As the Kentucky Wildcats take the floor in just a few short hours, the meet an Arkansas Razorbacks team that is about as solid as it gets when playing on their home floor. The Razorbacks have played a total of 16 games inside Bud Walton Arena this season and their home record sits at 15-1, with the only loss coming to then #6 ranked Syracuse. Their marquee wins at home include wins over #2 Florida, Missouri and Oklahoma. The Razorbacks haven’t lost a game at home since November 30. The Wildcats should be expecting the same environment that they encounter when they travel anywhere for an away game. The fans are going to be extra loud, the building is going to be extra full and the opposing team is going to be extra pumped up. Speaking of the opposing team, let’s take a look at a few things to expect from the Arkansas roster.
The Razorbacks offense is fueled by two players, BJ Young and Marshawn Powell, being the only two players scoring in double figures. Young is a 6’3″ guard, averaging a team leading 15.3 points per game, a team leading 3.7 assists per game and 3.7 rebounds per game. Powell is a 6’7″ forward, averaging 14.9 points, a team leading 5.3 rebounds per game and is shooting 40% from 3-point land. Powell leads the team in FG%, shooting 51% from the field. The Cats will most likely have Ryan Harrow or Julius Mays guarding BJ Young, with Alex Poythress defending Marshawn Powell.
The Razorbacks are coming into this game with back to back road losses to Florida and LSU, while Kentucky comes into this game winning their last three games, all at home. This game is a homecoming for Wildcat guard Archie Goodwin who grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. The high intensity of the situation could affect Goodwin’s play in either a negative or a positive way. He could come out trying to do too much in front of his hometown crowd and force too many shots. However, he could do what Brandon Knight did when he played at Florida for his homecoming game, when he finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Expect Goodwin’s play to be a key factor in the outcome of today’s game.
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