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 507-202 (.715). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 388-165 (.702).
THE TENNESSEE SERIES: Arkansas leads the all-time series 9-6 but Tennessee has a 4-1 edge in Knoxville. UA leads 4-1 in Fayetteville and 4-1 at neutral sites. Arkansas has won three of the last four. UA’s only win in Knoxville came in 1993-94, 65-64. UT has won the last two in Knoxville, 74-71 in 1997-98 and 73-66 in 1999-00.
OLE MISS RECAP: Ole Miss built an 18-point halftime lead and withstood an Arkansas rally as the Rebels posted a 79-67 victory on Wednesday. Arkansas’ pressure defense helped the Razorbacks get within 46-40 after trailing 44-26 at the break, but Justin Reed scored seven straight points in a 48-second span to put the Rebels back in control. Ole Miss shot 53.8 percent for the game while UA shot 47.3 percent, but the Razorbacks made five more shots than the Rebels (26-21). The Hogs also outrebounded Ole Miss, 28-27, and forced 17 turnovers while losing the ball 14 times, but Ole Miss won the game at the free throw line where the Rebels were 28 of 34 while Arkansas was just eight of 15 at the stripe. Jannero Pargo led Arkansas with 19 points while J.J. Sullinger had 16 points and five rebounds. Brandon Dean added 14 points. Aaron Harper led Ole Miss with 26 points.
QB TO POWER FORWARD: Freshman Matt Jones, a quarterback on the Razorback football team, made his first start, in football or basketball, at Ole Miss and played a season-high 14 minutes. The 14 minutes are nine more than he had played for the year prior to the game in Oxford. He made three of five shots and scored seven points to go with three rebounds and a blocked shot. He had scored two buckets in his three previous appearances, both on dunks. In starting, he became the 13th different Razorback to start a game this season and gave the Hogs their 12th different starting combination.
DEAN RECOVERED?: Senior guard Brandon Dean was having the best year of his career through the Ole Miss game in Fayetteville on Jan. 19. With less than two minutes to play, he was fouled on a breakaway layup and suffered a sprained right knee and a bone bruise. Although he did not miss a game, he was just eight of 26 (.308) and averaged 5.5 points over the next four games. In Saturday’s loss at Ole Miss, he returned to his old form, scoring 14 points on six of 10 shooting and added three rebounds and two assists.
J.J.’s JOURNEY: True freshman J.J. Sullinger got off to a great start for Arkansas, scoring in double figures in 10 of the first 13 games of the season, but went through a difficult stretch at the beginning of SEC play, scoring a total of 23 points over a five-game stretch. He has rebounded to reach double digits in three of the last four games after scoring 16 points on six of nine shooting at Ole Miss, and leading the club with five rebounds. He scored 14 points and had all five boards in the second period. Over the last four games, he’s made 14 of 29 shots (.483) and is averaging 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
30-POINT POTENTIAL: Senior Jannero Pargo, Sports Illustrated’s national Player of the Week two weeks ago 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 Deleware State in 1994.
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. Clint McDaneil, ’93-95 87
5. Clint McDaniel, ’93-95 226 3. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 85
6. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 218
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. Scotty Thurman, ’93-95 107
10. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 270 4. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 103
UA AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: UA is 2-4 against ranked opponents this year, beating then-No. 4 Florida, 94-92 in overtime, losing to then-No. 5 Illinois in Chicago, 94-91, losing to then-No. 6 Oklahoma State, 85-76 in Little Rock, losing at then-No. 7 Alabama, 109-94, losing at then-No. 15 Georgia, 81-67, and beating then-No. 22 Mississippi State, 75-64.
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 24th on the list with 1,054 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. Tommy Boyer 1961-63 1,067
24. Brandon Dean 1999-02 1,054
25. Jerry Carlton 1960-62 1,042
26. Robert McKenzie 1968-70 1,006
Teddy Gipson 1999-02 946
HOGS PLAYED SECOND-TOUGHEST SLATE: Arkansas has played the second-toughest schedule in the country, according to CollegeRPI.com. In other rankings, UA is No. 49 in the Sagarin Rankings, which ranks eighth in the league, and No. 24 in the College.RPI.com poll, which ranks sixth in the conference.
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. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 .429
3. Todd Day, 1989-92 226 3. Todd Day, 1989-92 588 3. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 .424
4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 218 4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 514 4. Al Dillard, 1994-95 .401
5. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 149 5. Kareem Reid, 1996-92 406 5. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 .400
6. Al Dillard, 1994-95 138 6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 394 6. Todd Day, 1989-92 .384
7. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 136 7. Tarik Wallace, 1997-98 375
8. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 347
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, 41 percent of UA’s points (700 of 1,705) and 40 percent of the team’s rebounds (272 of 679) are coming off the bench. The highest bench totals came against No. 7 Alabama when UA’s reserves scored 85 of the team’s 94 points and had 23 of the team’s 39 rebounds.
…Jannero Pargo shoots better and scores more points in the second half of games than he does in the first half. For the year, he’s averaging 17.8 points while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor 135-288), including 44.2 percent from three-point (76-172). In the second half, he’s averaging 10.2 points with percentages of 48.3 (73-151) and 46.2 (43-93), respectively.
…Over the last five games, Jannero Pargo is averaging 23.4 points and shooting 53.7 percent from three-point range (22-41) while Michael Jones is second in scoring over that stretch, averaging 11.0 points and shooting 50 percent from the floor (16-32).
…Dionisio Gomez had a career-high matching four assists at Ole Miss.
…In UA’s 10 losses, opponents are 235 of 316 (.744) at the free throw line while the Hogs are 128 of 214 (.598). In UA’s 12 wins, opponents are 194 of 310 (.626) while the Razorbacks are 177 of 273 (.648).
…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 6-1 this season.
…Arkansas is 32-12 when Brandon Dean scores in double figures.
…Alonzo Lane has made 50 percent of his shots, or better, in 50 of 85 games.
…Of Charles Tatum’s 101 career field goals, 63 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 seven three-pointers against Ole Miss, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 452 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 516 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, Jones, Lane
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)
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)
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.