While the time off from basketball was sure to help heal any leftover bumps and bruises from the first 10 games of the season, the Razorbacks weren't exactly sitting around twiddling their thumbs for the last week and half. Instead, the Arkansas women have been busy prepping for and taking final exams — which concluded on Wednesday.
And even though there's no threat of physical exhaustion when the Razorbacks host Dartmouth (2-6) at 7 p.m. today in Bud Walton Arena, coach Tom Collen is leery of a mental hangover from exams week.
"It's an unusual final exams schedule at Arkansas, because you go midweek to midweek here at Arkansas," Collen said. "So we will have gone eight or nine days without playing a game and then finals (ended) on Wednesday. And it's a unique situation with us this year in that I think we have eight players who have finals Wednesday and then play Thursday night.
"So hopefully they'll not be too mentally fatigued from staying up late studying, and they'll be ready to make the transition from taking exams to being ready to play basketball. That might be the single biggest challenge that we have this year."
With the upcoming schedule about to be much stronger than what his team has seen thus far, Collen for one knows a rested and re-energized bunch will be needed if Arkansas (8-2) hopes to continue its early success. And despite the mental drain of finals, Collen thinks the time away from the court will help the Razorbacks as they continue on.
"I'd like to think that even with finals and all the practice we've had with individual players, I still think we've still gotten a little bit more rest than what they normally have during a normal school week," Collen said. "Because maybe you only have one test every three days, you don't have to go to class three or four times a day and you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn.
"So hopefully they've gotten the rest they need and that will be an advantage for us."
DARTMOUTH AT ARKANSAS
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville
RADIO: Razorback Sports Network; KURM-AM 790, KAYH FM-89.3, KXUA FM-88.3, KABZ FM-103.7
COACHES: Dartmouth, Chris Wielgus (24th season); Arkansas, Tom Collen (second season)
Pos. Player Ht. Class PPG
C Darcy Rose 6-2 SR 8.1 ppg
F Brittney Smith 6-1 SO 11.0 ppg
G Margaret Smith 6-1 JR 5.1 ppg
G Betsy Williams 6-0 JR 9.3 ppg
G Koren Schram 5-7 SR 13.8 ppg
Pos. Player Ht. Class PPG
P Whitney Jones 6-0 SR 11.4 ppg
G Ceira Ricketts 5-9 FR 13.0 ppg
G Lyndsay Harris 5-9 FR 10.4 ppg
G Ayana Brereton 5-10 SR 10.5 ppg
G Shanita Arnold 5-4 SO 7.6 ppg