Bouncing Back...Again

Mike Anderson

Arkansas (17-9, 5-6) hosts No. 14 Florida (20-6, 8-3) Saturday in a 5 p.m. game on ESPN2 as the Gators try to become the first visiting team to win at Bud Walton Arena this season

There are better foes to get well at home against then No. 14 Florida, but that's the next game on the schedule for Arkansas.

The Gators (20-6, 8-3) visit the Razorbacks (17-9, 5-6) Saturday at 5 p.m. hoping to become the first road team to win this season at Bud Walton Arena.

"Florida is a team that is just coming off a (61-52) road win at Alabama and obviously one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "Billy Donovan has put together a very good team of young guys that are really stepping up for them."

Arkansas, 17-0 inside Bud Walton Arena, is coming off a second straight humbling road loss – this one 77-58 at Tennessee on Wednesday.

"It's going to be a tall order for our basketball team, especially coming off the heels of a tough loss to Tennessee," Anderson said. "We had a four-minute period where we got outscored 17-0. That's where I thought the game was lost, early in the game. It's 6-6 and you look up and it's 23-6. After that the game was played fairly even for the most part."

Anderson thinks his team just has not handle adversity on the road anywhere close to the way it has at home.

"Our guys- like most teams around the country - have a comfort level playing at home," Anderson said. "You try to explain it and obviously experience has a lot to do with it. Because we are certainly a different team when we play here. - the energy level and the defensive mind-set. We are in an attack mode (here). We defend and we play the game the right way. We share the basketball. We handle adversity a lot better."

Florida, who has former Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey as an assistant, has only lost to Tennessee (twice) and Kentucky in SEC action.

They have five starters in double figures with 6-2 junior Kenny Boynton (17.2), 6-3 freshman Bradley Beal (14.3), 5-8 senior point guard Erving Walker (11.7), 6-9, 247-pound sophomore power forward Patric Young (11.0, 6.3) and 6-10, 230-pound junior center Erik Murphy (10.3).

"Bradley Beal, a McDonald's All-American, (is) a really good player," Anderson said. "Patric Young, and obviously you look at Kenny Boynton and Erving Waker, they have got some guards with great experience. "

Beal and Arkansas freshman B.J. Young (14.5) are both St. Louis area standouts who have flourished in their rookie seasons in the SEC.

"I think BJ is more of a scorer," Anderson said. "I think Bradley's a scorer, but he can really shoot the basketball. He's prolific in terms of shooting and extending the defense. BJ is a great slasher and has worked on his shot to shoot the ball a little better. But they're both young players. They're both young players that are adjusting to college basketball. They've got a lot of things they've got to learn. The physicality and as you go out and how hard you've got to play. It's a level that you've got to continue to reach and I think that's what they've got to understand."

Arkansas has been playing with eight healthy scholarship players – first with an injury to senior Marvell Waithe, who came back just in time for senior Michael Sanchez to hit the shelf with a shoulder injury.

"It's a day-to-day situation with him," Anderson said of Sanchez, "but certainly is a guy we've been missing."

HawgsIllustrated.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Despite a career-high 31 points from freshman BJ Young, Arkansas suffers its first home loss of the…

Tweets