RADIO: Lady Razorback Radio Network (CST); 6:40 p.m. pregame; 7:00 tipoff
KABZ (103.7 FM), Little Rock (LIVE)
KBNV (90.1 FM), Fayetteville-Springdale (LIVE)
KHOZ (900 AM), Harrison (LIVE)
INTERNET: LADYBACKS.COM; free audio, subscriber live video stream
ARKANSAS LADY RAZORBACKS (16-12, 5-9 t9th SEC)
POSSIBLE STARTERS Last season
F/P 1 Kristin Moore 6-1 JR Chicago, Ill. (John Hope) 7.2 6.6
F 14 Danielle Allen 6-0 SO Harrison, AR (Harrison) 1.1 1.9
G 4 Kristin Peoples 5-7 SO Westerville, OH (Brookhaven) 7.1 2.3 3.0a
G 12 Sheree Thompson 5-10 JR McComb, MS (NW-Shoals)
G 21 Rochelle Vaughn 5-9 JR Plano, TX (Plano West) 8.9 4.3 5.6a
OFF THE BENCH
P 11 Kristina Andjelkovic 6-2 JR Belgrade, Serbia (Chipola JC)
P 55 Ruby Vaden 6-3 JR Osceola, Ark, (High) 11.8 6.5
F 32 Christina Lawrence 6-0 FR Sullivan, MO (High)
F 33 Sarah Pfeifer 6-0 SO Ozark, Ark. (High) 6.7 2.7
G 15 Allison Singleton 5-5 SR Fort Smith, AR (Southside)
G 22 April Seggebruch 5-10 SR Cissna Park, IL (Wabash Valley) 5.1 2.3
G 25 Brittney Vaughn 5-7 FR Plano, TX (Plano West)
G 44 Adrienne Bush 5-8 SR Russellville, AR (High/SMS) 2.9 2.7
ELIGIBLE AT MIDTERM
G/F 23 Melissa Hobbs 6-0 JR Woodward, OK (High/Colo.)
HEAD COACH: Susie Gardner (First year at Arkansas, 16-12; eighth overall, 128-104)
ALABAMA STATE HORNETS (19-9, 15-3 SWAC t1st)
POSSIBLE STARTERS Last Year
F 10 Elma Stevenson 5-9 SO Ft. Lauderdale, FL 1.9 2.4
C 55 Crystal Kitt 6-5 SR Mobile, AL 20.5 11.5
G 1 Latoya Johnson 5-6 SR Jacksonville, FL 10.1 7.1
G 11 Frantina Coleman 5-4 JR Tuskegee, AL 4.2 2.7
G 20 Shantae Robinson 5-5 FR Chicago, IL — —
OFF THE BENCH
G 22 Zakkiyna Freeman 5-8 FR Stone Mountain, GA — —
C 44 Nedra Thomas 6-3 JR Montgomery, AL 0.6 0.2
HEAD COACH: Freda Freeman-Jackson (111-63, 6th season at Alabama State)
ABOUT THE GAME: Arkansas opens its 29th season of women’s basketball with a pair of games this weekend at Bud Walton Arena. The Southwestern Athletic Conference co-champion Alabama State Hornets return three starters from a team that went 19-9 last season for Coach Freda Freeman-Jackson. The Lady’Backs want to get the season off on the right foot this weekend after a disappointing exhibition performance in their last outing. Alabama State won it’s only exhbition without the services of its top returning player.
ABOUT THE LADY RAZORBACKS: Susie Gardner begins her second season at Arkansas with one of the most interesting rosters in the past decade. Arkansas returns four starters from a 16-12 team, and picks up two more potential starters that missed virtually all of 2003-04 with injury. At the same time, the Lady’Backs have only three seniors with a combined varsity experience of a season and a half at Arkansas.
ABOUT THE HORNETS: Under head coach Freda Freeman-Jackson the Hornets have become one of the top teams in the SWAC the past three seasons. Advancing to the NCAA tournament two years ago after winning the SWAC tournament, Alabama State was left out after an upset in the 2004 edition. Three starters return, including all-conference center Crystal Kitt, a 6-5 senior that averaged 20.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg.
