NSS Home > Arkansas Razorbacks > Razorback Men's Basketball > Game Time: Rice at Arkansas Preview

Date: Tuesday, November 5
Time: 7:00 pm CDT
TV/Streaming: SEC Network +

The Musselman era officially begins after the Hogs cruised to two exhibition wins over Little Rock and Southwestern Oklahoma State. Rebounding and turnovers will be a common point of emphasis all season for the Hogs. Turnovers were a problem in both exhibition games. Musselman in a recent press conference eluded to the fact that most of the turnovers were unforced. That should be encouraging to Hog fans. Unforced turnovers are fixable turnovers.

Rebounding on the other hand, will be an issue all season. The lack of size inside is unavoidable. Musselman chose to start a 4-guard lineup in the second exhibition against Southwestern Oklahoma State. I think this will become the norm for the Razorbacks. The staff knows rebounding will be an issue so the counter attack will be a fast-paced lineup to wear out opposing big men.

While most experts have made their predictions for the season, where the Hogs finish is still up in there. The possibility of Conner Vanover receiving a waiver to play immediately is still there. Vanover would add shooting, spacing, and length in the paint. It is a joke that here we are at the start of the season and he has not received an answer yet. The NCAA has to find a way to speed up the process. Student-athletes and teams are suffering because of their slow process.

The Owls:

2018-19 Record: 13-19
Head Coach: Scott Pera (2nd season, 20-43)

Scott Pera enters year 3 in Houston as the Head Coach of Rice. The Owls saw a 6 win improvement from year 1 to 2 under Pera and they hope to build on that. Rice returns most everyone from a year ago, but lose a pair of contributing big men Jack Williams(graduated) and Quentin Millora-Brown(transferred to Vanderbilt).

Two of the biggest issues for the Owls last year were turning the ball over and giving up points. In their preseason tune-up, those same issues arose again. Division II St. Edwards defeated Rice, 89-83. St. Edwards had 20 second chance points and forced 18 Rice turnovers. The bright spots for the Owls were Trey Murphy III and Robert Martin who combined for 10-15 from 3 point range. The Owls will have to be better than that if they want to build the program in the right direction.

Rice Roster with 2018-19 Stats

The Razorbacks

2018-19 Record: 18-16
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)

The Musselman era officially begins after the Hogs cruised to two exhibition wins over Little Rock and Southwestern Oklahoma State. Rebounding and turnovers will be a common point of emphasis all season for the Hogs. Turnovers were a problem in both exhibition games. Musselman in a recent press conference eluded to the fact that most of the turnovers were unforced. That should be encouraging to Hog fans. Unforced turnovers are fixable turnovers.

Rebounding on the other hand, will be an issue all season. The lack of size inside is unavoidable. Musselman chose to start a 4-guard lineup in the second exhibition against Southwestern Oklahoma State. I think this will become the norm for the Razorbacks. The staff knows rebounding will be an issue so the counter attack will be a fast-paced lineup to wear out opposing big men.

While most experts have made their predictions for the season, where the Hogs finish is still up in there. The possibility of Conner Vanover receiving a waiver to play immediately is still there. Vanover would add shooting, spacing, and length in the paint. It is a joke that here we are at the start of the season and he has not received an answer yet. The NCAA has to find a way to speed up the process. Student-athletes and teams are suffering because of their slow process.

Prediction:

This game could be a real confidence booster for the Hogs. By facing a team with a similar lack of size, the front-court will have the chance to win the rebounding margin and score the ball. Starting people like Reggie Chaney and Adrio Bailey off on the right foot could be big going forward for the Muss Bus.

The matchup with Rice is lopsided. While neither team should dominate in the post, Rice has struggled mightily on defense in recent years. The Pace & Space that Musselman implements should have a field day in the season opener. I expect a healthy dose of 3s from Desi Sills, Mason Jones, and Isaiah Joe. Bud Walton will be rocking for the start of this new era! Hogs win easy!

Score Prediction: Arkansas 87, Rice 64

Ben Brandon
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!