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Preview and Thread: Hogs Take On Troy in Little Rock

They will play in front of a sold out crowd.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Arkansas Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

No TV for this one, so you’ll just have to follow along on the radio, social media, or carrier pigeon. Arkansas will take on Troy in front of a sold out crowd in Little Rock.

More On Troy

The Trojans come in with a 5-5 record and played Kentucky to a single digit loss. However, that’s really the only team the Trojans have played with a pulse. Aside from the Wildcats, their second best opponent was...UAB? Hawaii? Point is that Troy has an average record against a below average slate of teams. If it’s a close game, its proof the Little Rock curse is alive and real.

Projected Starting 5

Wesley Person is Troy’s leading scorer and he knows how to get buckets. He’s shooting over 49% overall and over 46% from three. He and Jordon Varnardo (you may remember his shot blocking brother at Mississippi State) have been a formidable duo, but Varnardo has missed the last four games with a stress fracture. He could be back but is not projected to start. If he does play it will be interesting to see how he stacks up against Arkansas’ bigs because they will be at a huge disadvantage if he’s out.

3 Key Stats

After a surprisingly solid rebounding start, the Hogs have somewhat fallen off. The Hogs are playing another poor rebounding team and have a chance to really help their numbers, especially if Vanardo is limited. That will be important because both teams have been very effective scorers.

The main difference here comes in pace. While two seconds of average possession length may seem like a lot, it shows a huge range. Troy will attempt to slow the game into the 70s. They were pretty successful against Kentucky and kept it low scoring for a while before the Wildcats’ athleticism took over. Arkansas will want their athletes to take control sooner than UK did.