Heading into the postseason, the Razorbacks are looking to drive deep in conference and national tournaments alike.
The women Razorbacks have already gotten things started right with a stunning come-from-behind victory against the No. 15 Aggies in the quarterfinals on Friday.
But how deep the men’s and women’s Razorback drive in their tourneys will largely come down to the performance of their top stars. On behalf of NWA Car Clinic, a premier northwest Arkansas repair shop, we think it’s a a fun time to compare the best players in Razorback basketball today with some of the most popular vehicles in the U.S.
So, if Mason Jones, Isaiah Joe, Chelsea Dungee and Alexis Ramirez were automobiles, what would they be?
[Insert photos of cars and players here]
Mason Jones and Chelsea Dungee (F-150 truck)
There’s a good reason the F-150 series is by far and away the nation’s most popular pickup truck.
For one, these trucks include an array of powerful engines, from the V8 gas power plants to the turbocharged and port-fuel/direct-injected (PFDI) gas EcoBoost® V6 engines.
They are also highly versatile vehicles, delivering value in a multitude of ways. Power and versatility are the name of the game for Mason Jones and Chelsea Dungee, too.
Both Razorback stars have come through in the crunch multiple times for Arkansas in the last two seasons, in a variety of ways. Few Razorbacks have ever shown such an array of offensive versatility. From step back jumpers to three-pointers to tear drops, Jones and Dungee have scorched the opposition by showing it all.
And just as with the F-150 national sales numbers, the results have been impressive.
Dungee, a redshirt junior guard, led the Hogs in scoring this year, pouring in 17.0 points per game in the regular season. She also averaged 4.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Jones, meanwhile, is on the verge of setting Arkansas’ SEC scoring record with nearly 22 points per game. He’s also chipping in [fill in post LSU game numbers here]
Jones and Dungee have especially excelled at driving to the basket. Dungee led the SEC by making 136 free throws during the regular season, the 20th best mark in the NCAA.
At the same time, Jones has led the entire nation in made and attempted free throws. And he broke Sidney Moncrief’s program record for most free throws made in a season.
Finally, the F-150 and Mason Jones share another thing in common: massive weight reduction. For the sake of fuel economy, Ford designers reduced the curb weight of the most recent generation of F-150 by nearly 750 pounds.
Jones, 6-5, has said his weight got as high as 270 pounds when he was a senior at DeSoto High. He gradually lost weight while playing at Triple A Academy in Dallas and at Connors (Okla.) State Community College before coming to Arkansas in fall 2018.
He went from this:
Isaiah Joe and Alexis Tolefree (Subaru Outback)
Yes, Joe and Tolefree have both improved their overall games this season, showing better defense and rebounding prowess than ever.
And yes, both are great leaders on and off the court.
But there’s one thing both Razorback stars are most known for, and that one will never change: Long-range capability.
When you want to fill it up from the outside, you go with Isaiah Joe and Alexis Tolefree, guards who in the last two seasons have set all-time three-point shooting records for their respective Razorback teams.
Likewise, when you want to head into the outdoors, you go with the hatchback Subaru Outback. Its newest model’s standard symmetrical all-wheel drive, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and dual-function X-MODE are great for long-distance outings into the Ozarks, or all the way to the Rockies.
In the Touring model’s interior, things can get warm in a hurry with a heated steering wheel and heated seats.
Sure enough, Joe and Tolefree can get hot in a hurry, too.
As a freshman, Joe hit a school record 144 three-pointers — a record he would have eclipsed this year had a knee injury not kept him out of much of SEC play.
Tolefree, meanwhile, produced a few epic games on her way to averaging more than 18 points a game on 42% shooting from deep. The 5’8” Conway native dropped a career-high 35 at Missouri, 23 of which came in the second half in Arkansas’ awesome 13-point comeback. She also scored 30 against against then-No. 15 Kentucky, including 25 in the second half.
Our sponsor NWA Car Clinic, based in Lowell, is a proud supporter of Arkansas basketball. In every repair job, it follows this 13-step process: