Marshawn, T-Head And The Magicians

The return of Razorback freshman power forward Marshawn Powell and the arrival of former Memphis schoolboy scoring sensation Taurean Moy - who once hit 24 3-pointers and scored 83 points in a single game - highlight Thursday night's exhibition game between Arkansas and Division II LeMoyne-Owen.

Maybe T-Head and The Magicians can help the Razorbacks conjure up some more excitement Thursday night at Bud Walton Arena.

That's the most well-known player and mascot of Memphis-based LeMoyne-Owen who will face the University of Arkansas tonight at 7:05 p.m. in both team's second and final exhibition game.

"I understand that they have had great tradition over the years, had a great long-time coach and have a guy that can really go and really shoot it," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "We have to come ready to get after it."

This is not the Division II team named LeMoyne that shocked the college basketball world by upsetting Syracuse 82-79 on Tuesday night.

It's the Division II one that fell 98-68 to the University of Memphis on the same night – albeit leading the Tigers late in the opening half before the home team ripped off a 16-0 spree before the break.

T-Head is the nickname of Taurean Moy, a 5-11 junior guard who was once a schoolboy sensation in Memphis and named Mr. Basketball in Tennessee way back in 2001.

Moy once had a national record 24 3-pointers in one game and 83 points overall for Booker T. Washington in a game against Manassas in December 2000 – only to be arrested the next day for assault and possession marijuana.

He is now 27 years old and has resumed his basketball career after a 36-month stint for attempted first degree sexual assault in the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

That detoured his college career – one had already included three stops before arriving at LeMoyne-Owen.

""I would still like to buy my mom that big house," Moy told sportswriter Gary Parrish for a story while the basketball standout was still incarcerated – referencing his dream of one day playing in the NBA. "I want to play basketball. I want to make it. I don't want to just be some playground legend. I don't think it's too late."

Moy had 14 points in 23 minutes of action against the Tigers with guard Maurice Mickens leading the way with 18.

"When Taurean shot the ball, you could bet your life it was going in," noted Fred Horton, Moy's coach at Booker T. Washington High and a vet of over 30 years there, for the aforementioned story. "He's not only the best shooter I've ever had, he's probably the best shooter I've ever seen."

The Razorbacks whipped Dillard University 77-59 on Monday before 2,278 fans and should be better prepared for their second and final exhibition.

They should add 6-8, 220-pound freshmen power forward Marshawn Powell to the mix tonight after he missed Monday night due to the flu.

Powell, who was able to practice on Wednesday, had a game-high 19 points in the squad's Red-White game.

"It will be big to get him in there and kind of get one of those rehearsals through," Pelphrey said. "That's why these games are really important…He hasn't been through it. It was tough for him missing that one, but hopefully we can get him back in there Thursday."

Powell is expected to start alongside Razorback senior center Michael Washington, who had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in just 21 minutes in the opening exhibition contest.

Although he didn't say it, Washington would probably like to see the ball earlier than he did Monday night – which was after 8 possessions.

Pelphrey started freshmen point guard Julysess Nobles to get him some experience, but Washington didn't really get going until true starting point guard Courtney Fortson arrived in the game.

"I think we all need to understand that it has got to go inside – preferably off the pass and then off the bounce," Pelphrey said. "I think that we were a little bit surprised that I think Rotnei (Clarke) started the game with three wide open looks…and were just startled it was that easy. That's not the real world.

"I am over there at the 17-and-half minute mark thinking Mike hasn't touched it yet," Pelphrey added. "I think that is where Julysess got to grow here. I think that he actually had a pretty good first half..but then Courtney comes in the game and right away gets it boom, boom to Mike."

Pelphrey wants to see his team progress from that first exhibition effort.

"Obviously with this game we would like to show improvement," Pelphrey said. "…We do need to get better. There were some bright spots."

As far as what he wants to see specifically from his team, Pelphrey said it starts with taking better shots than the Razorbacks took while shooting 39.2 percent from the field Monday night.

"I don't want to take some of the shots we took so fast," Pelphrey said. "We have got to get the right guys shooting early. If we are going to shoot shots early, it's got to be the right guys and the right shots. I thought we took a lot of premature shots, but that is why you play these games to find those things out."

"It was probably 50-50 on handling pressure when it comes to full court," Pelphrey added. "There were times when we had the basketball one on one and we didn't just go and force somebody to help us and now we can share the ball. There were other times when we got trapped and nobody flashed to the middle. That was half-and-half and needs to get better."

"I would also like to see us be able to duplicate some of that passing," Pelphrey continued. "There were a couple of plays the first half where – and we always talk about this – passing is such a beautiful thing in basketball. If you can get hot, the crowd always cheers the loudest for team passing and you get an easy basket."


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