Date: Tuesday, November 19
Time: 7:00pm CDT
TV/Streaming: SEC Network+
2019-20 Record: 0-3
Head Coach: Johnny Jones (2nd season, 24-17)
Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman is familiar with Texas Southern Head Coach Johnny Jones and so are Hog fans. Johnny Jones was the head coach at LSU from 2012-17. Musselman was an assistant coach in Baton Rouge for one season before taking the head job at Nevada. After Jones was fired by LSU after the 2016-17 season, Musselman hired him as an assistant at Nevada. One year later in 2018-19, Jones began his tenure at Texas Southern. LSU went 4-4 against the Hogs during Jones’ tenure. On Monday, Musselman said that he “prefers not” to coach against friends while revealing that the game with Texas Southern was scheduled before he was hired.
The Tigers come to town with a 0-3 record. A school like Texas Southern is forced to load up on buy games in the early season. So far, the Tigers have traveled to San Diego State, Wichita State, and South Dakota. Johnny Jones has already used 10 different players in the starting lineup in just three games.
Eden Ewing, a transfer from Purdue, has been a presence in the paint for the Tigers so far; however, did not travel with the team to South Dakota. His status is currently unknown for the Arkansas game.
Texas Southern gave Wichita State fits and even led the game at halftime. Last season, the Tigers beat Oregon and Baylor on the road. This team may not be as good as last year, but an SEC atmosphere will not threaten them.
2019-20 Record: 3-0
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)
Prepared. That word sums up Eric Musselman, his staff, and his team. Adrio Bailey and Mason Jones praised Musselman for having the team ready to go each night. Offense can come and go, but defense can be steady. That is what this Arkansas team has shown. Turnovers and bad shooting will plague this team, but preparation with execution on the defensive end will keep this team in the thick of things.
Musselman hinted that they hoped to release a statement on Reggie Chaney’s status on Tuesday. He neither confirmed or denied what the statement would pertain, but it seems obvious to me that Chaney’s suspension would be over. Chaney is a huge part of how good this team can be. Arkansas needs him to produce right away. Friday’s opponent, South Dakota, has very strong inside game with scoring and rebounding. The 4-0 Coyotes will be Arkansas’ first true test in the paint this season.
Johnny Jones has rotated players in and out of the starting lineup every game this season. He is attempting to find the group that gels the best. The Tigers have just been unable to score the ball. They rank dead last in the NCAA in 2-point field goal percentage with .348. Arkansas’ 3-point has been incredible only letting opponents shoot 6 of 58 from 3. It is hard to imagine the Tigers getting on track in the Bud Walton on Tuesday.
Hogs roll in this one.
Score Prediction: Arkansas 73, Texas Southern 42
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!