Not Overlooking Stephen F. Austin

FAYETTEVILLE -- He planned on enlightening his players, hoping to instill the meaningful message to never take an opponent lightly.

Arkansas coach Stan Heath wondered if his Razorbacks had seen the highlights Tuesday night from the biggest upset in this young college basketball season: Oral Roberts 78, Kansas 71.

Pretty quickly on Wednesday morning, Heath found out.

"I'd like to have (brought it up with them)," Heath said. "But those guys hit me before I even had the chance. Some guys came in this morning to shoot around and that was one of the first things they started talking about. 'Man, coach, you see that game last night? You see that score?' So, they're aware."

Heath now knows his team noticed a mid-major school taking down a major-conference powerhouse. But will his Hogs learn from it? That's what interests Heath most, and he'll likely get an answer at 7:05 p.m. tonight in Bud Walton Arena.

Stephen F. Austin (1-1), which finished fourth in the Southland Conference last season, shouldn't present Arkansas (1-0) with too many physical challenges when the Razorbacks end an eight-day hiatus.

But the Jayhawks surely possess far more talent than the Golden Eagles, and that did little to stop Oral Roberts from knocking off the third-ranked squad in the country. Oral Roberts exhibited great chemistry, rebounded well and shot more than 60 percent from 3-point range. Quite the recipe for an upset.

"That kind of showed us that you should think of all of your opponents as very good," Arkansas junior point guard Gary Ervin said. "If you don't come out and play well, you'll lose the battle."

Tonight's contest is one of eight nonconference home games for the Hogs, none which will come against major-conference teams. No matter, junior swingman Sonny Weems said.

All must be taken seriously. All must be treated with respect, especially Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles come to Fayetteville on Dec. 22. For a team like Arkansas, with several newcomers and an identity still to be found, these games can't be considered throwaways.

"We've got a lot to work on, so there's no way we'll look past any of these teams," Weems said. "We've seen what can happen."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories