RADIO/TV INFORMATION: The game is being broadcast on radio over the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network, which includes more than 60 affiliates. Mike Nail is on play-by-play while former Razorback and NBA player Joe Kleine is the analyst. The game is not televised.
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 508-206 (.711). In 17 years at Arkansas, he is 389-169 (.697).
THE VANDERBILT SERIES: Arkansas leads the all-time series 7-6 but the Commodores have won three of the last five, including last year’s meeting in Nashville, Tenn., 81-64. UA leads 5-1 in Fayetteville and 1-0 at neutral sites while Vanderbilt leads 5-1 in Nashville.
MSU RECAP: A pair of 7-0 scoring runs in the second half helped Mississippi State rally by Arkansas for an 89-83 win in Starkville on Wednesday. The first run turned a 72-66 deficit into a 73-72 Bulldog lead while the second secured the win, giving MSU an 83-77 lead with 48 seconds left. UA shot 45.9 percent, it’s best percentage in five games, and scored the most points it’s scored in seven games. Jannero Pargo scored 25 points in the second half and matched his career high with 35 points on 10 of 18 shooting. Brandon Dean had 18 points and Teddy Gipson 12. Mario Austin led MSU with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Marckell Patterson had 21 points.
SENIOR FARWELL: Four Razorbacks are playing their final regular season game in Bud Walton Arena today: guards T.J. Cleveland, Brandon Dean, Teddy Gipson and Jannero Pargo. Cleveland, Dean and Gipson are four-year lettermen and have helped the Hogs go 75-50 over the last four seasons with three NCAA Tournament appearances and an SEC Tournament championship (2000). Pargo is a two-year letterman. Entering the game, Cleveland’s career numbers include 691 points, 242 rebounds, 276 assists and 221 steals in 115 games. Dean has 1,098 points, 282 rebounds, 214 assists and 174 steals in 125 games. Gipson has 964 points, 257 rebounds, 176 assists and 122 steals in 123 games. Pargo has 843 points, 127 rebounds, 159 assists and 93 steals in 58 games.
HOG SCHEDULE TOUGHEST IN NATION: UA has played the toughest schedule in the country, according to CollegeRPI.com. UA is also No. 44 in the College.RPI.com poll.
EDDINS NAMED TO SEC GOOD WORKS TEAM: Junior Blake Eddins has been named to the SEC’s Good Works Team. The Montgomery, Ala., native has played in 25 games this year with two starts and is averaging 1.0 point and 1.1 rebounds. Away from basketball and the classroom, Eddins has participated in various community service projects such as the “Razorback for a Day” program and the “National Student-Athlete Advisory Council,” which shares ideas on ways to improve the student-athlete experience at UA. As vice president of the council, he coordinates visits to retirement centers and the Boy’s and Girl’s Club.
FINAL HOME TILT: In its 10 years in the SEC, Arkansas is 9-1 over that stretch in its final SEC home game. UA’s only loss in its final home game came in 1996 to Alabama, 98-89.
BETTER BAKER: Junior Carl Baker had a solid game at MSU with nine points and a team-high six rebounds, while also adding two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Over the last four games, he’s averaging 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds compared to his season averages of 3.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
MATT’S STATS: Matt Jones has made 50 percent of his shots or better in five of the eight games in which he’s taken a shot. Over the last three games, he’s shooting 52.9 percent (9-17) and averaging 6.0 points and 4.0 rebounds.
PARGO’S 30-POINT GAMES: 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, recorded his fifth 30-point game of the season with his career-high matching 35-point performance at Mississippi State. He is the first Razorback to have five 30-point games in the same season since Todd Day in 1991 with 33 against Alabama-Birmingham, 31 against Jackson State and Alabama, and 30 against Florida State and Houston. Pargo ha5 35 against MSU and then-No. 4 Florida, 33 at then-No. 7 Alabama, 32 against Tennessee-Chattanooga and 30 at Memphis. His efforts against Florida and Alabama came in back-to-back games, making him the first Hog to score 30 points in consecutive contests since Joe Kleine had 32 against Texas and Texas Tech in 1985. The last player to record more than five 30-point games in a season is Kleine with seven in 1985 (41 vs. Iowa State, 37 vs. TCU, 36 and 32 against Texas Tech, 32 vs. Texas and 31 vs. Ohio State). Day is the last player to record a 40-point game with 43 against LSU in 1992. Pargo’s 35-point games are the most for a Razorback since Al Dillard had 39 against Delaware State in 1994.
J.J.’s JOURNEY: True freshman J.J. Sullinger has been in double figures scoring 15 times and currently ranks ninth 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
Pat Bradley 1996 107-256 .418 10.2
J.J. Sullinger 2002 91-216 .421 9.8
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, ’89-92 109
10. T.J. Cleveland, ’89-92 276 4. Scotty Thurman, ’93-95 107
CLOSE CALLS: Arkansas has lost six games this year by six points or less while winning four games by six points or less.
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 T2. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 .424
3. Todd Day, 1989-92 226 3. Todd Day, 1989-92 588 T2. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 .429
4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 218 4. Lee Mayberry, 1989-92 514 4. Al Dillard, 1994-95 .401
5. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 165 5. Brandon Dean, 1989-02 418 5. Pat Bradley, 1996-99 .400
6. Brandon Dean, 1999-02 143 6. Kareem Reid, 1996-92 406 6. Todd Day, 1989-92 .384
7. Al Dillard, 1994-95 138 7. Jannero Pargo, 2001-02 385
8. Tarik Wallace, 1997-98 375
SHOOTING WOES: UA has shot below 40 percent nine times this season, losing seven of those games. For the year, Arkansas is shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. Over the last 10 games, the Razorbacks are shooting only 40.9 percent from the field (252-616). Meanwhile, UA’s opponents are shooting 44.3 percent over that time (241-544).
SCORING DROUGHT: Arkansas has scored less than 70 points 12 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.
AGAINST RANKED TEAMS: UA is 3-5 against ranked teams, 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 then-No. 5 Alabama, 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. 12 Kentucky, 71-58, lost at then-No. 15 Georgia, 81-67, and beat then-No. 22 Mississippi State, 75-64.
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 (810 of 2,029) and 39 percent of the team’s rebounds (328 of 840) 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.
DEAN JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB: Senior Brandon Dean became the 26th Razorback to score 1,000 career points with his 18-point performance against South Carolina on Jan. 16. He already ranks 21st on the list with 1,098 points. Dean entered the year with 775 points.
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
20. Mario Credit 1987-90 1,162
21. Brandon Dean 1999-02 1,098
22. Alvin Robertson 1982-84 1,097
23. James Eldridge 1968-70 1,090
24. Tommy Boyer 1961-63 1,067
25. Jerry Carlton 1960-62 1,042
26. Robert McKenzie 1968-70 1,006
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 13 three-pointers against MSU, the Razorbacks have now made at least one three-pointer in 457 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 521 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
Kentucky (2-23): Tatum, Cleveland, Baker, Lane, Satchell
MSU (2-27): Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Baker, 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: 4-3 (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: 1-1 (Alabama2, Kentucky)
Dean, Pargo, Gipson, Baker, Lane: 0-1 (MSU2)
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.