Wounded Rebels Await Razorbacks

Arkansas (12-3, 1-0) will try to extend its winning streak to eight games Wednesday night at Ole Miss (10-5, 0-1), a team who has lost four of five and kicked off its leading scorer but remains dangerous at home according to Razorback head coach Mike Anderson.

Some people might see a beleaguered Ole Miss team that is shorthanded and injured, has lost four of its last five games and coming in off a 25-point loss at LSU as ripe for the taking.

But not Arkansas coach Mike Anderson, who is very concerned about what his Razorbacks (12-3, 1-0) – coming in off a sweep of a seven-game home stand - will find when they visit the Rebels (10-5, 0-1) on Wednesday night in Oxford.

After all, Tad Smith Coliseum has never been an easy place for even the best of Arkansas teams to win and Ole Miss has won the last three contests and six of the last seven games between the two programs.

"I am sure Ole Miss will be prepared," Anderson said. "They are coming off a tough loss on the road at LSU which as (Kentucky head coach) John (Calipari) alluded to - it's tough on the road anywhere you play in this league. It's going to be a dogfight to win."

Ole Miss dismissed leading scorer Dundrecous Nelson and freshman Jamel Jones of Searcy due to off-court issues.

They have also been playing without 6-7, 240-pound junior Murphy Holloway (9.9, 9.6), who has missed the last three games with an injured ankle, but still are unbeaten at home (6-0) this season.

"It's a team that played well at home," Anderson said. "They have had some adversity take place. But it's amazing when that does happen you see other guys really start stepping up for them. The Holloway kid was hurt but I am sure he will be ready to go on Wednesday night.

"…Anytime you go on the road in this league it's awful difficult to win," Anderson added. "You have got to do a lot of good things. You have got to really play well for 40 minutes. It can't be for 20 minutes. We have done that where we played well for 20 or 25 minutes. But we have got to play it for 40 minutes. And one thing we haven't done, we have to be able to shoot the basketball on the road. "

That is why Arkansas – who is 12-0 at home – is 0-3 away from Bud Walton Arena with a loss to Houston in North Little Rock and true road losses at UConn and Oklahoma.

"Early in the year we played a couple of games on the road and didn't come out on the winning side," Anderson said. "So it's a game we are looking forward to find out even more about our young basketball team. "

The Razorbacks come into the game off a 98-88 upset of No. 15 Mississippi State last Saturday night.

"We think we are playing some good basketball," Anderson said. "We shot the ball well and defended well. But of course when you play at home you have got that other edge when you talk about that adrenaline and fan support. So we will find out a little more about ourselves as we get ready to hit the road and play in Oxford."

The Rebels start 6-9, 210-pound junior forward Terrance Henry (11.3), 6-8, 225-pound junior forward Reginald Buckner (5.4, 7.9), 6-4 junior guard Nick Williams (8.3), 6-4 freshman guard Jarvis Summers (10.0).

They'll be joined in the starting line-up by either Holloway or 6-9 senior forward Steadman Short (1.6, 2.6).

"You look at their team, Terrance Henry is very talented," Anderson said. " He's 6-8 or 6-9 and skilled, an inside-outside, tough matchup. Ole Miss is an athletic team. They are undefeated at home. Reggie Buckner is one of the leading shot-blockers in the conference. I recruited him when I was at Missouri out of the Memphis area. Just super athletic."

Coming in, Andy Kennedy thought this was one of his better teams in terms of size and athletic ability," Anderson added. "And as a coach you are always trying to put those pieces together."

Arkansas shot 56 percent from the field last Saturday while forcing Mississippi State into 18 turnovers.

The other night I thought we shot the ball well against Mississippi State, probably the best we shot all year long," Anderson said. "But I think ball movement and people movement were a product of that. We moved the ball. We shared the basketball and we knocked shots down and that really energized our defense. So hopefully we can build on that a take that same mindset as we get ready to go play in Oxford."

The Razorbacks were paced by junior guard Julysess Nobles' 24 points, 7 assists and no turnovers along with freshman guard B.J. Young's 24 points off the bench on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor.

"With Ju I don't think it's just necessarily shooting the ball," Anderson said. "I thought he got to the basket and I thought he gave great passes to guys whether it be assists or steals that led to assists. I thought his energy on defense became contagious. And of course the scoring is a plus."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories