Arkansas freshman guard Anthony Black attempted just three field goals in the Hogs’ annual Red-White game, but his versatile skills were on full display as he led the Red team to a 64-59 victory.
Despite scoring four points, all from the free throw line, Black nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds and nine assists in 32 minutes of action. The 6-foot-7 playmaker also showed his acumen on the defensive side of the floor, blocking three shots and securing a steal in transition to set up an easy layup for Makhi Mitchell.
“He’s really unique,” said Arkansas head coach Eric Mousselman said. “There aren’t many college basketball players like Anthony. There probably won’t be many point guards who will be better rebounders. There probably won’t be many point guards who will block as many shots as his total assists, I mean, he thrives on passing the ball, so he’s going to be one of the assists leaders in the country.
“He’s just unique. He’s not like a normal playmaker because you’re talking about a 6-8 playmaker who’s a really willing passer. You can look over the last few years, there’s there aren’t many college basketball players who can do what he can do.”
Much of Black’s success comes from his selflessness on the pitch. The former five-star prospect is no stranger to playing with elite talent around him and seizes the chance to let his teammates shine.
“We have a lot of talented players,” Black said. “We have a lot of guys who can score the ball. My game is really about taking what defense gives me and trying to make plays for my team, just winning plays. In defense, you know, just bouncing, blocking shots, going after the ball I just do anything that has an impact on the win because I know we have teammates good enough that if I have a night off, like shooting, I know that my teammates got me. So I just have to do what I can do to have an impact on the win.”
Arkansas Forward Jalen Graham led the team with 25 points and four of his 10 field goals were assisted by Black. The Arizona State transfer enjoyed playing alongside a player with Black’s ability and believes the rookie is also capable of scoring when needed.
“It’s awesome,” Graham said. “Coming from ASU, it’s just a big difference with a big guard who can pass and facilitate and play defense and help rebound. It’s a big help to play with someone like him who’s not not selfish and wants to help his teammates improve. He’s going to get his. We know he’s going to get his throughout the season, so no one is worried about that.