FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The first basketball schedule of the Stan Heath era at the University of Arkansas has been set and the first-year head coach gets 16 games in Fayetteville plus one in North Little Rock.
UA opens the season Friday, Nov. 22, at home against Jackson State. Following a road game at Oral Roberts on Nov. 26, Arkansas plays seven straight home games with tilts against Tulsa, Nov. 30, Troy State, Dec. 3, Illinois in Alltel Arena in North Little Rock on Dec. 7, Louisiana Tech on Dec. 10, Sam Houston State on Dec. 18, Southwest Texas State on Dec. 21 and Centenary on Dec. 28.
The final two non-conference games are at Oklahoma State on Dec. 30 and at home against Memphis on Jan. 2.
“Ninety percent of our schedule was completed prior to our arrival, but we feel it’s strong and very balanced,” Heath says. “We feel like it will give us credibility in the RPI rankings and that the non-conference portion will prepare us for SEC play.”
The Southeastern Conference slate includes home dates against the other five SEC Western Division teams plus Georgia (Jan. 18), Tennessee (Feb. 12) and Kentucky (Feb. 19) from the Eastern Division.
Arkansas, which was 14-15 overall last year and tied for fourth in the Western Division at 6-10, begins league play Jan. 8 at Alabama. The Hogs are home for the next three, against Auburn (Jan. 11), Georgia and LSU (Jan. 22), before going to Ole Miss on Jan. 25.
After traveling to Florida on Feb. 1, UA plays host to Alabama (Feb. 5), goes to Mississippi State on Feb. 8 and entertains Tennessee. On Feb. 15, Arkansas plays at South Carolina prior to the Kentucky home game.
The Razorbacks play consecutive road games at LSU (Feb. 22) and Vanderbilt (Feb. 26) before playing host to MSU (March 1), going to Auburn (March 5) and closing the regular season at home against Ole Miss (March 8).
The SEC Tournament is March 13-16 in New Orleans, La.
Arkansas’ annual Red-White game is Nov. 1 and the Hogs play two exhibition games, Nov. 6 against Athletes in Action and Nov. 16 against the Midwest All-Stars.
Arkansas returns eight lettermen off last year’s club, including starting forwards Dionisio Gomez and Larry Satchell. Five newcomers, including guards Kendrick Davis and Eric Ferguson, hope to offset the loss of four senior guards.