The 2017 basketball season continues to take shape, both in roster and schedule. The latest news is Arkansas' reported opponent in the third annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State will host Arkansas in next year's Big 12/SEC Challenge, sources told @CBSSports.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 23, 2016
This is the third known non-conference game for the Razorbacks next season, along with a road game at Minnesota and a neutral site game against Texas in Houston. Three games against Power 5 teams away from Bud Walton Arena is a good start to a solid non-conference schedule. It remains to be seen who will come to Bud Walton Arena. Hopefully, Arkansas will be able to work out an agreement with some attractive teams.
The Cowboys are coming off an unfortunate 12-20 season that cost Travis Ford his job as their head coach. They were 3-15 in Big 12 play including two losses to the Texas Tech team that Arkansas defeated in last year's SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Oklahoma State finished the season ranked 105 in KenPom (Arkansas was ranked 90) and 180 in RPI (Arkansas was ranked 134).
Their new coach is Brad Underwood, who came to Stillwater from Stephen F. Austin. Their star is sophomore point guard Jawun Evans, who was a McDonald's All-American in high school but his freshman season ended early due to injury in February. He scored 42 points in a two-point loss to Oklahoma and 22 points in an upset win over Kansas.
They didn't have a great recruiting class but they did snag Cameron McGriff, a top-150 small forward whom the Arkansas coaches were hoping would sign with the Razorbacks.
Arkansas lost at Iowa State two years ago and as mentioned, beat Texas Tech in overtime in Bud Walton last year to split their first two SEC/Big 12 Challenge games.
Dates and times have not been set for this year's set of games. Last year they scheduled all 10 games on one Saturday in January, which I felt was much more effective for the whole "challenge" aspect of the event than spreading the games out in December. But we'll see what they do.
Here are this year's games:
Texas at Georgia
Baylor at Ole Miss
Kansas at Kentucky
Texas A&M at West Virginia
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas State at Tennessee
Florida at Oklahoma
Auburn at TCU
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
LSU at Texas Tech