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 505-198 (.718). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 386-161 (.706).
THE OLE MISS SERIES: Arkansas leads the all-time series 31-14, but the Rebels have dominated the last four years, winning eight of the last 10 meetings. UA leads 7-4 in Fayetteville and 20-2 at neutral sites while Ole Miss leads 8-4 in Oxford. Ole Miss has won three straight and two of the last three games played in Fayetteville. Last year, the Rebels won in Fayetteville, 53-48, and in Oxford, 84-73. UA’s last win came at home in 2000, 71-64.
SOUTH CAROLINA RECAP: Arkansas’ Brandon Dean continued his hot shooting be he had little help as South Carolina built a 13-point lead and held off a Razorback rally for a 62-60 victory Wednesday. Arkansas shot 27 percent in the first half and trailed 29-23 at the break. The Hogs shots 52 percent in the second half and tied the game, but never took the lead. UA forced 20 turnovers, but lost the ball 17 times. Dean was seven of 10 shooting and had a game-high 18 points, but the rest of the team was 10 of 33 (.303). Jamel Bradley led the Gamecocks with 16 points.
TEDDY’S SHOOTING: Senior Teddy Gipson had just six points in Wednesday’s loss to South Carolina, but he’s still shooting well after making two of four shots.
THE DEAL WITH DEAN: Brandon Dean, the MVP of the 2000 SEC Tournament, had a great December and is off to a great start in January. In six December games, he was 43 of 73 from the field (.589) and averaged 16.8 points a game.
Dean Year-By-Year Comparison:
Dean’s SEC Rankings:
DEAN SCORES 1,000TH POINT IN USC LOSS: Senior Brandon Dean’s 18-point performance against South Carolina 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 1,007 points. Dean entered the year with 775 points.
2-2 SEC STARTS: Arkansas is 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play for the fifth time in its 11 years in the league. Last year, the Razorbacks began league play 1-3. Here’s a look at UA’s record following the first three SEC games of each year and where the Hogs finished:
Year Start Finish Place Year Start Finish Place
1992 3-1 13-2 1st 1997 2-2 8-8 2nd
1993 3-1 10-6 3rd 1998 3-1 11-5 2nd
1994 3-1 14-2 1st 1999 2-2 9-7 2nd
1995 2-2 12-4 1st 2000 2-2 7-9 3rd
1996 2-2 9-7 2nd 2001 1-3 10-6 2nd
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.
HOME WOES: Arkansas is 3-1 in away games this year but 7-3 at home with losses to Wake Forest, Oklahoma and South Carolina. USC joined Oklahoma and Wake Forest as the only schools with a current two-game winning streak in Bud Walton Arena. South Carolina won in Fayetteville in 2000 and now 2002, the same years OU and Wake Forest won in BWA. UA’s next two home opponents, Ole Miss and Florida, won in their last visits to BWA.
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 (436 of 1,257) and 36 percent of the team’s rebounds (191 of 525) 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 fourth-toughest schedule in the nation while Arkansas’ slate is rated the sixth-most difficult. Tennessee’s schedule is next in the SEC at No. 8 followed by Georgia at No. 36.
…In the loss to South Carolina, UA’s 23-point first half was its lowest scoring half since the second half of the 73-55 loss at Auburn on Feb. 2, 2000, when the Hogs were outscored 39-16.
…In the last two games, Brandon Dean has made 15 of 23 shots (.652) while the rest of the team is a combined 26 of 78 (.333).
…Dionisio Gomez did not score against South Carolina, just the second game this season he failed to score in (SWT, Dec. 4). Last year, he failed to score in seven contests.
…When true freshman J.J. Sullinger reaches double figures in scoring, the Hogs are 8-2.
…Over the last three games, J.J. Sullinger is just three of 14 from the field (.214) and averaging 3.0 points a game.
…Although he’s 0-2 over the last two games, redshirt freshman Michael Jones is shooting 50 percent from the field (22-44) and 78.6 percent at the line (11-14).
…T.J. Cleveland has three-point buckets in back-to-back games for the first time this year and the first time since the LSU and South Carolina games of last year. He had a trey in six straight games early last season.
…When Teddy Gipson hits a three-pointer, Arkansas is 7-2 this year.
…When T.J. Cleveland makes three or more steals in a game, UA is 5-0 this season.
…Arkansas is 32-10 when Brandon Dean scores in double figures.
…Alonzo Lane has made 50 percent of his shots, or better, in 48 of 80 games. …Of Charles Tatum’s 95 career field goals, 59 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 eight three-pointers against South Carolina, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 446 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 510 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
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)
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.