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 505-200 (.716). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 386-163 (.703).
THE FLORIDA SERIES: Arkansas leads the all-time series 6-5 with a 4-1 lead in games played in Fayetteville. UA also leads 1-0 at neutral sites while Florida leads 4-1 in Gainesville. The Gators have won the last two games, 73-63, last year in Gainesville and, 80-71, in Fayetteville in 2000.
GEORGIA RECAP: Arkansas had its second-highest rebounding total of the year (38), its second-highest offensive rebounding total of the year (18) and matched the mark for fewest turnovers this season (9), but the Razorbacks shot a season-low 34.7 percent from the field in dropping an 81-67 decision at No. 15 Georgia on Wednesday. UA made just nine of 33 shots in the first half for a single-half season-low percentage of .273. Despite the shooting problems and trailing by 10 at the half, the Razorbacks were within 38-33 with 14:45 to play, but Georgia went on a 14-0 run to put the game away. UGA made 28 of 31 free throws and got 21 points and 10 rebounds from Jarvis Hayes, and 17 points and 13 boards from Chris Daniels. Jannero Pargo led the Hogs with 18 points while T.J. Cleveland had a season-high 10.
DEAN INJURY UPDATE: Senior guard Brandon Dean, who is having the best season of his career and the best year of any Razorback, was knocked out of the Ole Miss (Jan. 19) game when he was injured after being fouled while going in for a layup with 1:25 to play. An MRI on his right knee showed no ligament or cartilage damage, but he did suffer a sprained knee and a bone bruise. He could have missed up to a month, but began running and motion treatment on Monday (Jan. 21), practiced on Tuesday (Jan. 22) and played at Georgia on Wednesday (Jan. 23), logging 21 minutes and making two of seven shots for eight points.
UA AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: Arkansas is 1-3 against ranked teams this season, losing to then-No. 5 Illinois, 94-91, then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, 85-76, beating then-No. 22 Mississippi State, 75-64, and losing, 81-67, at No. 15 Georgia on Wednesday. The last time UA beat a team ranked in the top five was the end of the 1998-99 season when the Razorbacks beat No. 5 Kentucky, 74-70, and No. 2 Auburn, 104-88, in consecutive home contests on Feb. 20 and Feb. 24, respectively.
SCORING DROUGHT: Arkansas has scored between 60-70 points in four consecutive games. The four-game stretch is the longest for the Razorbacks since the 1985-86 season when the Hogs scored less than 70 points in five straight games: winning at Oral Roberts, 54-51; losing to SMU, 71-66; losing at TCU, 71-62; losing at Texas, 59-55; and losing at home to Texas Tech, 48-46.
HOME WOES: Arkansas is 7-4 in home games this year with losses to Wake Forest, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Ole Miss. All four are also the only schools to hold current two-game winning streaks in Bud Walton Arena. Florida won in its last visit to BWA in 2000.
IMPROVED PRODUCTION: Despite the loss at Georgia, Arkansas received improved scoring performances from several players. Senior T.J. Cleveland made his first start of the season and scored a season-high 10 points. Senior Jannero Pargo had 18 points on seven of 17 shooting along with five assists. His 18 points are the most in four games and the five assists are the most in seven games. Senior Dionisio Gomez had seven points and seven rebounds. The point total is his highest in four games while the rebound mark is his highest in three games. Michael Jones’ four points are the most for the freshman in four games, freshman J.J. Sullinger’s five rebounds are the most for him in six games and junior Carl Baker’s eight points are the most for him in five games.
FLORIDA HOG: Arkansas freshman Berry Jordan will be facing his home-state Gators for the first time. Jordan, from Jacksonville, Fla., has started seven games and is averaging 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per outing. He had a career-high 10 rebounds against Ole Miss on Jan. 19. Over the last two games, he’s averaging 3.0 points and 7.0 boards per game, including 3.0 rebounds on the offensive end.
FOUR-GAME SKID: UA’s four-game losing streak is its longest ever in SEC play and the longest for Arkansas since 1986 season when Razorbacks lost consecutive games at Texas A&M, at SMU, at home to TCU (in two overtimes) and at home to Texas. The last time UA lost five straight was earlier in 1986 with consecutive setbacks to SMU, at TCU, at Texas, to Texas Tech and to Houston (in overtime).
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 the Monroe, La., native in Arkansas’ 1,000-point club. Dean became the 26th Razorback to score 1,000 career points and already ranks 25th on the list with 1,026 points. Dean entered the year with 775 points.
TWO 30-POINT OUTINGS: Jannero Pargo has two 30-point games and five 20-point games this year. He had a career-high 32 points against Tennessee-Chattanooga and 30 at Memphis. His two 30-point outings are the most for a Razorback in a single season since Pat Bradley had 32 points against Western Carolina and North Texas in 1999. The last time a Hog had three 30-point games in a season was 1992 when Todd Day had 43 against LSU, 39 against Alabama and 35 against Auburn. Day’s performance against LSU is also the last 40-point game for Arkansas.
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, 35 percent of UA’s points (485 of 1,388) and 36 percent of the team’s rebounds (215 of 590) are coming off the bench. The highest bench totals came at Auburn when UA’s reserves scored 48 points and against Tennessee-Chattanooga when the bench claimed 19 rebounds.
HOGS PLAYED SIXTH-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 fifth-toughest schedule in the nation. Arkansas’ slate is rated the sixth-most difficult. Tennessee is next in the SEC at No. 9.
…Junior forward Larry Satchell dislocated his right thumb in the game at Georgia and is questionable for the Florida game.
…In Arkansas’ eight losses this year, opponents are 181 of 244 (.742) at the free throw line while the Hogs are 99 of 170 (.582). In UA’s 10 wins, opponents are 162 of 255 (.635) while the Razorbacks are 144 of 225 (.640).
…In SEC play, Arkansas has more turnovers (86) than assists (80). For the season, UA has just 11 more assists (285) than turnovers (274).
…When true freshman J.J. Sullinger reaches double figures in scoring, the Hogs are 8-2.
…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 5-0 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 82 games.
…Of Charles Tatum’s 98 career field goals, 61 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 six three-pointers against Georgia, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 448 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 512 games since the three-pointer was added to college basketball and failed to make a three in only six games. UA won each of 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
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)
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.