SAN FRANCISCO — Tee Toney-Teague is an active Twitter user.
With a quick scroll through her account it becomes crystal clear she is as proud as the day is long of her son, Arkansas wing Au’Diese Toney. It is also easy to see that she wants him to receive attention and notoriety he deserves.
On Monday, two days after Toney put together arguably his most impressive defensive performance of the season in limiting New Mexico State star Teddy Allen to 12 points on 16 field goal attempts in the team’s second-round meeting, he continued to be overlooked. Toney-Teague said as much.
In a 1-minute, 53-second video, famed college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale released his “All-Defensive Dynamo Team” for the Sweet 16. Toney’s name was nowhere to be found on the dry-erase board to Vitale’s right.
Two days before he played Arkansas, Allen scored 37 points in an upset win of No. 5 seed Connecticut.
“Let’s keep proving the naysayers wrong,” Toney-Teague responded.
She quickly took a screenshot of the tweet and texted the picture to her son. It wasn’t the first time she had done something similar, and it likely won’t be the last before the Razorbacks and No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga tip off on Thursday at 6 p.m. Central at Chase Center.
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Toney-Teague understands Toney has his own internal motivations that key him up prior to games. But she enjoys throwing fuel onto the fire and contributing in her own unique way.
“(Before the game against the Aggies), I said, ‘I know like heck you’re not going to have me coming all the way to New York and you’re going to let this kid drop 37 on you, are you?’” Toney-Teague said Tuesday. “He’s just like, ‘Nah, mom. He’s not getting no 37 points tonight.’ And then I’m like, ‘Well, that’s not what these people are saying.’
“He told me to just stay tuned. When he tells me stuff like that, then I know he’s locked in.”
Allen finished 3 of 10 on two-point field goal attempts and did not record an assist for only the second time in New Mexico State’s last 11 games. According to KenPom data, Toney held Allen to an offensive rating of 62, his second-lowest figure in a game in 2021-22.
“I just have that mindset coming into every game (that) you have to give it your all no matter what,” Toney said Wednesday. “Any possession can cost the game. I try to lock in as many possessions as I can to get the W.”
To Arkansas coach Eric Musselman’s credit, he made a concerted effort to recognize his star perimeter defender for a job well done after the 53-48 victory.
Musselman brought into the team’s locker …….