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PREVIEW: Charlotte @ Arkansas

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NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Little Rock at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte @ #12 Arkansas Preview

Opponent: Charlotte 49ers
Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Time: 8:00PM CDT
Place: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Arkansas
TV/Streaming: SEC Network
All-Time Series: Arkansas leads 1-0
All-Time Series in Fayetteville: Arkansas leads 1-0

The 49ers (4-3)

The 49ers come to Bud Walton Arena having not faced a high-major team this season. They started their season 3-0 with wins over Monmouth, USC Upstate, and Appalachian St. Following those wins, they lose to Toledo, Drexel, and Davidson. Saturday, they defeated George Washington. Davidson is by far the toughest team they have played and they lost by 17.

Everything goes through Jahmir Young. He does it all for the 49ers. 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists. 1.0 steals, and 0.9 blocks. Head Coach Ron Sanchez plays a short bench. No really, they play a 6 man rotation. Which is why they must play a slow pace.

They rank 294th in tempo. Charlotte really struggles defensively. They rank 302nd in defensive effective FG% and 274th in defensive efficiency. The 49ers haven’t faced a team in the top 100 in tempo this year. Now they’ll face a team that loves to run. Arkansas is 22nd in tempo.

Aly Khalifa is the only player with size. He’s 6-11 and passes the ball well. Arkansas has done a poor job defending cuts to the basket this year and this will be a good test for fixing that.

The 6 man rotation and fast pace will make the upset a tough task for Charlotte.

The Razorbacks (8-0)

Arkansas cruised to a 15-point win over Little Rock on Saturday. Things could have been better since Little Rock only had 6 scholarship players available. The Trojans had the lead down to single digits late in that game. I was never fearful the Hogs would lose, but the team continues to struggle playing with intensity the entire game.

Devo Davis has started playing the point much better. He’s sharing the ball and helping keep the offense moving. Umude has made jumps offensively. Jaxson Robinson has gotten run in the rotation.

Eric Musselman continues to adjust and tinker to try and find what clicks. Robinson’s new found playing time have cut back minutes from Kamani Johnson. Johnson and Trey Wade have received a lot of bench minutes to help with rebounding, but Arkansas hasn’t needed help rebounding. Toney, Williams, Davis, and others have done well with team rebounding. Obviously, the shooting has been an issue so the move was to give Robinson more minutes. I like the move, but Robinson has to be more consistent when he is given the open opportunities.

That’s the thing that’s been frustrating for the Hogs. The offense is providing open looks from 3, but the execution of hitting the shots isn’t happening right now. Charlotte is a great team to get it fixed against. They are allowing teams to shoot 37.2% against them. Maybe the Hogs can figure it out tonight.

Prediction: Arkansas 86, Charlotte 64