NOT YOUR MOTHER’S ALABAMA STATE: Do not confuse Friday’s opponent with the edition of the Hornets that came to Barnhill Arena for the season home opener back in 1991. Coach Freda Freeman-Jackson has turned the Hornets into the power of the SWAC, taking three straight league titles and advancing to the NCAA tournament in two of the past three seasons.
THAT WAS A HISTORIC GAME: Alabama State was the first opponent for Arkansas in its series of Dial Classic tournaments hosted from 1991 to 1998.
CLASS OF THE SWAC: Aside from the three league titles, Alabama State comes to Fayetteville with the returning SWAC player of the year in Crystal Kitt and the SWAC newcomer of the year with senior guard Latoya Johnson.
ARKANSAS IN OPENERS: Overall, Arkansas is tough in its first game, posting an 22-6 mark in the first contest of the year. The probability of Arkansas victory jumps dramatically when the season opener is the home opener — in 28 years, the Lady’Backs have never lost the season home opener when it was the first game of the year.
GOING FOR 20 STRAIGHT: For the home opener, Arkansas is 27-1 all-time and brings a 19-year streak into Friday’s game, winning every home opener in school history except one — the 1982-83 game against defending national champion and #2 ranked Louisiana Tech. Arkansas dropped that one 75-52 to also stop the school’s home win streak of 21 consecutive.
NOT LOOKING AHEAD, BUT QUICK TURN: Arkansas has practice Saturday morning at Walton Arena to prep for the Centenary Ladies at 2 p.m. Sunday, less than 36 hours away from the Friday opener.
INTERESTING EXHIBITIONS FOR BOTH TEAMS: Arkansas struggled from the field against Athletes in Action, hitting only 28.8% overall and 33% from behind the arc in a disappointing 62-57 loss. Alabama State beat Division II Stillman, 67-40, without it’s top player due to a flagrant foul ejection from the game.
LAST GAME FOR ALABAMA STATE: Zakkiyna Freeman led the Hornets with 14 points as defense drove Alabama State to a 67-40 exhibition win on Monday night. Latoya Johnson had 12 and Nedra Thomas and Elma Stevenson combined for 11 points and 13 rebounds inside with Crystal Kitt ejected from the game.
LAST GAME FOR ARKANSAS: The Lady’Backs had the defense rolling part of the game, forcing 27 turnovers, but could not jump start its jump shot as a 28.8% field goal night spelled a 62-57 defeat to AIA. April Seggebruch came off the bench to score 17 points, mostly from behind the arc on 4-of-7.
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR TURNOVERS? The concession stand might want to have milk rather than soda ready as Alabama State and Arkansas could open up a bakery Friday with the potential turnovers. The Hornets forced 43 turnovers out of Stillman in their exhibition game resulting in 33 of ASU’s 67 points. Arkansas got 27 turnovers from AIA leading to 24 of its 57 points.
TITANS IN THE LANE, MAYBE: Arkansas hopes to see more time from 6-3 preseason all-SEC post player Ruby Vaden. Vaden has been limited in playing time with her comeback from preseason knee surgery to a total of 13 minutes. Alabama State certainly thought its 6-5 all-SWAC senior center Crystal Kitt would be a factor in the preseason, but she left the Stillman game halfway through the first half after a flagrant foul.
NOT EXACTLY OFFENSIVE EXHIBITIONS: Alabama State shot only 37 percent from the floor against Stillman and Arkansas went 28.8% with AIA.
TREYS AWAY: Both teams’ leading scorers in their recent exhibitions hit 4-of-7 from behind the arc — 17 for April Seggebruch off the bench for Arkansas and 14 points from Zakkiyna Freeman of ASU.
TRIPLE IN SIGHT: Rochelle Vaughn got within striking distance of a triple-double in the Athletes in Action game, hitting 10 points with eight rebounds and six assists. She hit the eight rebound mark midway through the second half, making it seem she’d at least come away with the double. For her career, Vaughn has a double-double with points and assists, but has not had the rebound double. She had 11 points with 10 assists in last year’s win over Georgia.
