorbacks are a perfect 7-0 on their home floor and a 8-2 overall record on the season. The Razorbacks spent a portion of the season ranked in the top 25 prior to back to back losses to Clemson in overtime and Iowa State who also was ranked in the top 25 at the time. They currently rank 13th in the country in points per game, 2nd in assists per game, and 31st in the country in steals per game.  
There are some direct parallels to how this game sets up in relationship to Auburn. There are some things the Panthers need to do better if they want a different result. The Panthers need to do a better job of handling the pressure. The Panthers did not have a high amount of turnovers in the Auburn game either but the press caused the Panthers to take bad shots and be forced to call timeouts to avoid inbounding violations. Another key factor in this game, is the lack of preparation time the Panthers have had to work on breaking these presses and traps in practice. The Panthers had issues against Auburn handling the pressure and that was with the entire preseason to work on it. Playing a team like the Razorbacks on short preparation time is not an easy task.
If the Panthers are able to handle the pressure, this game is going to come down to who has the most energy left in the last ten minutes of the game. Both teams will be playing their second game in three nights and will be playing for the second time in 48 hours. The Panthers have to be ready for the pressure of the Razorbacks in order to keep this game close then find some energy in the last five minutes in order to give the Razorbacks their first home loss of the season.

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