Campbellsville Connection

FAYETTEVILLE — Twenty years back, they competed together for the Paintsville (Ky.) High basketball and baseball teams. Just a couple of eastern Kentucky boys who dug sports, John Pelphrey and Keith Adkins formed a relationship the two still treasure.

That relationship is why their respective teams will face off at 7:05 p.m. today in Bud Walton Arena. Pelphrey, whose No. 19 Razorbacks take on Adkins' NAIA Campbellsville (Ky.) University, laughed about their former basketball days in high school at his Monday news conference.

"Keith Adkins is a special guy to me," Pelphrey said. "He's a smart guy. I say that because he knew his job was to throw me the ball. He was a point guard and he was one year behind me."

Their friendship surely will be put to the side tonight. Sure, this is just an exhibition, just the last of Arkansas' tune-ups before its regular-season opener Friday night against Wofford. But Pelphrey is still learning about his Razorbacks. He is still trying to get each Razorback to "put both feet in the circle," Pelphrey's term for buying into his system and style.

The 29 forced turnovers in last Friday's 74-point exhibition win against Division II West Florida were impressive; so were the 29 assists and the six scorers in double figures. But Pelphrey merely considered that contest a starting point.

Arkansas practiced twice Sunday, and practiced hard. Tonight's exhibition is just a blimp of, as Pelphrey admittedly despises calling it, the Razorbacks' "culture of change." Pelphrey said the Sunday practices, of which a healthy Sonny Weems took part, caught the Hogs off-guard.

They continue to be surprised, Pelphrey said, at the intensity level being required on a daily basis. Last week, senior Charles Thomas commented on the practices, saying "I can't believe how hard we go. There's no let-up."

Well, that's the intention.

"They don't understand the reason why (we go so hard) sometimes," Pelphrey said. "That's part of the reason why we have to coach them."



WHEN: 7:05 p.m.

WHERE: Bud Walton Arena

TV: None

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

COACHES: Campbellsville, Keith Adkins; Arkansas, John Pelphrey

PROBABLE ARKANSAS STARTERS: Gary Ervin, G, Sr.; Patrick Beverley, G, So.; Sonny Weems, F, Sr.; Charles Thomas, F, Sr.; Steven Hill, C, Sr.

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