FAYETTEVILLE — The 2010-11 University of Arkansas men’s basketball season is upon us and the Razorbacks open the campaign on Thursday night when they take on the Grambling State Tigers at Bud Walton Arena at 7 p.m.
Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey is beginning his fourth season as the head man of the Razorbacks and holds a 51-46 record as Arkansas’ head coach and 131-113 record overall in eight seasons. Pelphrey brings a group of players that has both youth and experience to the floor and if two exhibition games are any indication of what the regular season might be like, then it could be a good time at Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas scored 100-plus points in each of their exhibition games and held its opponents to 42 percent shooting from the floor.
Sophomore Glenn Bryant saw significant playing time during Arkansas’ preseason schedule and capitalized on the opportunity by averaging 13.5 points per contest and seven rebounds. He was 13-17 from the floor including several highlight-reel dunks, but while Arkansas’ scoring was up it was its defense that stood out. Pressure, pressure and more pressure is what the Razorbacks brought against LeMoyne-Owen and Victory, forcing 65 turnovers in two games while stealing 40 balls and outrebounding the opposition by 28.
Grambling (0-2) will have one advantage over Arkansas as the game begins on Thursday and that is that they already have two games under their belts. Grambling opened the season with an 87-52 loss at Baylor before heading down the road to Rice and losing 86-57. The Tigers are shooting just 32 percent from the floor in two games and have 44 turnovers.
The Arkansas-Grambling 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.
Looking past the Grambling State contest, Arkansas has a busy week with games against Florida Gulf Coast, Southeast Missouri State and Alabama-Birmingham on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of Thanksgiving week.