Razorbacks Looking Forward to Frantic Pace

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- No player or coach minds the recipe Arkansas has used to rack up five straight victories. The Razorbacks have found an identity, consciously embracing their collective passion for fierce defense.

But scoring just 68.8 points per game, good for eighth in the Southeastern Conference, hasn't sat well with freshman Patrick Beverley and junior Sonny Weems. Their eyes both lit up when asked about the possibility of a more up-tempo pace tonight in Arkansas' 8 p.m. game at Missouri. Just thinking about potential fast breaks and transition baskets had both fighting back smiles. Beverley said, "You know I like to play quicker. You know it." Weems said, "I think that's how we feel most comfortable." Well, they better enjoy a furious contest. That's exactly what Missouri coach Mike Anderson wants for this nationally televised game. Anderson, an Arkansas assistant coach for 17 years under Nolan Richardson, gives the Razorbacks their first up-close look at Richardson's system. As an opponent, that is. For four years after leaving Fayetteville, Anderson took a job at his hometown university and led Alabama-Birmingham to one NIT and three NCAA Tournament berths. His teams played just like Richardson's Hogs of the 1980s and '90s, suffering through the same conditioning work, exhibiting the same 40-minute effort, inducing the same frustration. He brought that brand of basketball to Missouri in April, and his Tigers (7-0) now welcome Arkansas (5-0) to Mizzou Arena for their first legitimate test of Anderson's brief time in Columbia. "I think they're trying to (adjust to it)," Anderson said. "The conditioning part is the toughest part -- the mental part, the part of getting through two-a-days. We just try to simplify things." In seven wins, the Tigers have scored 83.9 points and forced 22 turnovers per game. But they weren't exactly taking on stellar competition -- Missouri's wins came over North Carolina A&T, Army, Stetson, Lipscomb, Davidson, Stephen F. Austin and Coppin State. Regardless, the Tigers figure to test Arkansas. Tonight marks the Razorbacks' first trip into an opponent's arena this season. And for Weems and freshmen Patrick Beverley, Stefan Welsh and Michael Washington, their first Division I road game awaits in a notoriously raucous environment. "We'll just need to stay calm," Weems said. "That's not too tough for us once we get going and run." In order for Arkansas to get its fast-break game sparked, the Razorbacks must conquer any number of defenses Anderson will throw at them. "They are going to pressure us, but we don't know what kind of pressure it will be," Heath said. "It's not the same press. It could be man, trap man, a 2-3 zone, a 1-3-1, a 2-2-1 press or they could run and jump." To say the least, Beverley and Weems can't wait. Neither can Arkansas coach Stan Heath, who commented earlier this week on the excitement of what he considered to always be an intense rivalry. "I know Missouri will be sky-high, but that's because Arkansas is coming to town," Heath said. "Both teams will play hard." And fast. TODAY'S TICKET ARKANSAS AT MISSOURI WHEN: 8 p.m. WHERE: Mizzou Arena RADIO: KXIO-FM 106.9; KEZA-FM 107.9; KKEG-FM 92.1; KFPW-AM 1230; KQBK-FM 104.7; KHGG-AM 1580; KHGG-FM 103.1; KDYN-AM 1540; KDYN-FM 96.7; KTTG-FM 96.3 TV: ESPN2 LINE: LOOK THIS UP HEAD COACHES: Arkansas, Stan Heath (fifth season); Missouri, Mike Anderson (first season) RECORDS: Arkansas 5-0, Missouri 7-0 Arkansas and Missouri played 10 straight seasons when Nolan Richardson and Norm Stewart were the schools' respective coaches. Here are results for last 11 meetings between the Hogs and Tigers, who started the series back up last season: 88-89 Arkansas 83-78 in Columbia, Mo. 89-90 Missouri 89-88 in Fayetteville 90-91 Arkansas 95-82 in Columbia, Mo. 91-92 Missouri 87-76 in Fayetteville 92-93 Arkansas 73-68 in Columbia, Mo. 93-94 Arkansas 120-68 in Fayetteville 94-95 Arkansas 94-71 in Columbia, Mo. 95-96 Arkansas 104-93 in Fayetteville 96-97 Arkansas 80-76 in Columbia, Mo. 97-98 Arkansas 75-46 in Fayetteville 05-06 Arkansas 66-63 in Fayetteville STARTING LINEUPS MISSOURI (7-0) G Stefhon Hannah Jr. 13.5 G Jason Horton Jr. 5.3 G Matt Lawrence So. 13.0 F Marshall Brown Jr. 6-6 F Kalen Grimes Jr. 11.0 ARKANSAS (5-0) G Gary Ervin 6-0 Jr. 10.6 G Patrick Beverley 6-1 Fr. 13.6 C Steven Hill 7-0 Jr. 6.0 F Sonny Weems 6-6 Jr. 14.8 F Charles Thomas 6-8 Jr. 9.2

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