THE GAME: Arkansas and Southwest Texas State meet for the first time Tuesday in a game televised by ARSN.
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 SID Rick Schaeffer is filling in for Joe Kleine as 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 498-194 (.720). In 16-plus years at Arkansas, he is 379-157 (.707).
THE SWT SERIES: This is the first meeting between the two schools.
NUTT REUNION: Southwest Texas is coached by Dennis Nutt, who is in his second season after going 13-15 last year, including a 10-10, seventh-place finish in the Southland Conference. Dennis is the brother of UA head football coach Houston and assistant football coach Danny, and of Arkansas State head basketball coach Dickey. He was an assistant under Dickey for five years before moving to SWT. Prior to working at ASU, he was the head coach at Westark CC, going 65-26 from 1991-95.
OU RECAP: Arkansas shot 39 percent from the floor and Oklahoma pounded the boards for a 42-24 rebounding advantage as the Sooners claimed a 69-54 victory in Bud Walton Arena on Friday. OU had 18 offensive rebounds, scoring 20 points off those second chances. Ebi Ere led Oklahoma with a game-high 29 points on 10 of 14 shooting. Hollis Price added 15 points. No Razorback scored in double figures. Dionisio Gomez was the lone bright spot with eight points and 11 rebounds. He was three of five shooting. Brandon Dean also scored eight points.
GOMEZ GRABBING BOARDS: Senior Dionisio Gomez has been in double figures rebounding in the last two games and in three of the last four. Entering the year, he had reached double figures just once. For the year, Gomez is averaging 9.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game. He is also 20 of 28 from the field for a team-high shooting percentage of .714. Entering the year, he was averaging 2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while shooting 38 percent from the field. He recorded career highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win at Tulsa, which also marked the first double-double of his career. Gomez also leads the team with 10 steals, three blocked shots and134 minutes played, and is tied for second with 10 assists.
SINGLE-DIGIT LEADING SCORER: Dionisio Gomez and Brandon Dean led Arkansas in scoring with eight points each against Oklahoma. The game marked the first time in 516 games the Razorbacks failed to have a player reach double digits in scoring. The last time that happened was Jan. 29, 1986, when Arkansas lost at Texas A&M, 81-67. Mike Ratliff, Byron Irvin and William Mills all had nine points for Arkansas in that game.
SULLINGER’S SHOTS: Freshman J.J. Sullinger has started the last three games and is shooting 48 percent from the field (13 of 27) while averaging 10.7 points per game. The the first two games of the year, when he came off the bench, he shot 36 percent from the floor (five of 14) and averaged 8.5 points per contest.
JONES MAKES MOST OF TIME: In the 69-54 home loss to Oklahoma on Friday, redshirt freshman Michael Jones played just five minutes but made the most of the opportunity. He matched his time played with five points on two of four shooting, made one of three three-pointers and added one rebound. The five points is a new personal best, topping the four points he had in eight minutes against Maine in the season opener.
THREE-POINT STREAK IN JEOPARDY?: Arkansas has made at least one three-point bucket in 435 consecutive games. That streak was close to ending in Friday’s loss to Oklahoma, but the Razorbacks hit two of 15 attempts to keep it alive. J.J. Sullinger made a trey in the first half and Michael Jones added one in the last few minutes of the game. For the year, Sullinger is just four of 14 from beyond the arc (.286) while Jones made his first ever three in four attempts.
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).
…Dionisio Gomez has had two assists in all five games this season.
…Arkansas had its fewest turnovers of the year against Oklahoma with 11, but the Razorbacks also had their fewest steals of the year (six) and fewest rebounds (24), and tied for the fewest field goals (21) and tied for the fewest three-pointers (two).
…Carl Baker did not play at Tulsa or at home against Oklahoma after spraining his left ankle in practice on Nov. 27.
…Since shooting one of three in the season opener against Maine, Larry Satchell is seven of 12 from the field, 58.3 percent, and averaging 4.8 points a game.
…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 83 of his last 106 free throws (.783).
…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 70 games.
…Of Charles Tatum’s 84 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 two three-pointers against Oklahoma, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 435 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
OU (11-30): Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, 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: 1-0 (Tulsa)
Dean, Pargo, Sullinger, Lane, Gomez: 0-1 (OU)