Date: Saturday, December 14
Time: 12:30pm CDT
TV/Streaming: ESPN U
All-Time Series: Arkansas leads 36-24.
Most Recent Matchup: January 2007, Arkansas won, 68-59.
The Golden Hurricane
2019-20 Record: 8-2
Head Coach: Frank Haith (6th season, 103-68)
Year 6 of the Frank Haith era is off to a great start for Tulsa. Haith has led the Golden Hurricane to four winning seasons, but only 1 NCAA Tournament appearance. The seat may be hot for Haith in Year 6 and that makes this 8-2 start all the more important.
While it has been a weak schedule, Tulsa has beaten Vanderbilt on the road. Vanderbilt is not good. They were picked to finish dead last in the SEC this season, but winning at an SEC venue is no easy task. This will be the third game against a team from Arkansas this season for Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but lost to Arkansas State.
LSU transfer Brandon Rachal leads the way with 15.3ppg and 7.0 rebounds this year. Jeriah Horne is the only other double-digit scorer at 10.2ppg. Tulsa has started 9 different players so far this year. Haith plays 9-10 players every game.
2019-20 Record: 8-1
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)
Fans will see how an Eric Musselman coached team responds to a loss. The Hogs took their first loss under Coach Muss last Saturday on the road to Western Kentucky. Musselman joked on Thursday that his wife is making him “sleep in the pool house” until the Hogs win again.
The Hogs return to Bud Walton after six days off. Musselman said the team is “100% healthy.” While no loss is ever a good thing, there were some encouraging signs from the Western Kentucky game. Isaiah Joe and Desi Sills were finally hitting from 3. Sills played the best game of his Arkansas career. Arkansas needs that from both of them consistently.
Tulsa, like Arkansas, does not play with much size, but they play good defense. They are not committed to a zone or man-to-man. We will see both on Saturday. This will be the best team Tulsa has faced so far this season by far!
If Arkansas can control the boards and limit turnovers, The Hogs will take care of business for win #9.
Score Prediction: Arkansas 73, Tulsa 61
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!