Arkansas went 2-0 last week with wins over Oklahoma and Troy, but now has a different challenge as it must leave the friendly confines of Arkansas for the first time to play Big East opponent Seton Hall in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday night, Dec. 8. The Arkansas-Seton Hall contest is a part of the DIRECTV SEC/Big East Invitational and features the Razorbacks and Pirates as well as Kentucky and Notre Dame in a night cap. Both games will be played at Louisville’s famed Freedom Hall.
The Razorback (5-1) are off to their best start since the 2008-09 season when they opened 12-1 and hove only an overtime blemish on their record this fall. The Hogs are winning thanks to tough defensive play and a blossoming inside game with senior Delvon Johnson who has solidified the five spot on the floor and recorded his second double-double of the season against Troy. The Razorbacks’ defensive pressure this season has forced 118 turnovers in six games (19.7 per game) and Arkansas has capitalized on that by scoring 146 points off the opponent miscues.
Seton Hall (3-3) may not have the best record that Arkansas has faced this season, but is a stout opponent for the Razorbacks. The Pirates have already defeated Alabama, 83-78, at the U.S. Virgin islands Paradise Jam, and also have a win over Cornell and most recently, 69-49, over St. Peter’s. Seton Hall losses have come at Temple to open the year and against Xavier and Clemson in the Virgin Islands. Seton Hall is beginning to re-tool their approach to games as it lost leading scorer Jeremy Hazell to season-ending surgery because of a broken wrist and has not played since Nov. 29 giving the Pirates a solid eight-day break from competition to prepare for Wednesday night’s clash.
The Arkansas-Seton Hall 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 ESPN2 with Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes getting the call.
Following the contest with Seton Hall, Arkansas gets a break for finals before returning to the court on Wednesday, Dec. 15, for a game with Mississippi Valley State at Bud Walton Arena beginning at 7 p.m.