Hopefully, as Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks wrap up a Liberty Bowl victory, we’ll flip over to see Muss and the hoop Hogs tip-off from Baton Rouge. Today marks the start of the conference basketball season, and the young Razorbacks open on the road as the gauntlet begins.
Opponent: LSU Tigers
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 28. 2022
Time: 8 pm
Place: Pete Maravich Assembly Center - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Line: ARK -4
Arkansas: The Hogs return to action after a week off during the Christmas holiday. During their last outing, Arkansas dominated a trap game against UNC-Asheville. Even without Nick Smith Jr., the Hogs moved the ball beautifully during all 40 minutes. Jalen Graham submitted the performance we’ve all been hoping to see during the second half. Graham played 19 minutes, tallying 16 points and three rebounds. Meanwhile, Anthony Black and Ricky Council scored in double digits yet again. A few three-point makes and a few breakaway dunks from Joseph Pinion capped off the night and showcased what the four-star freshman from Morrilton is capable of on the court.
The competition increases for the Razorbacks starting tonight. Muss’ group was the most dominant on the floor in every game since the Maui Invitational. Now, Arkansas enters conference play, where multiple teams are playing at a high level to begin the season. Statistically, Arkansas and LSU are similar to this point in the season in many major categories. However, Arkansas will create mismatches at the guard position for the Tigers. The length of Anthony Black, Ricky Council, Devo Davis, and Jordan Walsh should allow the Hogs to continue creating turnovers on the perimeter. Arkansas’ ability to penetrate the paint was impressive during the UNC-Asheville game, finishing with a 53.3% field goal percentage. A similar performance tonight should put the Hogs in a position to win.
LSU: The Tigers are 11-1 under first-year head coach Matt McMahon. LSU has not played stiff competition to this point but has looked impressive in their wins under McMahon. As a team, the Tigers enter tonight shooting 46.3% from the floor and 35.8% from deep. LSU does not shoot the three at a high clip but can heat up from deep. Forward KJ Williams leads the Tigers in points, rebounds, steals, and blocks. It will be interesting to see who Muss matches up with the 6’10” senior.
- LSU has the advantage of home court to open the conference season. Watching how the young Razorback team performs on the road will be fun.
- Nick Smith Jr. is out tonight due to knee management. His timetable for return is still uncertain.
- Arkansas enters the week ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll and No. 10 in the latest NET rankings.
- LSU guard Justice Hill faces the Razorbacks tonight for the first time since transferring out of Fayetteville in 2019.