FAYETTEVILLE — As Arkansas pushed the floor on a fast break, BJ Young showed off his impressive quickness near the sideline. On another trip down the floor the sophomore guard displayed his considerable leaping ability.
And that’s just what Young did while watching from the bench during a 112-63 victory against the Lancers on Sunday at Bud Walton Arena.
Young, who finished with 23 points and five assists in just 20 minutes, might have been just as active cheering on teammates as he was on the floor Sunday. Whether he was playing or watching, Young flashed energy throughout the afternoon as the Razorbacks cracked 100 points in a regular season game for the first time since 2009.
Arkansas (2-0) fed off Young’s enthusiasm. He was making his debut for the Razorbacks after a suspension kept him out of the season opener and there was little doubt he was enjoying the afternoon against the Lancers (0-3).
“Man, it was crazy,” Young said. “It was fun. I don’t want to say it was more fun on the bench than it was on the court, but [it] was exciting. … I’m talking and – Whoa! I’d see a dunk, see a dunk, see a steal, see a dunk. I couldn’t sit down, really. It was fun.”
Young helped make the afternoon miserable for Longwood. He was efficient, involved his teammates and protected the basketball, hitting 10 of 16 shots with five assists and no turnovers.
When he wasn’t playing, Young was actively encouraging teammates and brought “a lot of energy,” freshman guard Anthlon Bell said. Young never seemed to slow down, something his teammates and coach noted after the game.
Arkansas, Coach Mike Anderson said, is significantly better with Young. And the difference was evident almost from the opening tip as Young scored 16 points in just 14 minutes of first-half playing time to help the Razorbacks to a 55-34 halftime lead.
“You might have thought there would be some rust there but he was hungry to play,” Anderson said. “You can see our team is a totally different team with him out there.”
Arkansas, though, was far from a one-man show against the Lancers. Bell scored 16, hitting his first four shots from the field. Forward Marshawn Powell also added 16, including a reverse dunk with 16:24 remaining that pushed the lead to 68-38.
Young and the team’s starters hit the bench for good with 13:34 remaining and the Razorbacks up 76-43. Anderson subbed for all five players on the floor and the reserves helped make it a 49-point victory when the final buzzer sounded.
Arkansas last hit triple-digits in a 130-68 win against Alcorn St in the 2009-10 season. Jacorey Williams, who finished with 11 points, scored on a three-point play to push the Razorbacks up 101-59 with 3:34 remaining.
Crashing the glass and playing with energy were areas of emphasis for Arkansas entering Sunday’s game against the Lancers and it showed. Arkansas enjoyed a 48-32 rebounding advantage. Players were active on defense, forcing 28 turnovers against an overmatched Longwood team. Those Lancers’ miscues led to 47 points for the Razorbacks, who took a 21-10 lead with 10:44 left in the first half and never let the margin fall below double-digits from there.
“That is a different level for us,” Longwood Coach Mike Gillian said. “We have an inexperience group that should take a lot away from this. We are not going to face too many teams with the athletic ability to play that style.”
Anderson was pleased there seemed to be little drop off for the Razorbacks after he went deep into his bench against the Lancers. Arkansas, which plays Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Florida A&M, wants to rely on its depth as the season progresses.
“It was very encouraging,” Anderson said. “The best component of our basketball team is going to be our bench. Hopefully the guys starting out will do what they are capable of doing but for us to be a total team it's going to require our guys coming off the bench giving us great minutes.”