The Hogs return home to Bud Walton tonight to take on No. 4 Alabama. Arkansas’ showing on the plains last weekend was less than desirable, shooting just 33.9% from the floor and connecting on two three-point attempts. However, perhaps the most disappointing stat came in the free throw column. The Hogs shot 59.4% from the stripe, eliminating themselves from contention down the stretch.
Now the Hogs can press the reset button at home, but a tough Crimson Tide squad is ready to spoil those plans. So get ready for an aggressive, physical contest inside the palace tonight.
Opponent: Alabama Crimson Tide
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11. 2023
Time: 6 pm
Place: Bud Walton Arena - Fayetteville, AR
Line: ARK -1.0
The Hogs have yet to find a consistent rhythm through three conference games. The absence of Nick Smith Jr. and Trevon Brazile leaves Arkansas reeling for points late in ball games. Thus far, a handful of players have stepped up to submit productive performances. Joseph Pinion had a breakout performance against Missouri, knocking down a handful of three-point baskets that opened the floor. Additionally, Ricky Council has established himself as a scorer in his first season in Musselman’s system. But there is still a gap to fill with plenty of candidates to spread the wealth.
The Hogs must knock down a few shots from deep in the early going tonight. Muss’ lineup is full of guys that can get to the hoop, but it will take a lot of work to do with the athleticism of Alabama, who is sure to start the game in a zone defense. Finding a way to open the floor and consistency at the free-throw line are the keys to victory for Arkansas.
Nate Oats and the Crimson Tide are off to a strong start in the SEC. The Tide thumped Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Kentucky to start conference play. Alabama’s last loss came to Gonzaga during the holidays.
The Tide has several guys that can create problems for the opponent. Brandon Miller and Mark Sears lead the way for Alabama, averaging double figures in scoring. Additionally, Noah Clowney and Jahvon Quinerly have contributed in the rebound and assist categories. The Tide are clicking with a handful of solid wins under their belt. Alabama will be fired up tonight to prove the high praise they have received in recent weeks.
- Arkansas enters the week ranked No. 15 in the AP Poll and No. 16 in NET rankings.
- Alabama has won 2 of the last 3 games in this series.
- Arkansas will debut new uniforms featuring a retro logo tonight.
- Nick Smith Jr. is rehabbing his knee for the remainder of January. There is hope he will return to the team to play in February.
Eric Musselman said Nick Smith Jr. will miss the rest of January while rehabbing his right knee in Los Angeles.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 8, 2023
For those saying he isn’t coming back, I’ve been told by a source close to situation the plan is for Smith to return in February — as long as he’s 100 percent.