FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas men’s basketball team has won three straight games after taking down Seton Hall in the first game of the DirecTV SEC-Big East Invitational last Wednesday, but a week off from competition due to finals has the Razorbacks eager to step back on the court for a matchup with Mississippi Valley State at Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday night, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m.
Arkansas (6-1) is off to its best start since opening 12-1 during the 2008-09 season and already have quality wins over the Big East’s Seton Hall and the Big 12’s Oklahoma. The Razorbacks are getting it done on both ends of the floor, but it has been the improved defense of the Razorbacks that has most people talking. The Hogs have forced 130 turnovers this year and converted that into easy buckets while the tandem of Delvon Johnson and Glenn Bryant down low has accounted for 47 of Arkansas’ SEC leading 56 blocked shots.
Speaking of Johnson, the 6-9 forward continues to be Arkansas’ most improved player on the court as he averages nearly a double-double with 11.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Johnson has 29 blocked shots this year, a total that places him among the top 10 nationally and the senior is also hitting 58 percent of his shots. Junior Rotnei Clarke is also performing well for the Razorbacks with a 15.7 points-per-game average and 24 three-point field goals.
Mississippi Valley State (1-7) enters Wednesday’s game after a tough stretch that saw it lose to Butler, 91-71, on Saturday, then come back with a Monday night loss at Ole Miss. The Delta Devils could come into the game tired after the stretch, but did get nearly two weeks off from competition prior to the Butler matchup.
The Arkansas-Mississippi Valley State game will be broadcast on the radio across the state of Arkansas on the Razorback Sports Network from IMG College with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer giving the call. Barrett is in his first season as the play-by-play voice of the Razorbacks, replacing the legendary Mike Nail who held the position for 29 years. The game will also be carried live on the Razorbacks Sports Network with Scott Inman and Jimmy Dykes getting the call.
Following the contest with Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas heads to Dallas, Texas, to play Texas A&M in the Showcase on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m.