Date: Tuesday, December 3
Time: 7:00pm CDT
TV/Streaming: SEC Network+
All-Time Series: Arkansas leads 4-0.
Most Recent Matchup: December 2018, Arkansas won 76-65
2019-20 Record: 3-3
Head Coach: Matt Figger (44-29, 3rd season)
Year 3 of the Matt Figger era is filled with youth. The 3-3 Governors have eight freshman on the roster, but are led by junior Terry Taylor. The 6-5 guard is averaging 23.3 PPG with 9.2 RPG on the young season. Austin Peay had a 3 game losing streak, but has 2 straight wins at home against Southeastern Louisiana and South Carolina State.
Matt Figger saw improvement from year 1 to 2 in his tenure. Nineteen wins in year 1 with 22 wins in year 2. He wants to build on that in year 3. The Governors have not had any trouble scoring the ball in the victories averaging 98 points in those games. The defense has held strong in victories as well with just 64.3 PPG allowed. Losing efforts has been the opposite story. Which team will show up in Bud Walton on Tuesday?
Austin Peay has faced 2 teams that the Hogs will play later this season. Vanderbilt and Tulsa both beat Austin Peay.
2019-20 Record: 7-0
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)
Seven games in, there are still questions surrounding parts of this Arkansas team, but effort and energy are not two of them. The Razorbacks are playing with more effort than fans have seen in quite some time. Defense will win games, but what happens when the opposing team cannot miss? The offense has to step up. That is the biggest question surrounding this team.
Without Mason Jones on Saturday afternoon, the offense sputtered more than it has all season. Isaiah Joe could not get in a rhythm shooting the ball and team shot selection was poor at times. Head Coach Eric Musselman said on Monday that Mason Jones’ availability was a game-time decision. Where the offense goes may depend on that decision.
When the Governors have faced any sort of tough competition, they have struggled. All 3 of Austin Peay’s losses have come on the road. Bud Walton Arena will be the best environment they have faced this season. Arkansas has done an outstanding job keeping leading scorers from opposing teams in check. Austin Peay’s Terry Taylor and Jordyn Adams combine for 38.8ppg. If Arkansas can keep those two in check then the Hogs will roll.
Score Prediction: Arkansas 70, Austin Peay 53
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!