It's no coincidence that the six "new" players on the University of Arkansas basketball team are all on the same squad for this Saturday afternoon's Red-White game at 2:05 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.
That's just how Razorback coach Stan Heath drew it up. In fact, it's pretty much what he has been told the teams looked like this summer during pick-up games.
"We thought it would be an interesting matchup - the guys who were freshman last year would kind of be together and at the same time look at the other upper classmen and play against the freshmen and some of the others that are new," Heath said. "A lot of times I think during the summer and fall guys kind of picked up teams that way.
"I think it's healthy," Heath added. "I don't think we have a cliquish team where it is causing some friction or anything or dividing our team at all. The young guys have a little bit of chemistry with each other and the sophomores have a little bit of chemistry. I am interested to see what happens."
The older Red team will be coached by Razorback assistants Orande Taliaferro and Rob Flaska and will have sophomores Eric Ferguson, Jonathon Modica, Kendrick Davis, Rashard Sullivan and Wen Mukubu as well as junior Mike Jones.
The White team - coached by assistants Ronny Thompson and Darren Sorenson will consist of only one returning player in senior Jamar Blackmon.
It will also include the six that didn't play for the Razorbacks last season - redshirt seniors Charles Tatum and Billy Pharis and freshmen Ronnie Brewer, Olu Famutimi , Vincent Hunter and Preston Cranford.
Tatum, who has been a Red-White superstar in his career with games of 32 and 28 points, said it's easy to pick a winner.
"Just go with whichever team I am on," Tatum said. "It's pretty simple."
Heath will not coach and just look on as a very interested observer.
"It will be good for the fans and give us an opportunity to see everybody play with players that can do a little more and make it more competitive," Heath said. "I want to see how we progress offensively and defensively."
He stressed that fans would see something far different than they did at Midnight Madness back on Oct. 18.
"Midnight Madness was more like open gym," Heath said. "We should see a glimpse of what we'll look like in a real game. We'll see what they can do with the lights on. At the same time, I know we're not in midseason form. I expect certain things, but that may change.
"......I expect good solid play," Heath added. "I'm looking for us to take care of the ball, play good, hard-nosed defense and put it all together offensively."
o o o
Prized point guard Kyle Lowry, one of the nation's top point guards from Philadelphia, will be making his official visit to Arkansas this weekend.
He will arrive Friday afternoon and have a chance to watch practice before getting the full treatment from the athletic and academic departments.
"I am really looking forward to getting down there," Lowry said. "It is finally time to see what it is all about."
Lowry, who averaged for 20 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for Cardinal Doughtery last season, is the 30th best player in the country by TheInsiders.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep.
He has already taken an official visit to Villanova and comes into this visit with plans to sign in the spring.
"That's what I am planning on doing right now," Lowry said. "It could change if I am blown away, but that's my plan right now to wait and see how they do during the season."
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