Men's Basketball Battles Southern Friday in Season Opener
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas men’s basketball team opens its 93rd season of play in 2015-16 and the fifth under head coach Mike Anderson Friday evening when the Razorbacks welcome Southern University to Bud Walton Arena.
• Southern University from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Jaguars finished 18-17 last season, falling just shy of an NCAA Tournament bid with a 62-58 loss to Texas Southern in the SWAC championship game.
• Guards Adrian Rodgers (13.1 PPG) and Trelun Banks (10.3 PPG) are the top returners for Southern. The Jaguars averaged 4.3 three-pointers per game last season, and Rodgers and Banks can claim 88 of the 93 treys from returning players on the 2015-16 roster.
• Southern began the 2014-15 campaign with a difficult non-conference slate, where they went only 5-12, including losses at Ole Miss, Minnesota, Iowa State and Baylor. The team rebounded, however, posting a 13-5 record in conference play, and then winning two games in the SWAC Tournament.
• After the Jaguars face the Razorbacks in Bud Walton Arena on Friday, they travel to Mississippi State for a matchup in Starkville on Monday, Nov. 16. The two SEC opponents are the only Power Five schools Southern will face in non-conference play.
“Southern is a team that is predicted to be in the top two or three in their league. It is a team that is going to come in with some quickness and some athletes. They play teams like Arkansas all the time so they are going to come in here looking forward to an opportunity to come into bud Walton Arena and steal a game. We have to have the mindset that we have to protect the home court.”
• The Razorbacks have won 41 straight home openers, including a 22-0 record in openers inside Bud Walton Arena.
• The Razorbacks have won 20 consecutive season openers and have opened the year in the win column in 42 of the last 44 seasons.
• Arkansas is 39-1 in non-conference games in bud Walton Arena under head coach Mike Anderson, including 24 straight wins. The only non-conference loss at home under Anderson came against Syracuse in 2012-13.
• The Razorbacks have won 53 consecutive games at home against unranked non-conference opponents, including a perfect 39-0 under Anderson.
• Mike Anderson coached teams have never lost a season opener, going 13-0 and averaging a 17-point margin of victory in those games.
• The Razorbacks are 1-0 all-time against Southern University, with the only meeting coming on Nov. 29, 1985 in Pine Bluff with Arkansas winning 76-75.
This Date in History
Arkansas is 1-0 all-time on Nov. 13, defeating Alcorn State in 2009. Rotnei Clarke led the team and set the program’s single-game scoring record with 51 points after going 15-for-21 from the field and 13-for-17 from long range.
The Road Ahead
• Arkansas will play six non-conference opponents that finished in the top 150 of the final NCAA RPI last season in Akron (124), Georgia Tech (147), Wake Forest (143), Evansville (82), Dayton (29) and Villanova (6) or Stanford (34).
• The Razorbacks will participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off, hosting Akron and Charleston Southern, before traveling to Brooklyn, N.Y. to play Georgia Tech and Villanova/Stanford.
Lower level and upper level donor locations for season tickets are also still available. For information on those locations, please contact the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-4647. To purchase online click here.
For more information on Arkansas men’s basketball, follow @RazorbackMBB on Twitter.