SHOULDER LIMITS PFEIFER’S TIME: Redshirt sophomore Sarah Pfeifer is having trouble with her non-surgery shoulder, and the staff plans to limit her practice contact to enhance her playing time over the next weeks.
A FLASH OF PRESSURE: Arkansas went on a 8-2 run against Everyone’s Internet thanks to four steal and layup plays by guards Sheree Thompson and Adrienne Bush, three of them consecutive. Thompson and Bush each had a pick and finger roll off the EV1 guards that put Arkansas in the lead by nine, 27-18, in the first half.
GOING DEEP: Susie Gardner had only one player touch the 30-minute mark against Everyone’s Internet (Sheree Thompson) and 11 players saw time in the first exhibition game. Nine of the 11 played double-digit minutes, and if Ruby Vaden was further along (training room limited to five or less game minutes) it would be reasonable to think 10 players would have had 10 or more.
REMEMBER, HOBBS ON ICE UNTIL DECEMBER: The Red-White Game was the last time fans will see Melissa Hobbs on the court until the Louisiana-Lafayette game on Dec. 16. The midterm transfer from Colorado is eligible after the end of the fall semester.
A ONE-TWO COMBO AT FOUR: Sarah Pfeifer came off the bench to score 17 points with seven rebounds against Everyone’s Internet as Danielle Allen had eight points and eight rebounds as the starter. The pair of sophomores could become a dynamic duo at the high post this season. In the Red-White Game, scoring was reversed with Allen turning in 23 points and Pfeifer had 12.
IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: It’s preseason, but Susie Gardner’s already had a post-game gem. Speaking about the change in leading scorers from Red-White to Everyone’s Internet, the Lady’Back coach said she was excited about the team nature of this year’s offense. "It’s like coming to a surprise birthday party and you’re not really sure who will be there."
SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE — STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE TOP 20: Arkansas‘ schedule gets the #19 spot on the preseason RPI strength of schedule issued by Rich Summerville and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. Summerville’s RPI — considered for years one of the most accurate predictors of the NCAA committee’s own rating percentage index — has Arkansas at 19th thanks in part to the Lady’Backs facing the No. 1 RPI Tennessee Lady Vols and the #7 RPI LSU Tigers twice this season. In fact, half of the SEC is in the top 25: 1) UT, 5) Florida, 7) LSU, 9) Auburn, 18) Miss State, 19) Arkansas, 25) Alabama. Rounding out the league: 31) Vanderbilt, 37) Georgia, 39) Ole Miss, 48) South Carolina, 54) Kentucky.
STATISTICAL ANOMALY YOU NEED TO KNOW ON RED-WHITE BOX: No, Danielle Allen did not play 39 minutes, nor Melissa Hobbs 40. The Red-White Game was only 30 minutes total — two 15 minute halves — but to allow the computer program to close out the box score it was necessary to add minutes across the board to create a team total of 200 (a regular 40-minute game times the five players on the court).
PROFOUND DANIELLE ALLEN RED-WHITE NOTE: As a freshman, Danielle Allen scored 30 points in 27 games played. In the Red-White, the 6-0 sophomore had 23 points and 12 rebounds.
TREYS AWAY: Arkansas sent up a combined 33 three-pointers in the Red-White Game, hitting 11 for a solid 33% (Red, 4-of-11; White, 7-of-22). April Seggebruch led the way with 6-of-12.
TRIPLE PLAY TREYS: April Seggebruch gave the White team a nine-point rally toward the close of the first half with three consecutive three-pointers to bring White back from a 12-point early deficit.
PFEIFER, ALLEN LEAD AT THE LINE: After a rough year as a team at the free throw line, one of the encouraging stats after Red-White were the team percentages. Red hit 13-of-16 led by Danielle Allen’s 7-of-9 while White had 6-of-8 — all belonging to Sarah Pfeifer.
