Arkansas looks to return to the form that won it two games at the PK80 Invitational when it hosts Colorado State on Tuesday. The Razorbacks were feeling good about themselves after crushing Connecticut 102-67 in the PK80 Victory Bracket consolation game on Nov. 26 before getting pounded at Houston 91-65 on Saturday.
“I think they got a little pat on the back,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson told reporters. “And I think they left it in Fayetteville. But we’ll find it and learn from it. That’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes. Our guys have got to understand that and match that energy level the other team is playing with.” Senior guard Jaylen Barford, the Razorbacks’ leading scorer at 19.7 points per game, will try to bounce back after shooting 3-for-11 from the field and scoring a season-low 13 points versus Houston. The Rams are coming off a 72-63 victory over Colorado on Saturday for their second win in six games after starting the season 2-0 and they play their first true road game of the season. “I think we’ve got tremendous room for growth,” sixth-year Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy told reporters. “… We (won) a very important game, but we still have our issues.’’
TV: 8 p.m. ET, SEC Network Plus, ESPN3
ABOUT COLORADO STATE (4-4): One of the Rams’ issues is shooting as they connect on 40.9 percent from the field and 29.3 from 3-point range. Junior guard Prentiss Nixon averages team bests of 15.9 points and 1.7 steals after recording 16 and two versus Colorado while senior forward Che Bob (12.6 points, club-high 9.3 rebounds) had 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks Saturday. Junior guard J.D. Paige (11.4 points) and junior forward Deion James (10.4) are the other double-figure scorers.
ABOUT ARKANSAS (5-2): Junior college transfers Barford and senior guard Daryl Macon (15.4 points per game) are on pace to become the sixth and seventh players in school history to record 1,000 points in two seasons, joining Todd Day, Dusty Hannahs, Bobby Portis, Martin Terry and Scotty Thurman. Freshman forward Daniel Gafford (11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds) counts 12 dunks among his 28 field goals this season, a big reason why he’s shooting 66.7 percent from the floor. Senior guard Anton Beard (12.3 points) is the other double-figure scorer and contributes a team-high 3.4 assists.
1. The Razorbacks are 3-0 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 75 points — 64 in the first half.
2. Colorado State boasts a plus-6.7 rebounding margin while Arkansas is plus-1.3.
3. Arkansas is 58-1 versus unranked non-conference teams at home under Anderson, losing to Akron 88-80 on Nov. 18, 2015.
PREDICTION: Arkansas 80, Colorado State 58