Jimmy Dykes Teaches Team About Arkansas-Texas Rivalry

The Arkansas women's basketball team returns to action 1:30 p.m. Sunday against No. 5 Texas in Oklahoma City as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. This story is free and courtesy of the NWA Chevy Dealers. Click the banner to learn more.

FAYETTEVILLE - Final exams may be over, but the Arkansas women's basketball team isn't done learning.

This lesson, with head coach Jimmy Dykes in the role of professor, is one of history: the Arkansas-Texas rivalry.

"The Arkansas-Texas rivalry in this state in any sport, doesn't matter, is a big, big deal," Dykes said. "I'll make sure our young ladies understand that before we take the floor on Sunday, that when the Arkansas red and white steps on the court against the burnt orange, it should go to another level."

The Razorbacks (3-7) play No. 5 Texas (9-0) in Oklahoma City 1:30 p.m. Sunday as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. It will be the team's first game in a week, as they have been focusing on finals, and it will air nationally on Fox Sports 1.

While Dykes said his five in-state players might know a little bit about the rivalry from their parents and grandparents, he doesn't think his team fully understands the importance of it and the history of it, just as they hadn't grasped the significance of playing Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse in their last game.

"None of them had ever watched the movie Hoosiers," Dykes said. "If they don't watch Hoosiers, the probably don't understant the relevancy when Arkansas plays Texas."

The series in women's basketball doesn't have the storied history like the one in football, with the Longhorns winning 21 of their 24 matchups.

Arkansas' only wins in the series came in a span of a year, as it won the last three games the teams played as Southwest Conference foes from 1990-1991. Texas won the first 20 games and their only matchup since the Razorbacks joined the SEC, a second-round game in the 2003 NCAA Tournament.

The Longhorns have been a top-20 team each time they played Arkansas and it will be the 17th time they've been a top-5 at the time of the game.

"Texas is at a different place with their program than we are with ours," Dykes said. "We're growing our program. Texas is established. They have it rolling, but that doesn't mean that we can't go down there and play really, really well and try to do some good things and hang in that game as long as we can and see what happens at the end."

Dykes said that he expects the rivalry aspect - once the team learns the history of it - to help fire up his team.

"I'm getting together a couple of good Arkansas-Texas stories to share with them in the hotel and in the locker room," Dykes said. "(I'm going to) reflect back on my days when I played here with 'Razorbacks' on my jersey and facing against a team that said 'Longhorns' on theirs."

This year's team will have its hands full. Texas is led by 6-foot-7 senior Imani Boyette, who is averaging 13.1 points, nine rebounds and two blocks per game.

The Longhorns - while undefeated - are not invincible. Earlier this month, Little Rock (formerly UALR) held Texas scoreless in the third quarter and led by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Trojans were outscored 31-8 in the final 10 minutes and lost 66-56.

"They're playing Arkansas now," Dykes said. "I know their coaching staff will do a good job, too, of understanding that this isn't Arkansas-Little Rock or Arkansas State. You're taking on the Razorbacks and the Razorbacks and Longhorns, they've been in a lot of powerful struggles over the years in the Southwest Conference in every sport.

"That's going to take place again Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City."


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