'Cats Hoping to Stay Hot

No. 7/6 Kentucky Wildcats (15-2, 6-0 SEC)
Arkansas Razorbacks (14-5, 2-4 SEC)
Sat., Jan. 29, 2005 - 3:30 p.m.
Bud Walton Arena - Fayetteville, Ark.

Kentucky, off to its best start since the 1998 National Championship club began the season 19-2, takes its undefeated SEC record on the road to Arkansas Saturday for the second of three-straight conference road games. The Wildcats pushed their league record to 6-0 with 84-62 win over Tennessee in Knoxville Tuesday.

The Cats hope to regain the services of senior forward Chuck Hayes, who is listed as day-to-day after fracturing his nose late in the first half Tuesday. Hayes, the SEC's second-leading rebounder, was fitted with a face mask upon return to Lexington and practiced with the team Thursday. Despite playing just 11 minutes against the Vols, Hayes managed to grab six rebounds, moving him into the top- 10 for career boards at UK.

Following the game with the Razorbacks, Kentucky enjoys a mid-week open date before traveling to Nashville to face Vanderbilt on Feb. 5. That game completes a string of five road contests in six games.

Scouting the Razorbacks
Arkansas hosts Kentucky after a midweek open date. The Razorbacks are 14- 5 on the season, including 2-4 in SEC play. The Hogs snapped a four-game league losing streak with a 95-59 victory over Auburn last weekend. UA started the season with a 13-1 record, including a 69-46 win over Ole Miss. Sophomore Ronnie Brewer leads the Razorbacks with 16.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg. The Fayetteville native is connecting on 51 percent (111-of-219) of his field-goal attempts and is 20-of-47 (.426) from three-point range. Olu Famutimi and Eric  Ferguson also average double figures for Arkansas, both with 10.4 points. Stan Heath is in his third season as head coach of the Razorbacks, holding a 35-40 record at the school and a 65-46 career record after one season at Kent State.

Series History

  • Kentucky owns an 18-7 advantage in the series with the Razorbacks and have won four in a row. The Razorbacks own a narrow 4-3 advantage in Fayetteville.
  • UK is 2-3 at Bud Walton Arena since 1994-95. Prior to that, the Cats went 0-1 at Barnhill Arena (1992-93) and 1-0 at Arkansas' Men's Gymnasium (1949-50)
  • The first series meeting came on Dec. 18, 1945 - a 67-42 Kentucky win. The last time the teams met was Feb. 18, 2004 - a 73-56 Wildcat victory in Rupp Arena.
  • Perhaps the greatest game in series history came in the finals of the 1995 SEC Tournament at Atlanta's Georgia Dome, when third-ranked UK downed the fifthranked and eventual national champion Razorbacks, 95-93, in overtime. The Cats overcame a nine-point deficit in overtime to claim the win.
  • Tubby Smith is 10-9 against Arkansas in his career. At Tulsa, he was 0-5 against the Razorbacks. He was 2-1 against UA at Georgia and is 8-3 in his eighth season at Kentucky.
  • Stan Heath is 0-3 against UK in his career, including an 82-68 loss to the Wildcats in 2001 while coaching Kent State. Heath also served as an assistant coach at Michigan State from 1997-01. The Spartans were 1-2 against UK in that time.

    Probable Starters

    Pos. # Name              Ht. Wt. Cl.  PPG  RPG Notes
    F   44 Chuck Hayes       6-6 242 Sr. 11.1  9.1 Broke nose during Tennessee game
    F   24 Kelenna Azubuike  6-5 208 Jr. 14.4  4.7 17 pts, 6 rebs, 3 assts vs. UT
    C   33 Randolph Morris  6-10 266 Fr.  8.5  3.9 Shooting 63.6% FGs in SEC play
    G    4 Rajon Rondo       6-1 171 Fr.  8.0 *2.8 2.588 spg tops UK records
    G   22 Patrick Sparks    6-0 180 Jr. 11.9 *4.8 Game-high 19 pts at Tennessee
    Pos. # Name              Ht. Wt. Cl.  PPG  RPG Notes
    F    1 Michael   Jones     6-9 222 Sr.  4.6  1.9 Consecutive double figure games
    F   23 Olu Famutimi      6-5 207 So. 10.4  4.2 13.5 pts, 11-of-17 FGs in last two
    C    5 Darian Townes    6-10 237 Fr.  8.6  4.0 Scored in double figures 9 times
    G   10 Ronnie Brewer     6-7 205 So. 16.3  4.6 Ranks 8th in SEC in scoring
    G   15 Eric Ferguson     6-1 204 Jr. 10.4 *4.4 11th on UA's all-time assists list
    *assists per game

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