The Razorbacks would not only keep South Carolina's stellar backcourt — Devan Downey and Zam Fredrick — from getting into a rhythm. They'd also give freshman point guard Courtney Fortson a chance to thrive in open-floor situations.
2. Shut Down Guards
Should the Gamecocks break Arkansas' full-court and half-court pressure, they certainly possess the amount of offensive firepower to overwhelm the Razorbacks.
Downey, a 5-foot-9 junior point guard who starred in South Carolina's win last season in Bud Walton Arena, leads the Gamecocks in scoring. He can create a shot at any time and his average of 19.8 points per contest ranks third in the SEC.
Fredrick, a 6-foot senior, scores 15.4 per game as South Carolina's second scoring option. Fortson, and the rest of Arkansas' backcourt, will be challenged defensively.
3. Make, Get Out On 3s
The Gamecocks rank first in the SEC on both sides of the 3-point equation. They're tops in 3-point percentage (.380), as well as 3-point percentage defense (.316).
Arkansas has scored more points off 3-pointers than its opponents only three times during SEC play. But the Razorbacks did so Wednesday night against LSU, nailing six 3s while the Tigers hit only four.
The Hogs need continued improvement from freshman guard Rotnei Clarke, who has drilled 14 of his 34 shots from 3-point range (.411) in his past four games.
4. Keep Fouls Down
This has emerged as a problem in so many of Arkansas' games this season. Coach John Pelphrey has limited options on his bench, so he can't afford the kind of foul trouble his players have gotten into lately.
Junior forward Michael Washington played only two minutes in the first half at Auburn last week and saw only eight first-half minutes Wednesday against LSU.
Washington, Clarke and freshman forward Michael Sanchez spent considerable time on the bench during Wednesday's first half.
5. More From Welsh
Junior guard Stefan Welsh aggravated a right toe injury during Wednesday's loss to LSU. He fought through the pain but missed all seven of his shots.
Arkansas needs Welsh's toe to not be a factor tonight.
Arkansas Razorbacks (13-11, 1-10)
• Coach: John Pelphrey (Second season)
• Last Time Out: Arkansas lost to No. 23 LSU 72-69 on Feb. 18 in Fayetteville
• Key Injuries: Junior G Stefan Welsh, right foot, probable
Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG APG
G Courtney Fortson 5-11 Freshman 14.7 5.3 6.3
G Rotnei Clarke 6-0 Freshman 11.3 1.9 1.0
G Stefan Welsh 6-3 Junior12.3 3.2 2.2
F Michael Sanchez 6-8 Freshman 6.1 4.9 0.7
F Michael Washington 6-9 Junior 16.2 9.6 1.3*
G Jason Henry 6-6 Freshman 7.6 4.4 0.4
G Marcus Britt 6-3 Sophomore 3.3 1.8 0.9
F Andre Clark 6-9 Freshman 2.6 1.8 0.2
F Brandon Moore 6-9 Freshman 1.9 1.7 0.5
South Carolina (18-6, 7-4)
• Coach: Darrin Horn (First season)
• Last Time Out: South Carolina lost to Mississippi State 75-70 on Feb. 18 in Starkville, Miss.
• Key Injuries: Senior G Branden Conrad, fractured right foot, questionable
Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG APG
G Devan Downey 5-9 Junior 19.8 2.9 4.4
G Zam Fredrick 6-0 Senior 15.4 3.0 1.8
F Dominique Archie 6-7 Junior 11.6 6.8 0.9
F Mike Holmes 6-7 Sophomore 11.2 7.8 0.4
F Sam Mudrow 6-9 Sophomore 6.3 5.5 0.2
F Evaldas Baniulis 6-7 Junior 6.7 2.6 0.8
G Brandis Raley-Ross 6-2 Junior 6.7 2.8 1.7
F Austin Steed 6-8 Sophomore 4.3 4.0 0.2