Red-White On Tap

The Razorbacks and Lady Razorbacks will hold their Red-White games Friday night with festivities getting underway at 7:15 p.m.

The public's first look at the University of Arkansas men's and women's basketball teams inside Bud Walton Arena will happen Friday night.

Or at 5 p.m. at the Northwest Arkansas Mall Center Court during Rockin' With the Razorbacks if you can't wait until then.

Both of those squads will be part of the Rockin' with the Razorbacks at the mall before the Red-White festivities that get underway at 7:15.

"The Red-White game has become a great tradition at Arkansas," Lady Razorback coach Tom Collen said. "It is a great opportunity for fans to get an up-close look at the new team and for players, veterans and newcomers alike, to put on the Razorback uniform. It signals the start of the season."

Razorback head coach John Pelphrey and Collen along with players Delvon Johnson and Lyndsey Harris were on hand for SEC Media Days Thursday in Birmingham, Ala.

Pelphrey thinks this team has better unity and chemisty and will be better because of that.

"Someone asked me earlier how am I supposed to see the unity of a team in the pre-season," Pelphrey said. "Well, you see guys consistently progressing to where they need to be and their attitudes are always focused on the game. The work ethic is evident all across the board and it is good to see how guys respond to criticism from coaches."

Johnson (6-9, 250) is the biggest Razorback on a roster that is guard-oriented.

"We will be young but we gained several new guys like Marvell Waithe, Rickey Scott and Mardracus Wade who will be early contributors," Johnson said. " Also, we have guys with experience coming back like Michael Sanchez and Marshawn Powell who have a lot of talent. If we continue to gel together through the pre-season, our team will surprise a lot of people."

Johnson hopes to be the biggest surprise after playing a back-up role to Michael Washington last season.

"I definitely feel as if I will compete for the starting job," Johnson said. " I definitely need to work on finishing around the basket. Last year was a huge transition for me from junior college so I had to get used to consistently playing guys that were bigger and stronger every night. I need to pick up more rebounds and create more opportunities."

Powell will not be available, but is getting closer according to Pelphrey.

"He is doing well," Pelphrey said. "Of course, he is not ready to begin practice yet because we definitely do not need him out there to hurt something else in conditioning. Hopefully within the next few days we will be able to get him out there."

Colleen noted that his team has some experience for once to go against the best conference in the country.

"I think for once we aren't the youngest team in the conference," Collen said. " I think we came into the last two years planning a foundation for our young players, and we have been really excited about the players we've signed. In SEC games last year, the players I had on the floor were usually either freshman or sophomores and they lacked leadership. But I think what we have going for us now is experience, and the players have to cash in on that."

The Ladty Razorbacks have 9 seniors and juniors on their roster – including a of talented trip juniors in Charity Ford, Cleira Ricketts and Harris – the team's leading scorers last season.

The three of us have play together a lot, even when we were younger," Harris said. " We have all grown as players and teammates. We have always had each other around ever since we came to Arkansas, and we have created a special bond between us. Just being together and learning the system all at the same time, definitely gives us an edge."

Arkansas women's team will have introductions at 7:15 with its scrimmage set for 7:37.

There will be hot shot competition in between the game with featuring teams of players and students.

The Razorbacks will then take the court at 8:25 for their intros and then scrimmage at 8:47 p.m.


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