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Preview and Gamethread: WKU vs. Arkansas

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We got a battle of NBA ready centers today!

We got a battle of the bigs today in Bud Walton as Daniel Gafford goes up against Charles Bassey. Both are in the top-3 for centers for the upcoming NBA Draft so this matchup should be an interesting one. For the rest of the teams, Arkansas is favorted but this Western Kentucky team will probably be the toughest mid-major they face this year. They’ve gone 0-3 in true road games this year but were able to beat West Virginia on a neutral court.

Bassey is the headliner but DeSean Murray is another name Hog fans might know. He played for Auburn last season and averaged nine points and six rebounds in their two meetings last year, but only scored three in the matchup at Bud Walton. Their leading scorer is Taveion Hollingsworth, who can light it up from deep, hitting 46% from there on the year and is coming of a 24 point game against Missouri State.

Both teams shoot the ball pretty well from outside, and with their defensive anchors, both block a ton of shots. Despite their very different styles and pace the two teams mirror each other in a lot of statistical categories. For Arkansas, there is a big advantage to be had in the turnover department. Josh Anderson and Hollingsworth handle the ball most often and they average over five turnovers per game combined. They can get stagnant on offense and they have one of the worst assist to turnover rates in D1.