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PREVIEW: Penn @ Arkansas

NCAA Basketball: Kansas State vs Arkansas Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Penn @ Arkansas Preview

Opponent: Penn Quakers
Date: Sunday, November 28, 2021
Time: 3:00PM CDT
Place: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Arkansas
TV/Streaming: SEC Network
All-Time Series: First Matchup

The Quakers (3-5)

Penn enters Sunday’s matinee contest coming off 5 days of rest, just like Arkansas. The difference is the Penn Quakers played 8 games in the first 14 games of the college basketball season. Road games, home games, and neutral site games. Penn has seen it all in this young season.

The Quakers have had 3 mainstays through 8 games and that is Jordan Dingle, Jonah Charles, and Jelani Williams. The 3 have started every game so far and 3 of the top 4 scorers for Penn. Dingle has been the biggest catalyst on offense for Penn. He even scored 31 on Utah State this year.

Penn is a team that you like to see Arkansas play. They can really shoot it from 3. As a team, they shoot 37.7% from 3. That ranks 68th in the country. They make just shy of 10 threes a game which is 46th in the country. Arkansas really struggled against the 3 early, but shored things up in Kansas City. We’ll see if they can keep that up.

Penn’s 2nd leading scorer, Jonah Charles, does almost all his scoring from beyond the arc. Charles made 29 field goals this season with 25 of those being from deep. He’s attempted just 11 twos this year.

What Penn does not have is size or rebounding. Through 8 games, Penn has allowed more rebounds than they have corralled. That lack of size has played a role in their lack of defense. KenPom ranks Penn 296th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Penn will need to shoot extremely well and limit the 2nd chance points in this game to have a shot.

The Razorbacks (5-0)

While it wasn’t the prettiest basketball we have seen, the Hogs took care of business in Kansas City as they were crowned Hall of Fame Classic Champions. Arkansas shored up the 3-point defense, but the offense seemed to take a step back. The matchups are to blame for part of that. Kansas State and Cincinnati are both teams that can defend really well. They are physical and gave Arkansas something they haven’t seen yet. When you consider most of the Razorback team was dealing with a cold, it explains the poor shooting.

Arkansas should dominate the paint in Sunday’s game. The lack of size and athleticism from Penn will make things a lot easier on the Hogs. It would be really good to see the Hogs win the game running away. A 25+ point win.

That can happen with better point guard play. Eric Musselman is still looking for that position to be solidified. Devo Davis, Chris Lykes, and J.D. Notae have all received opportunities running it. All have done some good and some bad.

Personally, I like what Lykes has brought to the table so far. While his shot selection can be questionable at times, I feel like the Hogs get better shots when he is running it. Muss will continue to tinker and even put people in situations they haven’t performed great in to try and work things out. That is the nature of non-conference play.

Arkansas should win going away on Sunday. Penn may be the weakest opponent Arkansas has played so far.

Prediction: Arkansas 87, Penn 63