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Arkansas-Alabama Game Notes

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Arkansas-Alabama Game Notes
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas plays host to No. 5 Alabama Wednesday at 7 p.m. Here are UA’s official game notes.

RADIO/TV INFORMATION: The game is being broadcast on radio over the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network, which includes more than 60 affiliates. Mike Nail handles the play-by-play while former Razorback and NBA player Joe Kleine is the color analyst.

The game is being televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports with Paul Kennedy handling the play-by-play and Larry Conley the color.

500 WINS: UA head coach Nolan Richardson became the 18th active NCAA Division I head coach with 500 career victories when the Razorbacks beat North Carolina-Greensboro, 89-74, on Dec. 10 in Fayetteville. In his 17th season at Arkansas, and his 22nd overall, he is 507-204 (.713). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 388-167 (.699).

THE ALABAMA SERIES: Arkansas leads the all-time series 18-14 with a 7-3 advantage in Fayetteville. Arkansas also leads 7-2 at neutral sites while Alabama leads 9-4 in Tuscaloosa. Arkansas had won three straight before the 109-94 loss on Jan. 30. The Crimson Tide won four straight before Arkansas’ three-game streak. Alabama’s last win in Bud Walton came in 1999, 67-60.

LSU RECAP: Arkansas led 60-55 with 2:36 remaining but LSU scored nine straight points to get the win. Arkansas shot just 36 percent from the field while LSU shot 46.9 percent. Ronald Dupree kept LSU in the game in the first half, scoring 26 of his 30 points, to get the Tigers within 39-37 at the break. UA led by seven once, and by six and five twice each in the second half but could never pull away. Brandon Dean led the Hogs with 15 points.

ALABAMA HOGS: Guards T.J. Cleveland (Birmingham) and Blake Eddins (Montgomery), and assistant head coach Mike Anderson (Birmingham) are from Alabama. Cleveland is facing the Tide for the final time in his career (regular season). Over his career, Arkansas is 3-4 against Alabama, although Cleveland is 2-4 in games he has played in. He missed the 81-66 home win in 2000 with an ankle injury.

HOGS PLAYED THIRD-TOUGHEST SLATE: Arkansas has played the third-toughest schedule in the country, according to CollegeRPI.com. In other rankings, UA is No. 61 in the Sagarin Rankings and No. 47 in the College.RPI.com poll.

CLOSE CALLS: Arkansas has lost five games this year by six points or less. On the plus side, the Razorbacks have won four games by six points or less.

FIRST MEETING WITH ALABAMA: Alabama scored the first 12 points, Arkansas closed within 21-20, Alabama scored the next 17 points and it was all Tide from then on as the Razorbacks dropped a 109-94 decision on Jan. 30. Arkansas shot 32 percent in the first half and had 10 turnovers in falling behind 52-34 at the break. Both teams shot 60 percent in the second half and Arkansas tied the Tide on the boards, 39-39, but the Hogs forced just 13 turnover while losing the ball 15 times. Jannero Pargo had 33 points and freshman Michael Jones had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Rod Grizzard and Earnest Shelton led Alabama with 21 points each.

SHOOTING WOES: UA has shot below 40 percent seven times this season, losing six of those games. For the year, Arkansas is shooting 44 percent from the floor. Over the last seven games, the Razorbacks are shooting only 41 percent from the field (179-437). Meanwhile, UA’s opponents are shooting 46.8 percent over that time (175-374).

SCORING DROUGHT: Arkansas has scored less than 70 points 10 times this year, winning just two of those games. The Razorbacks also scored less than 70 points 10 times in 2000 and also went 2-8. The last time UA played more than 10 games scoring fewer than 70 points was 1986 when the Hogs went 4-9 in 13 contests. The year before, 1985, Arkansas was 14-11 in 25 games scoring less than 70 points.

J.J.’s JOURNEY: True freshman J.J. Sullinger has his UA career off to a great start. He’s been in double figures scoring 15 times and currently ranks eighth among the top-scoring freshmen head coach Nolan Richardson has had at Arkansas.

Nolan Richardson’s Top-Scoring Freshmen (at Arkansas)
Name Year FG-FGA FG% PPG
Scotty Thurman 1993 204-439 .465 17.4
Joe Johnson 2000 140-302 .464 16.0
Corliss Williamson 1993 101-176 .574 14.6
Todd Day 1989 148-328 .451 13.3
Lee Mayberry 1989 157-314 .500 12.9
Kareem Reid 1996 141-357 .395 12.9
Ron Huery 1987 129-291 .443 11.7
J.J. Sullinger 2002 89-205 .434 10.7
Pat Bradley 1996 107-256 .418 10.2
Glendon Alexander 1997 104-268 .388 9.6

