Arkansas (5-1) at No. 8 UConn (6-1)
Date: Dec. 3, 2011
Time: 3:15 p.m.
Site: XL Center, Hartford
TV: ESPN (Jon Sciambi, Bill Raftery)
Radio: UConn Radio Network/WTIC-AM 1080 (Bob Joyce, Phil Chardis)
Series: UConn leads, 2-0
Last meeting: UConn 77, Arkansas 68 (Nov. 21, 2005)
Rudy Gay scored 29 points and Denham Brown added 21 as No. 3 UConn defeated the Razorbacks in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Ronnie Brewer led Arkansas with 25 points.
ARKANSAS PROBABLE STARTERS
G 1 Mardracus Wade So. 6-3 175 10.8 ppg
G 3 Rickey Scott So. 6-3 202 8.8 ppg
G 23 Julysses Nobles Jr. 6-1 174 12.2 ppg
F 4 DeVonta Abron Fr 6-8 250 6.2 ppg
F 31 Michael Sanchez Sr. 6-9 235 6.2 ppg
UCONN PROBABLE STARTERS
G 13 Shabazz Napier So. 6-1 171 17.9 ppg
G 3 Jeremy Lamb So. 6-5 180 21.1 ppg
F 10 Tyler Olander So. 6-9 225 7.1 ppg
F 34 Andre Drummond Fr. 6-10 270 8.1 ppg
F 22 DeAndre Daniels Fr. 6-8 195 6.4 ppg
CALHOUN'S CONCERNS: Here's something you don't see on a UConn stat sheet very often. In seven games, the Huskies have 110 turnovers. UConn's opponents have 81. Coach Jim Calhoun said Friday he is concerned about the Huskies averaging 15.7 turnovers. "Last year we averaged 11 turnovers and made 75 percent of our foul shots," he said. "We're at 65 [from the line] and 16 turnovers. That's a big deal to me." Calhoun is also worried about consistency. "We're still not fully connected. Guys haven't found their space, their place, their roles."
ORIAKHI BLUES: Alex Oriakhi lost his starting spot in the Bahamas. Against an Arkansas team that likes to pressure and run – and starts three guards - there's not much of a chance that Oriakhi will play a big role Saturday. In the last two games, Oriakhi played 26 minutes against UCF and 10 against Florida State. "That's a big variance," Calhoun said. "I'm not concerned about his attitude. I'm concerned about his confidence. He's not a terribly overconfident kid. . . . He's going to play a lot of basketball for us, there's no reason to believe he won't."
TOP PLAYER OUT: Marshawn Powell's long history of injuries continues. The junior forward tore ligaments in his knee in practice on Nov. 17 and will miss the remainder of the Arkansas season. He scored 39 points in the first two games of the season for first-year coach Mike Anderson, who left Missouri to return to the school where he spent 17 years as an assistant to Nolan Richardson. The Razorbacks are averaging 83.7 points, which ranks 16th in the nation but their victories are over USC Upstate, Oakland, Utah Valley, Grambling State and Mississippi State.
RUDY GAY: Former UConn star Rudy Gay, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, has been getting ready for the resumption of his NBA work schedule by working out with the Huskies this week. Gay has added that weight that comes with being a pro. Jeremy Lamb pointed out that the Huskies won't see too many 6-10, 240-pound guys who can move like a guard. "He never ate when he was here," Calhoun said of Gay.
QUOTE: Calhoun on Arkansas' future under Mike Anderson: "They're going to be terrific down the line. And I just hope they wait one day and being terrific starts Sunday."