RADIO/TV INFORMATION: The game is being broadcast on radio over the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network, which includes more than 60 affiliates. Paul Eells is filling in on play-by-play while Mike Nail is the analyst. The game is being televised by CBS Sports with Ian Eagle handling the play-by-play and Jim Spanarkel 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 508-204 (.713). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 389-167 (.700).
THE KENTUCKY SERIES: In the only series against SEC members Arkansas does not lead, Kentucky holds a 15-7 advantage over the Razorbacks but the Hogs have won two of the last three. UK leads 6-2 in Lexington and 8-1 at neutral sites while UA leads 4-1 in Fayetteville. Last year, Arkansas beat UK at home in the regular season, 82-78, but UK downed the Hogs in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, 87-78. The year before, Kentucky won the regular season meeting in Lexington, 60-55, but Arkansas beat the Wildcats in the finals of the SEC Tournament, 86-72.
HOGS, WILDCATS PLAYED TOUGH SCHEDULES: Arkansas has played the second-toughest schedule in the country, according to CollegeRPI.com, while Kentucky has played the toughest schedule in the nation. Arkansas is also No. 34 in the College.RPI.com poll.
UA AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: UA is 3-4 against ranked opponents this year, including a 2-1 mark against teams ranked in the top five. In order of the ranking at the time of the game, Arkansas beat then-No. 4 Florida, 94-92 in overtime, lost to then-No. 5 Illinois in Chicago, 94-91, beat No. 5 Alabama on Wednesday, 67-59, lost to then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, 85-76 in Little Rock, lost at then-No. 7 Alabama, 109-94, lost at then-No. 15 Georgia, 81-67, and beat then-No. 22 Mississippi State, 75-64.
ALABAMA RECAP: Arkansas shot just 38.5 percent for the game but that was good enough as the Razorbacks held No. 5 Alabama to 12.1 percent shooting in the first half and 25 percent shooting for the game in a 67-59 victory. Charles Tatum scored a game and career-high 20 points with 16 coming in the first half as Arkansas led 33-19 at the break. The Crimson Tide cut the deficit to four, 57-53, with 2:11 remaining, but Alonzo Lane made two free throws and the Hogs hit eight of 12 free throws the rest of the way to get the win. Earnest Shelton led Alabama with 18 points.
STATS ON STARTERS: Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson used his 14th different starting combination of the season Wednesday against No. 5 Alabama, which is nothing unusual, but the Razorbacks opened the game with their top six leading scorers on the bench. Richardson’s starting unit of guards Charles Tatum (3.0 ppg) and T.J. Cleveland (4.1), and forwards Carl Baker (2.8), Alonzo Lane (3.4) and Larry Satchell (2.9) had a combined scoring average of 16.2 points a game entering the contest. Tatum matched that by himself in the first half with 16 points on the way to a game and career-high 20 points. Arkansas got just three points from its top two scorers (Jannero Pargo and Brandon Dean), but Tatum, Cleveland (9), Baker (8), Lane (8), Matt Jones (8) and Lane (6) all scored above their season average. With Wednesday’s effort, the starting group increased its combined scoring average from 16.2 points to 17.7 points per game.
SATCHELL, BAKER STEP UP: In the last two games, Larry Satchell has accounted for 21 percent of his rebounds and 19 percent of his points for the season while Carl Baker has totaled 26 percent of his points and 24 percent of his rebounds. Satchell is averaging 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds for the year and Baker 3.1 and 2.5, respectively. Over the last two games, Satchell is averaging 6.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots while Baker is averaging 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. Satchell had five points, seven rebounds and three blocks against LSU, and a season-high matching eight points, seven rebounds, which also matches his season high, and two blocks against Alabama. Baker had eight points and five boards against LSU, and eight points and seven rebounds against Alabama while also holding the Crimson Tide’s Rod Grizzard to six points and 0-9 shooting from the floor.
J.J.’s JOURNEY: True freshman J.J. Sullinger has been in double figures scoring 15 times and currently ranks eighth among the top-scoring freshmen under Nolan Richardson at UA.
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 89-208 .428 10.4
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 2. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 88
5. Clint McDaniel, ’93-95 226 3. Clint McDaniel, ’93-95 87
6. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 221
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. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 108
10. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 275 4. Scotty Thurman, ’93-95 107
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.
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 .422
4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 218 4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 514 4. Al Dillard, 1994-95 .401
5. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 155 5. Kareem Reid, 1996-92 406 5. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 .400
T6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 138 6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 405 6. Todd Day, 1989-92 .384
T6. Al Dillard, 1994-95 138 7. Tarik Wallace, 1997-98 375
8. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 367
CLOSE CALLS: Arkansas has lost five games this year by six points or less while winning four games by six points or less.
SHOOTING WOES: UA has shot below 40 percent eight times this season, losing six of those games. For the year, Arkansas is shooting 43.8 percent from the floor. Over the last eight games, the Razorbacks are shooting only 41 percent from the field (199-489). Meanwhile, UA’s opponents are shooting 43.6 percent over that time (191-438).
SCORING DROUGHT: Arkansas has scored less than 70 points 11 times this year, winning three times. 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.
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 (764 of 1,888) and 39 percent of the team’s rebounds (306 of 784) are coming off the bench. The highest bench totals came at No. 7 Alabama (Jan. 30) 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.
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 Alabama, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 455 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 519 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
Alabama (2-20): Tatum, Cleveland, Baker, Lane, Satchell
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)
Tatum, Cleveland, Baker, Lane, Satchell: 1-0 (Alabama2)
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.