T.J.’s TOTALS: T.J. Cleveland has moved into the school’s all-time top 10 for both steals and assists, overall and in SEC games only.
Career Steals SEC Career Steals
1. Lee Mayberry, ’89-92 291 1. Kareem Reid, ’96-99 121
4. Darrell Walker, ’81-83 230 T2. Clint McDaneil, ’93-95 87
5. Clint McDaniel, ’93-95 226 T2. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 87
6. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 220
7. Alvin Robertson, ’82-84 217

Career Assists SEC Career Assists
1. Kareem Reid, ’96-99 748 1. Kareem Reid, ’96-99 326
8. Darrell Walker, ’81-83 302 2. Corey Beck, ’93-95 231
9. Oliver Miller ’89-92, 296 3. Scotty Thurman, ’93-95 107
10. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 271 4. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 104

UA AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: UA is 2-4 against ranked opponents this year, beating then-No. 4 Florida, 94-92 in overtime, losing to then-No. 5 Illinois in Chicago, 94-91, losing to then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, 85-76 in Little Rock, losing at then-No. 7 Alabama, 109-94, losing at then-No. 15 Georgia, 81-67, and beating then-No. 22 Mississippi State, 75-64.

GIPSON CLOSING IN ON 1,000TH CAREER POINT: Senior Teddy Gipson is attempting to become the second Razorback to score his 1,000th career point this year. Brandon Dean’s 18-point performance against South Carolina on Jan. 16 put him in UA’s 1,000-point club. Dean became the 26th Razorback to score 1,000 career points and already ranks 23rd on the list with 1,072 points. Dean entered the year with 775 points.

Gipson entered the year with 781 points and now has 952, leaving him 48 points short.

The most recent players to score 1,000 points, before this year, were Kareem Reid and Derek Hood who joined the club in 1998-99. Reid ranks 13th on UA’s scoring list with 1,475 points and Hood 19th with 1,247 points. That team also featured a third 1,000-point scorer, Pat Bradley, who actually topped the 1,000-point mark in his junior season of 1997-98 and ranks fifth on the all-time list with 1,765 points.

Here are UA’s top scorers and the players Dean and Gipson have a chance to surpass:
UA’s All-Time Leading Scorers:
1. Todd Day 1989-92 2,395 points
2. Sidney Moncrief 1976-79 2,066
3. Lee Mayberry 1989-92 1,940
4. Scott Hastings 1979-82 1,779
5. Pat Bradley 1996-99 1,765
6. Joe Kleine 1983-85 1,753
21. Alvin Robertson 1982-84 1,097
22. James Eldridge 1968-70 1,090
23. Brandon Dean 1999-02 1,072
24. Tommy Boyer 1961-63 1,067
25. Jerry Carlton 1960-62 1,042
26. Robert McKenzie 1968-70 1,006
Teddy Gipson 1999-02 952

PARGO CLIMBING UA’S CAREER THREE-POINT CHART: Jannero Pargo is fifth on UA’s career-three-point goals list and also ranks among the school’s all-time leaders in percentage and three-pointers attempted, along with Brandon Dean. Three-Point Field Goals Made Three-Point Field Goals Attempted Three-Point Field Goal Percentage
1. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 366 1. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 915 1. Scotty Thurman, 1993-95 .432
2. Scotty Thurman, 1993-95 267 2. Scotty Thurman, 1993-95 618 2. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 .424
3. Todd Day, 1989-92 226 3. Todd Day, 1989-92 588 3. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 .421
4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 218 4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 514 4. Al Dillard, 1994-95 .401
5. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 154 5. Kareem Reid, 1996-92 406 5. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 .400
T6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 138 6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 404 6. Todd Day, 1989-92 .384
T6. Al Dillard, 1994-95 138 7. Tarik Wallace, 1997-98 375
8. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 366

BENCH PRODUCTION: Arkansas’ style of play under head coach Nolan Richardson means the Razorbacks play more players than most other programs in the nation, so naturally the Hogs will get more points and rebounds off the bench than other clubs. So far this year, 41 percent of UA’s points (748 of 1,821) and 39 percent of the team’s rebounds (293 of 745) are coming off the bench. The highest bench totals came against No. 7 Alabama when UA’s reserves scored 85 of the team’s 94 points and had 23 of the team’s 39 rebounds.

30-POINT POTENTIAL: Senior Jannero Pargo, Sports Illustrated’s national Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 27 and a two-time SEC Player of the Week selection this season, had back-to-back 30-point games with a career-high 35 against No. 4 Florida and 33 at No. 7 Alabama. He has four 30-point games for the year with 32 against Tennessee-Chattanooga and 30 at Memphis. Pargo, who has the top three scoring games in the SEC this season, is the first Razorback to have back-to-back 30-point games since Joe Kleine had 32 against Texas and Texas Tech in 1985. He is also the first Hog to have as many as three 30-point games in the same season since Todd Day in 1992. The last player to have five 30-point games in a season is Day in 1991 with 33 against Alabama-Birmingham, 31 against Jackson State and Alabama, and 30 against Florida State and Houston. Day is also the last player to record a 40-point game with 43 against LSU in 1992. Pargo’s 35-point game against Florida is the highest point total for a Razorback since Al Dillard had 39 against Delaware State in 1994.

