Arkansas will hit the road this weekend for its final preseason tune up with a highly-anticipated charity exhibition against Texas. Saturday’s tipoff in Austin (Texas) is set for 3 pm (CT) in what will be the first game inside the brand new Moody Center.
It won’t count on the win-loss record, but Saturday’s matchup between the Razorbacks and Longhorns feels bigger than the typical exhibition. The Arkansas-Texas rivalry runs deep, and both highly-ranked programs are looking to build momentum and make an early statement in advance of the regular season.
This weekend’s exhibition was originally scheduled to be broadcast on the Longhorn Network, but reports were confirmed earlier in the week that will no longer be the case. Here are the details on how to listen and follow along for those unable to attend in person:
WHO: No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks at No. 12 Texas Longhorns
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3:00 pm (CT)
WHERE: Moody Center | Austin (Texas)
HOW TO LISTEN/FOLLOW: Listen Live (HERE), Live State (HERE). Senior analyst Curtis Wilkerson will be onsite at the Moody Center for full coverage of Saturday’s exhibition. Be sure to check out HawgSports.com for live updates and comprehensive breakdowns during and after the game.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS
Texas finished 22-12 (10-8 Big 12) in Chris Beard’s first season at the helm. The Longhorns earned an at-large bid at the NCAA Tournament as a 6-seed and defeated Virginia Tech in the Round of 64 before falling to 3-seed Purdue in the Round of 32.
The Longhorns will enter the 2022-23 campaign ranked No. 12 in both The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25. Texas was picked to finish third in the Big 12 behind Baylor and Kansas.
The computers are high on Texas as well. KenPom projects the Longhorns as the No. 2 team in the country and one of just three teams projected to be top 10 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. Torvik has Texas sitting at No. 7 in its preseason national rankings.
- Timmy Allen (Sr, F, 6-6, 210) – 12.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg
- Marcus Carr (Sr, G, 6-2, 175) – 11.4 ppg, 3.4 apg, 1.9 rpg
- Christian Bishop (Sr, 6-7, 220) – 7.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg
- Dylan Disu (Sr, F, 6-9, 225) – 3.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
- Tyrese Hunter (So, G, 6-0, 175) – Big 12 Freshman of the Year at Iowa State in 2021-22. Averaged 11.0 points and 4.9 assists per game with 71 total steals.
- Sir Jabari Rice (Sr, G, 6-4, 180) – 2nd-Team All-WAC at New Mexico State in 2021-22. Averaged 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Played against Arkansas in NCAAT Round of 32.
- Arterio Morris (Fr, G, 6-2, 190) – McDonald’s All-American. Five-star prospect, ranked No. 18 nationally at 247Sports.
- Dillon Mitchell (Fr, F, 6-8, 205) – McDonald’s All-American. Five-star prospect, ranked No. 8 nationally at 247Sports.
Muss on the ‘Horns
“Every game is a new challenge. Obviously, No. 4 Hunter had a great freshman year at Iowa State, and Marcus Carr had a great college career at the University of Minnesota, and now at Texas. This is another challenge, and then you add in the fact that No. 10 Rice was a tough cover last year at New Mexico State. And so, you can expect Hunter, Carr and Rice to all take on the challenge of going against AB and Nick. And we’re going to have to take the challenge from our end, as well.”
“(Beard’s) teams are really well-coached. They’re really physical. They’re really hard to score on. The game at Texas Tech when I was at Nevada was as good a regular season game as I’ve ever been a part of. Hopefully we don’t encounter the same whistle that we did in overtime of that game. That was an experience on its own. That night, I still have vivid memories of the last couple of minutes of overtime. But it was a great atmosphere, great crowd. The student section was rocking. Look, I think Coach Beard is as good a coach as any coach in America. I love how physical they are. They make it really difficult to score the ball, based on physicality. “
Beard on the Hogs
“Arkansas will test us in a lot of ways. It’s going to be a great game, great challenge. They have a lot of length and athleticism. They’re a team that it’s kind of hard to tell who’s the point guard and who’s the power forward. They’re all long and athletic. They’re a team that can switch a lot on defense and play different ways, so very similar to a lot of the teams we’ll have to play through in our non-conference and certainly the Big 12. No doubt about it.
“Coach Muss’ teams always have an identity of playing extremely hard. We played his teams at Nevada. We played his teams since he’s been at Arkansas. We played them in the NCAA Tournament one year. We know they’re going to play extremely hard. We know they’re gong to be diverse on defense. Offensively they do a lot of good stuff. A lot of NBA basketball iso and action. They move the ball, and they’re a team that values passing. It’s going to test our team a lot.”
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
- Lineup Limbo: Arkansas is likely to continue mixing and matching the starting lineup, especially after Musselman reported Monday’s starters were humbled by the second unit in practice the next day. What tweaks could be made? Don’t be surprised to see Ricky CouncilDevo Davis or perhaps Makhi Mitchell get a look.
- Big test for young guards: The dynamic backcourt duo of Nick Smith and Anthony Black will largely carry Arkansas as far as it’s going to go this season. They will face their first significant test Saturday against an experienced, talented group of guards from Texas in Marcus Carr, Tyrese Hunter and Sir’Jabari Rice. How will they respond?
- defense travels: The last two times Arkansas has been on display against live competition, it has been downright filthy defensively. The Hogs stifled the Bakken Bears to close out their foreign tour and overwhelmed Division 2 Rogers State. Will the lockdown D travel to Austin against much more stiff competition?
- Flow on O: A staple of Chris Beard coached teams is tough, physical defensive play. It will certainly be the toughest egg the Arkansas offense has to crack. How will the Hogs execute when the Longhorns crank up the intensity Saturday? Ideally, Arkansas keeps things flowing with ball and player movement that produces quality shots rather than some of the stagnant stretches from a season ago.
- Now and Later: Both teams are going to be better in the long run for playing this game, which is the most important takeaway regardless of outcome. However, it will also provide a very real gauge of where the Hogs and ‘Horns are at in the present with the regular season just over a week away. If this young and almost entirely new Arkansas roster can go on the road and play spoiler at the grand opening of the Moody Center, go ahead and crank the hype level up another notch or two.