Arkansas overdue for feast at Rupp
Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:00 pm
By KURT VOIGT
AP Sports Writer
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Mike Anderson was on the bench the last time Arkansas won at Kentucky.
That was 1994, when the first-year Razorbacks coach was an assistant under then coach Nolan Richardson. Arkansas went on to win the national championship that season, but it hasn’t won in Rupp Arena since — a losing streak that reached eight games with a 101-70 loss against the Wildcats two years ago.
The youthful Razorbacks (13-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), the roster that includes only nine scholarship players and four freshmen, will have chance to end that streak when they face No. 2 Kentucky (17-1, 3-0) on Tuesday night.
They’ll do so under the leadership of Anderson, who left Missouri in March for Arkansas — where he was an assistant for 17 seasons under Richardson. The Razorbacks made three Final Fours, including back-to-back appearances in 1994-95, but they’ve fallen on hard times since.
Arkansas hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament in three seasons, though the early returns on Anderson’s hiring have been positive this season. Anderson promised a return to the frenetic, pressing “40 minutes of Hell” style famous by Richardson, and he’s delivered on that promise so far.
The Razorbacks lead the SEC by forcing an average of 18.4 turnovers per game, and they are 13-0 at home in Bud Walton Arena for the season.
The only negative has been Arkansas’ propensity for losing road games — all of them away from Fayetteville, in fact. It’s a task that won’t be any easier when the Razorbacks face the Wildcats, who have the nation’s longest home winning streak at 45 games (44 in Rupp Arena).
“You have got to do a lot of great things in order to (win),” Anderson said.
Published in The Messenger 1.17.12