Before taking on No. 11 Oklahoma on Dec. 30 in Bud Walton Arena, Arkansas plays six straight games in Fayetteville against opponents with a combined record of 6-19. That stretch spans the next 29 days and begins with today's 2:05 p.m. contest against 1-4 Florida A&M.
Junior guard Stefan Welsh said the Razorbacks realize the value the next month holds for them.
"Our chemistry is steadily coming," said Welsh, whose 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left capped Arkansas' rally from 10 points down. "We're continuing to work, and I really think the sky is the limit for us."
While he came away frustrated with the Razorbacks' performance in a 62-57 loss at Missouri State last Saturday, Pelphrey looked at their two-game road trip as successful. And he wasted no time in getting the Hogs prepared for today's matchup with the Rattlers, holding one practice once on Thanksgiving and two on Friday.
Pelphrey said he hoped the positive feelings from Arkansas' first road win would carry over to the Hogs' upcoming homestand.
"I think it means a lot," Pelphrey said. "It means we're holding par a bit on the road. It means we have got a little confidence going for us now. We saw that we could get it done in a hostile environment. Certainly our challenges are going to get bigger and greater."
For a while, at least, the tests won't be all that big or all that great. But these next half-dozen games absolutely will be useful for a team that desperately needs to expand its depth.
Pelphrey said he was optimistic the Razorbacks could avoid a letdown against the less talented teams they would encounter today and in December.
"I hope we will come ready to play," Pelphrey said. "But you always do worry about that as a coach after a big win."
Florida A&M at Arkansas
When: 2:05 p.m.
Where: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville
Radio: KEZA-FM 107.9, KKEG-FM 92.1, KUOA-FM 105.3, KUOA-AM 1290
Records: Florida A&M Rattlers, 1-4; Arkansas Razorbacks, 3-1
Coaches: Florida A&M, Eugene Harris (second season; Arkansas, John Pelphrey (second season)
Series: Arkansas leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Arkansas won 97-57 in 1994 in Fayetteville
Florida A&M (1-4)
G Byron Taylor 5-7 Sr. 1.2
G Joe Ballard 6-0 Sr.
G Brandon Bryant 6-3 Jr. 8.4
F Lamar Twitty 6-4 Sr. 8.0
C Cecil Bent 6-9 Fr. 4.4
Pos. Player Ht. Class PPG
G Courtney Fortson 5-11 Fr. 17.3
G Rotnei Clarke 6-0 Fr. 14.3
G Stefan Welsh 6-3 Jr. 13.8
F Michael Sanchez 6-8 Fr. 7.3
F Michael Washington 6-9 Jr. 14.3