While Arkansas’ non-conference schedule is not complete, the Razorbacks do open Southeastern Conference play on Saturday afternoon when they host the Tennessee Volunteers at Bud Walton Arena with a 12:47 tip time.
Arkansas (10-3) is coming off a tough loss on the road at Texas, but is undefeated at Bud Walton Arena this season. The Razorbacks’ unblemished home record is on the line against a very talented Tennessee squad (10-4) who was ranked among the nation’s top teams just a couple of weeks ago before suffering back-to-back-to-back non-conference defeats.
This is the first time in Arkansas’ 20 years in the SEC that they have opened the conference schedule against Tennessee and just the second time that it has begun the league slate against a team from the Eastern Division.
The Razorbacks must take care of the ball if it hopes to defeat Tennessee on Saturday. In Arkansas’ three losses this year it has averaged more than 18 turnovers per game, compared to just 13 in the 10 wins. Arkansas will also need to develop an inside presence against the Volunteers as the Razorback front court scored just 19 points against the Longhorns.
Tennessee’s starting five is long with four players at 6-6 or better and three of those scoring in double digits led by Scotty Hopson at 16.4 per game. The Vols are averaging better then 75 points per game and are tough on the boards with a positive 6.1 rebounding margin. Two players, Brian Williams (7.9) and Tobias Harris (7.1) are averaging more than seven rebounds per game as the Volunteers crash the glass at every opportunity.
At halftime of Saturday’s game The Skyriders, a trampoline acrobatic group will perform for the fans.
A full slate of SEC games are on tap for Saturday as conference action begins. Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi State host games in the west while Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are the Eastern Division hosts
The Arkansas-Tennessee 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 the SEC Network with Rob Stone, Joe Dean Jr., and George Smith calling the action.
Following the contest with Tennessee, Arkansas goes out on the road to play at LSU in Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.