For the second time in less than a month, a Nutt who used to coach in this state will be on the University of Arkansas campus.
But this time it's not the football coach, it's former Arkansas State head basketball coach Dickey Nutt bringing in Southeast Missouri State (0-4) to face the Razorbacks (2-0) in a 7 p.m. game Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena.
The Redhawks have five players from Arkansas with seniors Anthony Allison of Marianna and Cameron Smith of Malvern, sophomore Marland Smith of Little Rock Hall and the Jonesboro duo of redshirt senior Logan and redshirt freshman Lucas Nutt – the coach's sons.
"There are some people on their team that from the state so I think whenever that happens they are always going to be ready to go and it is going to be a big deal to them," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "They'll probably be playing in front of a lot of family and friends."
Arkansas routed Florida Gulf Coast University 90-47 on Monday with the Razorbacks knocking down 14 3-pointers in the second of three games of season-opening event called the Razorback Showcase.
Rotnei Clarke had 14 points, Jemal Farmer 12 and Marvell Waithe 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double for the Razorbacks.
"It was a party," Waithe said. "A three-point party, Everybody joined."
It was the first of three games for Razorbacks this week concluding with a Friday night game against UAB in North Little Rock's Verizon Arena.
"We all feel good," Waithe said. "We feel ready to go. We have strength in numbers. We are not really that tired. We go hard in practice. We have strength in numbers so we are ready to go on this little road trip."
The Redhawks opened the season with a 78-56 loss at UAB – playing before their largest crowd of this season of 2,787 fans - and have also lost road games at Florida Gulf Coast (89-78) and UMKC (80-72) and a home game to Grambling.
Nutt's first team at Southeast Missouri State went 7-23 after he had a 189-187 record in 13 years at Arkansas State, who the Redhawks host Saturday.
The Redhawks are coming off a heartbreaking 77-76 overtime loss at home to Grambling on Monday night when the Tigers' Raschard Boatner hit 1 of 2 free throws after a questionable foul call on Allison with 2.4 seconds left.
What made the loss even tougher was that Southeast Missouri State rallied from 12 points down with less than four minutes left in regulation to force the overtime in front of 1,822 fans at the Show Me Center.
"We could have folded the tent," Nutt told reporters after the game. "This team has some fight in us. We just have to have a sense of urgency defensively."
Allison (10.3) had his first career double-double of his career in the loss with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
At least one Powell will play in the game regardless of whether Arkansas' injured Marshawn Powell deems himself ready after missing Monday night's 90-47 win over Florida Gulf Coast University.
"I think it is just kind of touch and go right now," Pelphrey said of his injured star.
That's because SEMO's leading scorer and rebounder is 6-7, 210-pound junior college transfer Leon Powell (17.0, 8.3), who missed all of last season due to an injury.
Smith, who used to share a backcourt at Hall with Baylor point guard A.J. Walton, led the Redhawks in scoring last season as a true freshman with 10.6 points per game.
Allison, Smith and Powell start along with 7-0 redshirt junior center Zach House and 6-4 redshirt junior guard Marcus Brister.
Nick Niemczyk, a 6-1 junior college transfer from Three Rivers who actually averages a team-best 32.5 minutes per game, brings firepower off the bench while averaging 13.8 points per game.
Pelphrey used to coach at South Alabama and thus against Nutt when their two teams met in Sunbelt Conference action.
"I know Dickey and have had a chance to compete against his teams in the past," Pelphrey said. "He will have his teams fired up and ready to go."
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