Arkansas looks to stay hot vs. Central Arkansas

NCAA Men's Basketball

Eric Musselman has a few more games to sort out his rotation before Southeastern Conference play begins.

Arkansas’ head coach has doled out playing time in smaller doses during the team’s nonconference schedule. No one is averaging more than 27 minutes per game, but 10 players are averaging at least 14 minutes. Another player has received an average of 8.7 minutes a game.

Musselman will likely employ the same approach against Central Arkansas on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Razorbacks (5-0) recorded a 79-44 victory over Southern on Wednesday, leading by as much as 27 points during the first half.

“Our young players in a game like this, they got an opportunity to go out there and continue to gain a little bit of experience,” Musselman said. “We know when the SEC comes … there’s some very close games. We need to find out what our rotation is.”

That SEC opener doesn’t come until Dec. 30, when Arkansas faces Auburn. There are two more nonconference outings against Oral Roberts and Abilene Christian to get through prior to conference play.

The Razorbacks have five players averaging double figures, led by Moses Moody (16.2). Freshman Davonte Davis is the team’s seventh-leading scorer (7.7) but had a team-high 14 points in 16 minutes off the bench against Southern.

Connor Vanover only scored three points but showed why he’s the Razorbacks’ main man in the middle. He grabbed nine rebounds, blocked three shots and had three steals.

“He deserved to play more than 20 minutes, regardless of the score,” Musselman said. “He was phenomenal. He didn’t force shots, he had three steals, had three blocks. I can’t say enough good things about Connor and his attitude. In a closer game, Connor would’ve played more, I can promise you that.”

Central Arkansas (0-3) had its first four games canceled. The Bears will be playing their fourth of eight consecutive road games.

In their last outing, the Bears fell to St. Louis 88-65 on Tuesday. They committed 27 turnovers, which led to 30 St. Louis points.

“Saint Louis is an outstanding team,” head coach Anthony Boone said. “We may not face a team that’s better than them, maybe Baylor. But our guys competed. We beat them on the glass but then we turned the ball over a lot. That’s something we’ll have to address. … But this is something to build on. I think our guys really pulled together in the second half.”

They have two guards averaging in double figures, Rylan Bergersen (17.3) and DeAndre Jones (13.7).

–Field Level Media

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