Oklahoma faces its toughest test of the young season in the form of No. 9 Arkansas.
Ready for a battle at BOK pic.twitter.com/8RGPLhJJRq
— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) December 10, 2022
Oklahoma (7-2) vs. Arkansas (8-1): Saturday, 12 p.m. CT at BOK Center (Tulsa, Okla.)
Live Stream: ESPN+
Commentary: Mark Neely and Tim Welsh
Radio: Sooner Sports Radio Network (KRXO 107.7 FM The Franchise in Oklahoma City; KTBZ 1430 AM in Tulsa; Varsity Radio App) with Toby Rowland and Kevin Henry announcing
Line: Arkansas -4 (as of 11 a.m. CT Saturday)
- Eric Musselman hauled the No. 2 freshman class in the country during the 2022 cycle, Arkansas’ talent on the floor reflects this. Guards Anthony Black and Nick Smith Jr. are two potential lottery picks, averaging 13.1 and 12.7 PPG, respectively, in their young careers.
- The Hogs also have one of this past cycles most coveted transfer portal additions in the form of former Wichita State Shockers wing Ricky Council IV. The Durham, NC native is leading the team with 18.4 PPG and is shooting over 50 percent from the field.
- Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, they will be without talented big man Trevon Brazile for the rest of the season. The 6’10” Brazile, who had been averaging 10.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 1.4 BPG through the first eight games, tore his ACL against UNC Greensboro.
- Arkansas’ lone loss of the season came to Creighton in the Maui Invitational. Their top win of the season came in the form of a 78-74 OT win over then-No. 17 San Diego State, also in the Maui Invitational.
- U of A is currently No. 17 in KenPom’s Team Efficiency Ratings, sitting at No. 47 offensively and No. 9 defensively. The Hogs like to push the tempo, as well, evidenced by being No. 28 nationally in in adjusted tempo.
OU’s recipe for success will be to muddy things up and turn this into a slog, as the Sooners are not going to win a track meet. With this in mind, limiting turnovers will be especially crucial.
I think OU will do well enough in these areas to keep this close for the majority of the contest, but I think Arkansas’ athleticism will eventually be the difference. Having said that, the defensive tenacity of Porter Moser’s team will keep this close and potentially turn this into a coin flip late.
Arkansas 68, Oklahoma 64