THE GAME: Arkansas and Oklahoma play for the fourth consecutive year when the Razorbacks and Sooners meet Friday at 7 p.m. in a game televised by ESPN2. The game was originally scheduled to be on ESPN at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, before being moved to Friday.
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 analyst.
TWO FOR 500: UA head coach Nolan Richardson needs just two wins to reach 500 for his career. In his 17th season at Arkansas, and his 21st overall, he is 498-193 (.721). In 16-plus years at Arkansas, he is 379-156 (.708).
THE OU SERIES: Arkansas leads the all-time series 12-8 but Oklahoma has won the last three meetings, all in the last three years. Arkansas leads 5-4 in Fayetteville and 4-0 at neutral sites while OU leads 4-3 in Norman, Okla.
THE LAST MEETING: In a matchup of two ranked teams, No. 17 Oklahoma held off No. 23 Arkansas, 88-79 in overtime, on Dec. 23 last year in Norman, Okla., in front of 11,479. The game was tied 74-74 at the end of regulation. OU went to the free-throw line 50 times and made 35 shots while Arkansas was just 12 of 20 at the line. The Sooners, who shot 40 percent from the floor, were led by Hollis Price who had 21 points, including 13 of 15 free throws. Nolan Johnson had 18 points, Aaron McGhee 15 and Daryan Selvy 13 points and 11 rebounds. UA was led by Jannero Pargo’s 14 points. Brandon Dean had 12 and Joe Johnson 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
HOGS AGAINST THE SOONERS: Seven Razorbacks have played against Oklahoma at least twice in their careers. Here are their averages against OU: Carl Baker (2 games: 6.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, .400 FG%, 6-15); T.J. Cleveland (3 games: 6.3 ppg, .308 FG%, 4-13); Brandon Dean (3 games: 7.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .421 FG%, 8-19); Blake Eddins (2 games: 0.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, .000 FG%, 0-2); Teddy Gipson (3 games: 7.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, .600 FG%, 9-15); Dionisio Gomez (2 games: 3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, .500 FG%, 3-6); Alonzo Lane (2 games: 5.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, .455 FG%, 5-11).
TULSA RECAP: Dionisio Gomez recorded career highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds for the first double-double of his career as the Razorbacks won at Tulsa on Wednesday, 79-75. Brandon Dean was six of nine in the second half, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the final period, and Larry Satchell made two free throws with eight seconds left to help the Hogs get the win. Arkansas shot 51.7 percent from the floor while holding TU to 37.9 percent, including just 19 percent from three-point range (4-21). Tulsa stayed in the game by hitting 27 of 35 free throws while Arkansas was 11 of 14 at the stripe. Antonio Reed led the Golden Hurricane with 18 points.
GIVE IT TO GOMEZ: Senior Dionisio Gomez recorded the first double-double of his career with personal highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds in the 79-75 win at Tulsa on Wednesday. Gomez was eight of nine from the floor to set career highs for shots made. He pushed his season shooting totals to 17 of 23. He is averaging 9.8 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds for the year while shooting 73.9 percent from the field. Entering the season, he was averaging 2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds for his career while shooting 38 percent.
SATCHELL AT THE STRIPE: Larry Satchell’s two free throws with eight seconds left clinched with Tulsa win. Entering the game, Satchell was one of five at the line on the year but was three of four against TU. For his career, Satchell is 36 of 70, 51.4 percent.
DEAN DELIVERS: Entering the Tulsa game, Brandon Dean was eight of 20 shooting and averaging 7.0 points a game. He almost matched his season field goal total in one half by making six of nine shots in the second half at TU and scoring 16 of his 18 points in the second period.
UA’S EARLY SIGNEES: Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson and his staff signed five players during the early signing period. The newest Razorbacks are:
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
Andre Iguodala G/F 6-6 190 Lanphier (Springfield, Ill.) HS
Jonathan Modica G/F 6-4 185 Smackover (HS), Ark.
Wenbos Mukubu G/F 6-5 220 Miami Beach (Miami, Fla.) HS
Rashard Sullivan F 6-9 220 St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) HS
Brandon Tobias F 6-7 212 Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) HS
PRESEASON HONORS & PREDICTIONS: Jannero Pargo has been named to preseason All-SEC teams selected by The Sporting News (second) and by Lindy’s Basketball (third).
…In addition to leading the club in rebounding, Dionisio Gomez also leads the team with 10 steals and 100 minutes played, and is third with eight assists. Last year, he did not play his 100th minute until the ninth game of the year against Northwestern State. He has played a career-high 32 minutes in each of the last two games.
…Last year, Arkansas did not record its first win away from Bud Walton Arena until its fifth road game of the year.
…UA is 2-0 against Oklahoma schools this year, beating Oral Roberts, 71-57, and Tulsa, 79-75.
…Carl Baker did not play at Tulsa after spraining his left ankle in practice on Tuesday.
…Arkansas shot 51.7 percent from the floor against Tulsa and 51.9 percent from the floor against Oral Roberts (28-54) after shooting 36.5 percent against Maine and 35.6 percent against Wake Forest. Last year, Arkansas shot 50 percent or better seven times.
…T.J. Cleveland has made 82 of his last 104 free throws (.788).
…Arkansas is 27-6 when Brandon Dean scores in double figures.
…Alonzo Lane has made 50 percent of his shots, or better, in 42 of 69 games.
…Of Charles Tatum’s 83 career field goals, 51 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 Tulsa, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 434 consecutive games. UA made at least one trey in every game it played in the 1990s.
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.
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
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: 1-0 (Tulsa)