VADEN VOTED PRESEASON ALL-SEC: Junior post Ruby Vaden was voted second team all-SEC in the first-ever SEC preseason all-conference team. Voted on by the coaches prior to the start of the annual media day, Vaden was one of 17 players named to the preseason squad.
PRESEASON SEC POLL HAS ARKANSAS TIED FOR NINTH: The Lady Razorbacks were voted ninth in the preseason media poll conducted at the annual SEC Media Days. There were 11 media voters that gave both Arkansas and Alabama 101 points each in the balloting. Tennessee was the near-consensus pick at No. 1 with nine first place votes and 13 overall. LSU had the other two first place votes and 23. Vanderbilt was third, Georgia fourth, Auburn fifth and Florida sixth. Ole Miss and Miss State tied for seventh at 80 each. Kentucky and South Carolina rounded out the poll.
PRACTICE SCHEDULE FOR THE FALL SEMESTER: Practice is set for 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. for the first weeks of practice, Tuesday is the off day.
SMALLER, FASTER LADY’BACKS: Expect an emphasis on the open court this season from Arkansas, starting with preseason practices. Susie Gardner indicated the team will press more this year, and might start practice sessions working defense first to take advantage of the team’s enhanced conditioning and 14-player roster.
HOME SWEET HOME: After a year that was dominated by the road — one game in Fayetteville for almost the entire fall 2003 portion of the schedule — Arkansas enjoys a home-dominated pre-conference schedule for 2004-05. After preseason games with Everyone’s Internet and Athletes in Action, Arkansas hosts a pair of games at Walton Arena to begin the year. Arkansas opens with Alabama State on Nov. 19, then hosts Centenary on Nov. 21. The Lady’Backs have only two road trips before Christmas — at the Flint Resources Islander Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, for a Thanksgiving tournament then at Memphis on Dec. 7. That’s nothing like last year’s road warrior slate that racked up six road trips and five-figure frequent flyer miles.
KEEP YOUR CH(K)RISTINA’S STRAIGHT: Joining Arkansas’ Kristins are a pair of Christina’s — two-sport freshman Christina Lawrence and junior college transfer Kristina Andjelkovic. While the first names sound the same, take a little time to work on your Serbian — an-JELL-koh-VITCH.
SEPARATE YOUR VAUGHNS: Sisters Rochelle and Brittney Vaughn suit up for the Lady Razorbacks this season, and while freshman Brittney is wearing her junior sister Rochelle’s rookie season number (25) they are very different personalities on and off the court.
HOW MANY STARTERS? A pretty good argument can be made for five returning starters with redshirt sophomore Sarah Pfeifer back on the hardwood after her season-ending shoulder injury. The 6-0 forward started the first three games of her shortened first sophomore year, and when the partial game with Oregon State is factored out (only two points in 14 minutes) Pfeifer is one of the top returning scorers with 10 ppg.
BRERETON SIGNS WITH LADY’BACKS: Angleton, Texas, guard-forward Ayana Brereton has signed her National Letter of Intent to play women’s basketball at the University of Arkansas. Considered one of the top basketball athletes in the state of Texas, the 5-10 swing forward is ranked 14th among all Texas seniors according TexasHoops.com, she was one of three top 20 players to leave the state of Texas according to the recruiting website. She helped lead Angleton to the regional quarterfinals last season and a 26-5 record for head coach Melissa Hernandez. Her AAU team, the Houston Hotshots, came home this summer with a pair of national trophies, the 2004 BCI national championship and the AAU national championship runners-up. Brereton averaged 15 ppg and 7.8 rpg at forward for the Ladycats as a junior. Her sophomore season she averaged 13.7 ppg, 7 rpg and 2.4 steals as the Ladycats went 30-4 in 2003, captured the district championship and reached the state semifinals She was a double-digit scorer even as a freshman with 10 ppg and 6.3 rpg in 2002 for another state semifinal finish by the Ladycats. The most valuable player for Brazoria County last season, Brereton is a two-time District 24-4A defensive player of the year and three-time all-district. The district’s newcomer of the year her freshman season, she’s also a three-time academic all-district selection. Named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association 2004 all-state team and second-team all-state by the TABC as a junior, she’s a three-time all-region pick by TABC. Great two-sport athlete, Brereton was the Region III 4-A runner-up in both long jump and triple jump last year, and posted junior season bests of 18-7 _ for the long and 40-4 ¬ for the triple jump. At the UIL state meet, she was the state runner-up in the triple jump and third in the long. One of only two athletes to break the 40-foot mark at the state meet in the triple, it looked like Brereton had the state title until she was passed on the second-to-last round. Her triple jump best improved two feet last season, and she heads into the spring as one of the favorites to take the state triple jump title for Class AAAA.
