Points Galore

Arkansas will return to the court Friday night when the Razorbacks (1-0) host Louisiana (2-0) in a 7 p.m. battle of high scoring teams at Bud Walton Arena.

To hear Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson tell it, Friday night's basketball game with Louisiana should look more like a track meet.

That's because the Razorbacks (1-0) are averaging 99 points a game while the Rajin' Cajuns (2-0) are scoring at a 96 points per game clip.

"They are going to play up-tempo so fans coming and people watching are going to see two teams that like to get up and down the floor and play pressure defense and want to create some easy opportunities," Anderson said. "It's attack basketball so we are looking to see if we can get better."

The contest is actually the first game of the Maui Invitational – albeit the games are being played at home sites against teams that will not be in the actual tournament in Maui.

The seven teams actually traveling to the Island play an exempt game against a team from the mainland.

"A lot of tournaments – the exempt tournaments – you get a chance to play four games and it (only) counts as one," Anderson said.

Arkansas will have its full roster for the first this season as 6-5 junior point guard Rashad Madden is done serving a three-game suspension that included two exhibition contests.

"He should be suited up and hopefully ready to play," Anderson said. "He will get out and play. Hopefully he can put himself into position to play even more. We've got some guys that have already played, three games he missed and those guys have played well."

Anderson noted that Madden had practiced through the suspsenion and had become the "ultimate team guy" during it.

"That was part of it," Anderson said. "It was one of those deals he had to walk a fine line to put himself into a position to have a chance to play. He has done what he was supposed to do, as a matter of fact, he has gone beyond. That's a sign of growing up."

Louisiana – the school formerly known as Louisiana-Lafayette – returns all five starters from a team that went 13-20 last season.

The Ragin Cajuns have downed Louisiana College (101-67) and McNeese State (92-66) so far this season.

They are led by 6-4 guard Elfrid Payton (21.5 points, 6.5 assists per game) and 6-9 forward Shawn Long (26 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4 blocks per game).

"Payton is a 6-4 guard that can do a lot of things," Anderson said. "He can create for himself. He can create for others. He really passes the ball and can see. I love guards that can see.

"Long is a 6-9 skilled forward averaging 26 points and 14 and a half rebounds a game," Anderson added. "They are averaging 48 rebounds a game. That tells you (something). I don't care what type of competition."

Anderson's team has not played since a 99-65 win over SIU-Edwardsville last Friday night.

"Seems like it has been awhile since we played," Anderson said. "As you can imagine, our guys are chomping at the bits to play someone."


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