It's mind-boggling to Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson, who does not remember having no seniors in any of his previous head coaching stops at UAB or Missouri.
"I have never been a part of a team where you didn't have one and that tells you again the youth of our program right now," Anderson said. "I said at the beginning of the year this thing will change before your eyes. We don't have any upperclassman or seniors you are talking about. It also just gives us a chance to go play and finish out the season and finish it out in a good fashion."
Arkansas will be trying to go undefeated in SEC play at home for the first time since 1998.
"That's part of the process we've talked about," Anderson said. "You've got to create that environment that you take care of home. You think about the formula that you talk about having a chance to win a conference championship, you take care of home and you split on the road. Of course, we didn't do that, but you want to make sure you take care of your home, and we've done well in that department."
Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy – whose team beat visiting Arkansas 69-51 in the SEC opener – railed on his team after the game about not showing up ready to play.
Anderson was not happy with his team either.
"I expect the team (A&M) is going to come out and really physically try to pound us and play power basketball," Anderson said. "We had a game where everybody didn't show up either. I expect two teams that are going to go out and scratch and claw. It is the last game of the (regular) season. It is a conference game. The conference season is not over until the last game and then we will know the seedings and we will go and enter into another season. I want our guys to finish this season out hopefully the right way."
Arkansas is currently tied for seventh place in the conference standings and could still finish anywhere from sixth to ninth place in league race.
That means they will not have to play next Wednesday – the first round of the SEC Tournament in Nashville – but also no longer have a chance for the double bye through until Friday and thus will play on Thursday.
"I have no earthly idea," Anderson said. "I am going to let y'all figure that out. Obviously there is a big picture and I make sure our guys understand that. As we finish the season – you finish up and other teams finish out – now the seedings fall where they may. But now let's worry about getting better today in practice and then with playing A&M.
"The seedings will take care of themselves because when you get to the tournament it's about the automatic qualifier – who wins the tournament," Anderson added. "That is the thing that you know whether you are seeded here or there. Obviously there is a chance if you fall in a certain category that you have to win five games I guess. But from that standpoint I figure you guys will figure it out and then I will find out."
Anderson would like for the Razorbacks to vault into next week's tournament on the momentum of a home win it their regular season finale.
"This is big," Anderson said. "I said that at the beginning. It is a big game from that standpoint. We want to get that bad taste out of our mouths. It is not like we haven't been playing good basketball. We have had some tough places to play at. We spotted LSU 22 points and made a run to get back in it. We played at Florida, we played at Missouri.
"We have had a good stretch here," Anderson added. "Our team is battle-tested and battle-resistent. We have had a tough schedule and we have played some good teams. I would like to see us get on a great run and this is the time that you can get on a run."
Arkansas was blown away in College Station in the second half of the opening stanza in what was arguably one of its worst – if not its worst – performance of the season.
Razorback junior forward Marshawn Powell got in early foul trouble and was no factor.
"I thought they did a good job of really attacking us and putting us back on the heels," Anderson said of the Agggies. "Powell got in foul trouble in that particular game, and their forwards...did a very good job. And (senior guard) Elston Turner is a guy who I think has gotten better throughout the conference season. Everyone knows he's certainly worthy of being an all-SEC performer."
Marshawn Powell slams one home in Arkansas' win over Mississippi State.