Finishing The Gauntlet
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Finishing The Gauntlet

While Arkansas waits to see who is named the school's next football coach, Razorback head basketball coach Mike Anderson continues to lead his team through a non-conference gauntlet that finds it hosting Oklahoma (6-1) Tuesday and visiting No. 3 Michigan (7-0) Saturday.

While there are a lot of rumors and speculation revolving around the Arkansas football program, the Razorback basketball program is dealing with one big fact.

That is it is running through quite the non-conference gauntlet – one that will continue Tuesday night with visiting Oklahoma (6-1) and ending Saturday at No. 3 Michigan (7-0).

The Razorbacks (3-3) – fresh off a 91-82 home loss to No. 6 Syracuse on Friday night - and Sooners (6-1) will meet in a 6 p.m. game at Bud Walton Arena that will be televised by ESPNU.

"The guys were disappointed without a doubt," Anderson said of the loss. "They wanted this game here. First of all we don't lose many games at home especially non-conference. But at the same time in this business you have got to have a short memory. Our kids have got to have a short memory.

"We have a very good Oklahoma team coming in here," Anderson added. "We just want to keep getting better. I saw an encouraging sign and that was after I got through visiting with our guys I saw a guy like Marshawn Powell go around and tap each and every guy saying, 'Hey, man, we are going to be OK. Let's stay in it.'"

Arkansas has lost its last three games, but showed improvement in each of the three – a loss to then unbeaten Arizona State, a 77-70 loss to No. 24 Wisconsin and then the loss to the Orange.

"Our guys are starting to believe," Anderson said. "They're believing in each other. (Sophomore guard) B.J. Young gave us everything he had. As I told him, sometimes his emotions get into it so much but he has got to be able to channel those in."

Oklahoma rallied late to down Northwestern State 69-65 Friday night to hand current Sooners head coach Lon Kruger his 500th win as a head coach after also coaching at Florida, Illinois and UNLV, Texas Pan-American and Kansas State.

Oklahoma also has wins over Louisiana-Monroe, Texas-Arlington, West Virginia and ORU with the one loss being a blowout one to Gonzaga (72-47) in the Old Spice Tournament in Orlando.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim thinks Arkansas has a shot to be a solid club this season.

"I think they've got a pretty good team," Boeheim said. "I watched their games ... Wisconsin is a pretty solid team, and they had Wisconsin down 11 at halftime. They had a real good chance to beat them ... in this building, I think they're going to beat a lot of people in here."