Date: Saturday, November 30
Time: 4:00pm CDT
TV/Streaming: SEC Network+
2019-20 Record: 5-2
Head Coach: Darrin Horn (5-2, 1st season)
Darrin Horn takes over for John Brannen who did an outstanding job before taking the Cincinnati job. Horn knows what it takes to get it done at the mid major level. He led Western Kentucky to 111 wins in 5 seasons before spending 4 years at South Carolina. While at USCe, Horn went 2-2 against with the Hogs with both wins coming in overtime in Columbia.
The Norse have started the season 5-2, but 3-2 against Division 1 competition. Northern Kentucky has been a part of several close games so far this season. A 1-point win at Coastal Carolina, a 2-point win at Ball State, and a 2-point double-overtime loss at home against Texas Southern. A Texas Southern team that Arkansas had no trouble beating.
This NKU team lacks size, just like Arkansas. Also like the Hogs, the Norse have been outstanding guarding the 3-point line. They have held opponents to 26%. The Norse are very wing/guard oriented. Seniors Dantez Walton, Tyler Sharpe, and Karl Harris are the blood and soul of this team left behind for Coach Horn.
2019-20 Record: 6-0
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (6-0, 1st season)
Arkansas is coming a huge early season win at Georgia Tech on Monday. Mason Jones sank a bank-shot 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining to give the Hogs a victory. Fresh off Thanksgiving turkey, Coach Eric Musselman will have to have his squad ready to play Northern Kentucky on Saturday.
What will be key for the Hogs going forward is more consistent shooting and getting Reggie Chaney going. Chaney has not played bad, but he has not played to his potential either. A lot of pressure has been on Adrio Bailey to start this season. He has answered the call, but a consistent and productive Reggie Chaney could do wonders for Bailey and the team.
I expect a sloppy game. The pace should be high and that will only add to the sloppiness. Both teams are coming off Thanksgiving break. It is bound to happen. It happens to teams every year. NKU does not have size that will worry Arkansas. The hogs should take care of business pretty easily.
Score Prediction: Arkansas 73, Northern Kentucky 55
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!