clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arkansas vs Samford Preview

Breaking down the first game of the year!

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Regular season basketball is back at Bud Walton Arena and the Hogs have not booked a pushover. Now it’s time to see how far Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon can lead the team without Moses Kingsley and Dusty Hannahs. Arkansas will be a little short handed to start with suspensions and injuries to Arlando Cook, Dustin Thomas, and Khalil Garland. They still will be a big favorite in the game, KenPom expects the Hogs to win by around 10 points. Don’t sleep on the Bulldogs in this one though.

So Who is Samford?

Samford finished last year 20-16 and played in the CIT. That doesn’t bounce off the page, but Samford is bringing back practically everyone. They’re led by Scott Padgett, which may bring up some rough memories for fans who were at the 1999 SEC Championship. The thing they hang their hat on is three point shooting, they were one of the best shooting teams in D1 last year, that could make them a dangerous team if hitting from deep. Arkansas will have the clear advantage in size and athleticism though.

Who’s Starting?

Things could change for Arkansas but this was the starting five in the two exhibition games but we’re going with it. Starting all three of Barford, Beard, and Macon sacrifices some size but has a ton of speed. The Hogs are definitely going to be looking to find one of the three with a quick outlet or just get the steal in the backcourt.

All five of Samford’s starters from last year are back, as is their sixth man from last year Josh Sarkey. Sarkey started in their exhibition games this year and last year was 4th on the team in points and 2nd in assists. The other name to look out for is Wyatt Walker who was named preseason All-SoCon.

3 Key Stats

(Stats for the first few games will be from previous season)

The big advantage for Samford is the three point shooting. They were one of the best in the country in shooting and they were led by Demetrius Denzel-Dyson who shot over 45% from three. Arkansas will need someone (hopefully CJ Jones) to help replace some of the shooting lost by Hannahs.

The turnover percentage and block percentage shows how big of an advantage the Hogs have in the athleticism department. Although a lot of the blocks last year came from Kingsley, Gafford is an excellent defender in his own right. Arkansas should also be loving Samford’s poor turnover percentage rate. I would expect Barford and Beard to combine for five or more steals.

Overall there are some dangerous parts of this Samford team, and they won’t back down from the challenge. Last year they put up a real fight against Florida State. I’d expect Samford to keep things close but the Hogs athleticism allows them to pull away late for a 10-15 point win.