JONES MAKES IT TWO SIGNEES FOR EARLY PERIOD: Blytheville forward Whitney Jones signed with Arkansas on the final day of the early signing period. The 6-0 forward joins 5-10 swing guard Ayana Brereton of Angleton, Texas, in Gardner‘s 2005 recruiting class. Averaging 21 ppg in the first games of her senior season, Jones turned in 17 ppg and 11 rpg as a junior for head coach Melissa Young at Blytheville. Jones comes from an athletic family, and becomes the first daughter of a Lady Razorback to sign at Arkansas in women’s basketball. Her mother, Diann Ousley Jones, was the first track and field national champion for the Lady’Backs, taking the national indoor 600-yard championship in 1979. Her mark of 1:21.22 remains the school record for the retired event. Jones’ oldest sister, Wendlyn, played in the Final Four last season for LSU and is a returning junior starter for the second-ranked Lady Tigers. Sister Audrey currently plays for Xavier of New Orleans. Jones ran track her sophomore season for the Chickasaws, finishing third in the 100 meters at the Eastern Conference meet in 2003.
NEXT LUNCHEON NOV. 22: Susie Gardner hosts the Lady’Back basketball luncheons at the Clarion Inn in Fayetteville (I-540, exit 62). Luncheons are $8.50, and start at 11:30 a.m. The luncheons will be on Mondays during the season this year. Coach Gardner and the staff invites you out to learn more about the team.
IT’S ON LADYBACKS.COM: Video highlights from each pre-game press conference, after each game at Walton Arena and clips from the coaches’ luncheons can be viewed daily at LADYBACKS.COM. The premium video content is free during this first season of the new and improved LADYBACKS.COM for our ALL-ACCESS subscribers. We encourage media to sign up for the ALL-ACCESS package and to utilize the posted clips and quotes.
PHOTO PLATFORM ACCESS VIA LADYBACKS.COM: Media needing high resolution images — action and mug shots — of Lady Razorback athletes can download them via LADYBACKS.COM. Please contact Bill Smith or any member of the Women’s Communication Office for instructions on how to access the high resolution (1.5 – 2.0 mb) versions of all website images.
LADY RAZORBACK TV: The Women’s Athletics Department begins its second season with a department-wide television magazine hosted by the Lady Razorback head coaches. The show airs across the state at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Lady Razorback TV airs in northwest Arkansas on KPBI, Fox 46-15, and in Little Rock on KYPX, the Pax television affiliate. The show re-airs on Sunday mornings in northwest Arkansas on KFDF, UPN, at 11:00 a.m and in central Arkansas on KYPX, the Pax television affiliate, a 11:30 p.m. Lady Razorback TV is brought to you by Adidas, Tyson, CRI and the Lady Razorback Foundation.
TURN YOUR RADIO ON: Welcome back to the Lady Razorback Radio Network for the 16th consecutive season. All Arkansas women’s basketball games are broadcast home and road over the statewide LRRN, as well as on the internet via LADYBACKS.COM. Making his debut this season as the play-by-play voice of the Lady Razorbacks is Preston Lewis. Returning for his 16th year of color for the Lady’Backs is Bill Smith.
KBNV 90.1 FM Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers/Bentonville
KABZ 103.7 FM Little Rock/Central Arkansas
KHOZ 900 AM Harrison
Check your local affiliate for updates on start times or occasional tape delays for local programing.