Another tough road loss for the Razorbacks on Wednesday night sets the stage for Arkansas’ second road game of the week, this one in Gainesville, Fla., against the Florida Gators at 7 p.m. central from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Arkansas (12-5, 2-2 SEC) has not lost back-to-back games this season, but this is the first time the Hogs have to earn a win on the road in order to keep that stat active. The Razorbacks played much better at South Carolina than they had in their previous two true road contests proving that they are growing as a team with several very young parts.
Sophomore Marshawn Powell is returning to the form that made him a preseason all-conference pick after four consecutive double digit efforts including a season best 21 against South Carolina. Powell was 7-of-11 from the floor in the game and since SEC play began, the 6-7 forward has improved his points per game from 7.7 to 10.3. In four SEC games, the Newport News, Va., native is averaging 16.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. His 16.8 points per game average ranks tied for 10th in SEC only games.
Florida is going to have a quick turnaround when it faces Arkansas on Saturday. The Gators take on Auburn in Auburn, Ala., on Thursday night, then must return to Gainesville to play the Razorbacks 49 hours after the tip of the Auburn contest. The Gators do have some depth on the roster although just five players are averaging more than 18 minutes per game. Erving Walker is having a tremendous season for the Gators as he averages 14.5 points and 2.9 rebounds while hitting 44 percent of his three-point shots. Florida is also blessed with a senior laden front court in Alex Tyus, Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin. The trio account for more than 30 points and 18 rebounds per game.
The Arkansas-Florida game will be broadcast on the radio across the Razorback Sports Network from IMG College with Chuck Barrett and Rick Schaeffer giving the call. The game will also be carried live on TV by Fox Sports Net with Dave Neal and Mark Wise calling the action.
Following the contest with South Carolina, Arkansas returns to Bud Walton Arena for the first time in more than a week to play the Auburn Tigers in a late, 8 p.m. tip on Tuesday, Jan. 25.