Date: Saturday, February 22
Time: 12:00pm CDT
TV/Streaming: SEC Network
All-Time Series: Arkansas leads 27-25
Most Recent Matchup: February 2020, Missouri won 83-79.
2019-20 Record: 13-13 (5-8) Head Coach: Cuonzo Martin (3rd season, 48-43)
Missouri has been without Jeremiah Tilmon and Mark Smith for a few weeks, but the Tigers have won 3 out of 4 games. Those wins came over Arkansas, Auburn, and Ole Miss. The one loss Missouri suffered was to LSU by just 4 points. These Tigers are obviously playing much better basketball. Arkansas has not lost to Missouri in Bud Walton Arena since 2014, but that loss was later vacated as punishment for violating NCAA rules.
Xavier Pinson has been the best player for Missouri over the last few games. He scored 32 against Auburn this past week and is averaging 23.3ppg. Pinson tore the Hogs up in Colombia. The Hogs were unable to keep him from getting to the basket. How effective he is may determine the outcome of this game.
2019-20 Record: 16-10 (4-9) Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)
Head Coach Eric Musselman said on Friday that if Isaiah Joe suffers no swelling after practice on Friday then he would be able to play on Saturday against Missouri. Musselman mentioned that Joe had done well in his recovery. For some, it may be hard to believe that one player’s absence can cause a team to perform so differently. I thoroughly believe that Joe’s injury has train wrecked this season for the Hogs. Arkansas’s offense has not been good. The harsh reality is that they are very easy to guard right now. The Hogs need Isaiah Joe and they need him now.
Mason Jones can reach 1,000 career points on Saturday. If he accomplishes this feat on Saturday, he will have tied for the 3rd fastest in Arkansas history to reach 1,000 points.
I believe Isaiah Joe will play and I believe he will make all the difference for this Razorback team. Mark Smith will not play for Missouri, but big man Jeremiah Tilmon making a return is a possibility according to Head Coach Cuonzo Martin. Reed Nikko had a great showing for Missouri against Arkansas in their first matchup. Tilmon is much more talented than Nikko. If Tilmon plays, expect him to have a big impact.
Despite Tilmon’s possible return, I will take the Hogs in this one.
Score Prediction: Arkansas 73, Missouri 68
Like many in our state, I didn’t have a choice in who my favorite team would be growing up. I was raised on Razorback. I remember watching the early season games on ARSN or conference games on JP Sports. My first favorite players were Brandon Dean and Joe Johnson. Great memories. I never thought years ago I would be writing about Arkansas Basketball. I don’t have a journalism background or anything like that. When given the opportunity, I wanted to challenge myself with something new and it has been a blast!