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.
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 506-201 (.716). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 387-164 (.702).
THE AUBURN SERIES: Arkansas leads the series 15-8 with a 9-1 advantage in Fayetteville. AU leads 6-5 at Auburn and the series is 1-1 at neutral sites. Arkansas has won four of the last five.
ALABAMA RECAP: Alabama opened the game with a 12-0 run and after Arkansas closed within 21-20, the Tide scored the next 17 points to take early control and never looked back as the Razorbacks dropped a 109-94 decision in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. The Crimson Tide won the game in the first half, shooting 46 percent and losing the ball just four times while Arkansas shot 32 percent and had 10 turnovers. Both teams shot 60 percent in the second half and UA was even with the Tide on the boards, 39-39, but Arkansas finished with 15 turnovers while Alabama had 13. Jannero Pargo led Arkansas with 33 points, his second straight 30-point game and fourth of the season, while freshman Michael Jones had his first double-double with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. J.J. Sullinger and Blake Eddins had 11 points each. Rod Grizzard and Earnest Shelton led the Tide with 21 each.
TRIPLE-DIGITS ALLOWED: The 109 points Arkansas allowed on Wednesday marked the first time in 205 games the Razorbacks have allowed 100 points. The last time was in 1995-96 in a 101-76 loss at Auburn. The 109 points are the most given up by Arkansas in 368 games, since a 112-105 loss to UNLV in 1990-91.
FIRST MEETING WITH AUBURN: Arkansas shot 53 percent from the field, including 59 percent in the first half (17-29) and the Razorbacks rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit to open SEC play with an 83-77 road victory on Jan. 5. AU had a 41-32 rebounding edge, including 19 offensive rebounds, but the Hogs offset that statistic by forcing 20 turnovers. Arkansas scored 32 points off the turnovers and was led by Carl Baker’s 17 points. J.J. Sullinger added 16 points. Marquis Daniels led the Tigers with 21 points.
BACK-TO-BACK 30-POINT GAMES: Senior Jannero Pargo, this week’s Sports Illustrated and SEC Player of the Week, is coming off back-to-back 30-point games. Pargo, who has the top three scoring games in the SEC this season, had a career-high 35 in Saturday’s 94-92 overtime win over No. 4 Florida. In Wednesday’s loss at No. 7 Alabama, he had 33 points. In the last two games, he’s made 19 of 35 shots (.543), including 14 of 22 three-pointers (.636). Pargo, who is second on UA’s all-time three-point percentage list (.427) to Scotty Thurman (.432), is averaging 34 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals over the last two games.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Redshirt freshman Michael Jones had the first double-double of his career at Alabama with career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. He’s also had his best scoring games in the last two contests. He had 15 points in Saturday’s 94-92 overtime victory over No. 4 Florida. Over the last two games, he’s averaging 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while hitting 11 of 22 shots (.500) and nine of 11 free throws (.818). The last freshman to record a double-double for Arkansas was Joe Johnson in 2000 with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a 64-55 home win over Auburn on March 5, 2000. The most recent double-double for Arkansas was earlier this year when Dionisio Gomez had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Tulsa on Nov. 28.
BLAKE BREAKS OUT: Junior Blake Eddins, playing in his home state of Alabama, made four of five shots, including three of four three-pointers, for 11 points against the Crimson Tide on Wednesday. He made more shots and scored more points in that one game than he had for the season entering the contest. Going into the Alabama game, he was three of 22 from the field (.136), including two of 17 on three-pointers (.118) and had scored a total of eight points.
UA AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Arkansas 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 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 25th on the list with 1,032 points. Dean entered the year with 775 points.
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. Tommy Boyer 1961-63 1,067
24. Jerry Carlton 1960-62 1,042
25. Brandon Dean 1999-02 1,032
26. Robert McKenzie 1968-70 1,006
Teddy Gipson 1999-02 932
HOGS PLAYED FIFTH-TOUGHEST SLATE: Several SEC teams have better records than Arkansas, but only one has played a tougher schedule, according to CollegeRPI.com. Kentucky has played the second-toughest schedule in the nation. Arkansas’ slate is rated the fifth-most difficult. Tennessee is next in the SEC at No. 9. In other rankings, UA is No. 48 in the Sagarin Rankings, which ranks eighth in the league, and No. 28 in the College.RPI.com poll, which ranks sixth in the conference. All rankings are as of Jan. 28.
PARGO CLIMBING UA’S CAREER THREE-POINT CHART: With the seven treys against Alabama, Jannero Pargo moved into the No. 5 spot on Arkansas’ career three-point field goals made list while Brandon Dean is also moving up the chart.
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. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 .427
3. Todd Day, 1989-92 226 3. Todd Day, 1989-92 588 3. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 .424
4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 218 4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 514 4. Al Dillard, 1994-95 .401
5. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 143 5. Kareem Reid, 1996-92 406 5. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 .400
6. Al Dillard, 1994-95 138 6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 384 6. Todd Day, 1989-92 .384
7. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 133 7. Tarik Wallace, 1997-98 375
8. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 335
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, 40 percent of UA’s points (638 of 1,576) and 40 percent of the team’s rebounds (252 of 629) 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.
…In UA’s nine losses, opponents are 207 of 282 (.734) at the free throw line while the Hogs are 120 of 199 (.603). In UA’s 11 wins, opponents are 185 of 296 (.625) while the Razorbacks are 163 of 252 (.647).
…When true freshman J.J. Sullinger reaches double figures in scoring, the Hogs are 9-3.
…When Teddy Gipson hits a three-pointer, Arkansas is 7-3 this year.
…When T.J. Cleveland makes three or more steals in a game, UA is 5-1 this season.
…Arkansas is 32-11 when Brandon Dean scores in double figures.
…Alonzo Lane has made 50 percent of his shots, or better, in 49 of 83 games.
…Of Charles Tatum’s 101 career field goals, 63 are three-pointers.
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 11 three-pointers against Alabama, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 450 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 514 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
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: 4-2 (Tulsa, SWT, Illinois, UNCG, UTC, OSU)
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)
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.