The Razorbacks fell to 0-3 in road conference games and Mike Anderson's road record slid to 1-13 in his two seasons as the Arkansas head coach with the 75-54 loss to the Gamecocks. In the midst of Arkansas' most lopsided loss of the season, however, Marshawn Powell put together another impressive performance.
The redshirt junior scored 22 points, recorded a career-high 13 rebounds and blocked three shots against the Gamecocks. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said it's time for the rest of the team to follow the captain's lead as the Razorbacks face another tough road test against Alabama (12-7,4-2 SEC).
"When you look in SEC play, I mean, (Powell) is one of the leading field goal percentage guys in our league. He's had a career high in scoring, he had a career high in rebounds the other day. So, I think he's showing that leadership that we talk about through his play. Now, I think it's important for our other guys to kind of piggy back and really get in there and really help him from that standpoint.
"He can't do it by himself. And we've got guys that are capable of doing it, so this may be the game that some of our guys really can hone in and really bring the focus that we've got to bring from a defensive standpoint. And I think it will trigger the offense, but our defense has got to be really important in this game."
The Crimson Tide is averaging nearly 14 fewer points per game than Arkansas, but is allowing the second fewest amount of points per game in the Southeastern Conference (58.3), behind Florida. Arkansas is allowing a league-high 69.3 points per game.
"Defensively, they are one of the better teams in our league, holding people to 50-some odd points. It's going to be a good challenge for our basketball team. I think when you talk about how they match up personnel wise probably very similar."
Junior guard Trever Releford leads Alabama offensively, averaging 16.1 points per game, which is sixth most in the SEC. Releford is shooting 49.4 percent this season, including 45.5 percent beyond the arc.
"I think you've got to keep him out of the lane," Anderson said. "He's like a little coach out on the floor, and it just seems like when he's playing well, they play well. So, we've got to do a number of things like keep him out of the lane and make sure we contest his shots. But he's pretty crafty with the basketball.
"We've got to make him work for it, but at the same time (we) can't let other guys go off. (Trevor) Lacey has been playing well for them. Last year we played them, I thought Steele was a guy who really was an x-factor for them in both games. So, we've got to make sure we do a good job on those guys."
Powell said games away from home have been about more than the X's and O's, though. Arkansas is 12-1 at home with its only loss coming to Syracuse, but on the road or at a neutral site, the Razorbacks are 0-6.
"We've got to play with heart," Powell said. "If we don't have heart, no matter what we do or no matter where we go, we're just going to be homebodies.
"I'm trying. If I'm trying, everybody else on the team should be trying. It's just heart and you can't teach that."
Tip-off between Arkansas and Alabama is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Razorbacks will play three games in six days, including home games against Tennessee (Saturday) and No. 4 Florida (next Tuesday).