FREE THROW DIFFERENCE: In UA’s 12 losses, opponents are 270 of 363 (.744) at the free throw line while the Hogs are 144 of 240 (.600). In UA’s 12 wins, opponents are 194 of 310 (.626) while the Razorbacks are 177 of 273 (.648).

SEC PREDICTIONS: Arkansas has been picked by the media to finish second in the SEC’s Western Division behind Alabama. The Hogs received five first-place votes to 15 for the Crimson Tide. Kentucky is the pick to win the Eastern Division and the overall title ahead of Florida. The rest of the order in the West is predicted to be Ole Miss third, Auburn fourth, LSU fifth and Mississippi State sixth. In the East, Florida is followed by Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt.

CONSECUTIVE POST-SEASON APPEARANCES: With last year’s selection to the NCAA Tournament, the Razorbacks made their 15th consecutive national tournament appearance. Over the last 15 years, Arkansas has played in the NCAAs 13 times and the NIT twice. Over that stretch, the NCAA years include 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989 and 1988. The NIT seasons were 1997 and 1987.

TRAIL OF THREES: With seven three-pointers against LSU, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 454 consecutive games. UA made at least one trey in every game it played in the 1990s. The last time UA failed to make a three was in a 99-92 win at Texas in January 1989, and the Hogs attempted just two three-pointers in that contest. Arkansas has played 518 games since the three-pointer was added to college basketball and failed to make a three in only six games. UA won those six games.

STARTING LINEUP: Your guess is probably as good as anyone else’s. In 2000, head coach Nolan Richardson used 22 different starting combinations in 34 games. Every player started at least once. In 31 games in 2001, 19 different lineups took the floor. Richardson has long been known for shuffling his starting lineup. In fact, at Western Texas Junior College, Richardson would hold coin flips to see who would get the starting nod.

Arkansas’ Game-By-Game Starting Lineups
Maine (11-12): Gipson, Pargo, Dean, Lane, Gomez
Wake Forest (11-16): Gipson, Tatum, Dean, Lane, Gomez
ORU (11-18): Gipson, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
Tulsa (11-28): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
OU (11-30): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Lane, Gomez
SWT (12-4): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
Illinois (12-8): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
UNCG (12-10): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
UTC (12-20): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
OSU (12-22): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez
Elon (12- 29): Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Jordan, Gomez
Memphis (1-2): Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Jordan, Gomez
Auburn (1-5): Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Jordan, Gomez
MSU (1-8): Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Jordan, Gomez
LSU (1-13): Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Jordan, Gomez
USC (1-16): Dean, Eddins, Gipson, Lane, Gomez
Ole Miss (1-19): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Jordan, Gomez
Georgia (1-23): Cleveland, Pargo, Lane, Jordan, Gomez
Florida (1-26): Cleveland, Dean, Tatum, Baker, Gomez
Alabama (1-30): Cleveland, Dean, Tatum, Baker, Gomez
Auburn (2-2): Eddins, Sullinger, Pargo, Satchell, Gomez
Ole Miss (2-9): Gipson, Dean, Pargo, Matt Jones, Lane
Tennessee (2-13): Gipson, Dean, Sullinger, Matt Jones, Satchell
LSU (2-16): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez

Records for Starting Combinations:
Gipson, Pargo, Dean, Lane, Gomez: 1-0 (Maine)
Gipson, Tatum, Dean, Lane, Gomez: 0-1 (Wake Forest)
Gipson, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez: 1-0 (ORU)
Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Satchell, Gomez: 4-3 (TU, SWT, IL, UNCG, UTC, OSU, LSU2)
Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Lane, Gomez: 0-1 (OU)
Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Jordan, Gomez: 4-1 (Elon, Memphis, AU, MSU, LSU)
Dean, Eddins, Gipson, Lane, Gomez: 0-1 (USC)
Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Jordan, Gomez: 0-1 (Ole Miss)
Cleveland, Pargo, Lane, Jordan, Gomez: 0-1 (Georgia)
Cleveland, Dean, Tatum, Baker, Gomez: 1-1 (Florida, Alabama)
Eddins, Sullinger, Pargo, Satchell, Gomez: 1-0 (Auburn2)
Gipson, Dean, Pargo, Jones, Lane: 0-1 (Ole Miss2)
Gipson, Dean, Sullinger, Matt Jones, Satchell: 0-1 (Tennessee)

MEDIA SERVICES: UA Coach Nolan Richardson usually holds press briefings two days prior to each game at 2 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena’s interview room. Players are also available on those days prior to the start of practice. A transcript of Richardson’s press conferences is available on UA’s official web site, hogwired.com. Game notes are available through media teamlink.



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