But a couple of the so-called veteran guards reminded fans they were still around and productive on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Mardracus Wade had 15 of his career-high 20 points in the opening half and junior Julysess Nobles added 16 as the Razorbacks shot nearly 60 percent while downing Mississippi Valley State 97-64 before 6,700 at Bud Walton Arena.
"I wasn't necessarily afraid, but I was kind of really alarmed about this game because I had seen them play South Carolina and they had them beat and they played North Carolina for about 25 minutes," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "Coming in they had a senior-oriented team. It was a great opportunity for our guys to come out and play against a good team. I think think they are going to have a chance to win their league."
The Razorbacks beat the Delta Devils - who have played all seven of their games on the road - by more than North Carolina (101-75), South Carolina, DePaul or Notre Dame.
"I think Arkansas is getting better and better by the day and I am sure you guys would agree," Mississippi Valley State head coach and former Kentucky star Sean Woods said. "With us - and I am not one to make excuses - but I am a realist. We hit a wall. We have been battling, had our chance to win at Notre Dame, had a chance to win at DePaul, battled well against North Carolina and should have beaten South Carolin. We beat Tennessee State out in Vegas, but I started to sense us getting road-weary and leg-weary the game against Cal-Poly."
Seniors Michael Sanchez and Marvell Waithe both added 7 points in the win and freshman big man Hunter Mickelson 6 and rookie guard Rashad Madden a bucket as all nine healthy scholarship players scored.
"I was proud of our guys," Anderson said. "I thought anybody we put out on the floor brought positive energy and that was the big thing to start the game off.
"The first group really got us going - making shots, sharing the basketball, making the extra pass and I thought our defense was pretty good at times and where we needed it to be,' Anderson added. "We rebounded the ball and did a lot of good things."
The Razorbacks – who shot 59.3 percent from the field and knocked down a season-high 11 3-pointers out of the 24 they launched - roared out of the gate with an 18-3 lead that included Sanchez' first career trey and was capped by two straight 3-pointer from Wade.
"I thought the focus was there," Anderson said. "I was really impressed with our focus at the beginning of the game."
The Delta Devils (1-6) later ripped off a 12-0 run to cut its deficit to 20-17.
"We were talking in the locker room before the game and I told the team that a team like this doesn't have nothing to lose," Wade said. "If they win or lose, they are still just happy to be playing a team like us. So those guys are just going to keep going. They could be 0-for-11 and those guys are going to keep on fighting to the horn. We knew that."
The Razorbacks answered right back with an 11-0 spree that included Scott's first 3-pointer of the season and four straight points by Abron to push Arkansas ahead 31-17.
"We knew we didn't have to jack up threes, we didn't have to rush ourselves," Wade said. "We just had to play at the pace we wanted to play at, find open guys and knock down shots - just run our offense."
The hosts took a 47-30 lead into intermission.
Wade was 6-of-7 from the floor in the first half while knocking down 3 of the 4 3-pointers he took.
"Mardracus was probably almost perfect in the first half," Anderson said. "He has been shooting the basketball well and I thought tonight he did a good job of getting in position and just knocking the shots down."
The game was never in doubt in the second half with the only question whether the Razorbacks topped the century mark or not.
Arkansas made a run at it with five late points by Kikko Haydar and a basket by Abron late, but Anderson directed his team to hold the ball and not shoot on its final possession.
The Razorbacks did shoot just 16-of-28 from the free throw line, something that their coach was not happy about afterwards.
Particularly the fact that Scott was 0-of-4 in the first half on his charity tosses.
"That is the negative right there," Anderson said. "When I see guys got out and miss two free throws, that's just like a turnover. So Rickey had two turnovers when you talk about missing four free throws in the first half. You make those four free throws and you are talking about a game that is really out of whack. We have got to get better. We harp on it and we work on it."
Former Razorback signee Terrance Joyner – who never made it to campus – and Cor-J Cox led the Delta Devils with 15 points each.
The visitors shot just 32.7 percent from the field, had 15 turnovers and got out-rebounded 39-35.
"Anytime my top three scorers and my top three shooters go 3-for-18 from the 3, we are not going to have a chance to win," Woods said. "That was because we just didn't have any legs. And just like with his (Anderson's) team, if you are not making shots, you can not get into your pressure. I thought they did a good job of just keeping the pedal down and making us play hard and play fast and use a lot of energy. I am really only playing seven guys significant minutes."
Arkansas plays defending national champion and current No. 8 UConn Saturday at 2:15 on ESPN.
"Everybody knows we are the underdog," Nobles said. "We are just going to go there, play our hearts out and bring our practice to the game. The best team is going to win. We are just going to go out there and play."