Arkansas eyes quick start on road at Texas A&M

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 09, 2013
Mike Anderson would rather forget his first go-around through the Southeastern Conference. The Arkansas coach hopes the second time's a charm, beginning Wednesday night when the Razorbacks open SEC play at league newcomer Texas A&M. Arkansas (9-4) lost its first six conference road games last season on its way to a 1-7 mark away from home in Anderson's first season as coach. The Razorbacks haven't fared much better so far this season, posting an 0-3 record away from home - including losses at No. 2 Michigan and neutral-court losses to Arizona State and Wisconsin. Despite last season's struggles and the early woes this season, Arkansas is coming off a recent five-game winning streak heading into the game against the Aggies (10-3). ''I hope the carry-over is that we're playing good basketball,'' Anderson said. ''We're getting more guys involved with our basketball team; we're finding out a little bit more about who we are. The lessons we learned earlier in the year, hopefully that will pay off in an environment like Texas A&M.'' Anderson is familiar with playing in College Station, both from his time as an assistant at Arkansas while both schools were in the Southwest Conference and his most recent stint as coach of Missouri in the Big 12. The former Nolan Richardson assistant is 0-6 against Texas A&M in his career. To end that skid, the Razorbacks - who are last in the SEC in points allowed at 70.2 per game - must improve defensively. Arkansas has overcome its defensive shortcomings so far thanks to a league-best turnover margin. The Razorbacks have forced an average of 17.5 turnovers this season, a product of the pressing style for which Anderson is known. ''We have to take care of the ball,'' Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. ''We can't give them baskets off of turnovers and let them get their press going and playing as up-tempo as they like to play.'' Arkansas, meanwhile, wants to push the tempo as much as possible - a task that Anderson said is more difficult on the road. The Razorbacks are averaging 82.9 points per game this season, a stark contrast to the 65.2 points the more-controlled Aggies average. ''When you talk about pressing, you don't have the luxury of what takes place at home on the road,'' Anderson said. Last season, Arkansas started quickly in its fresh start under Anderson - opening the season 15-5 and building hopes of the school's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008. However, the Razorbacks' road woes in SEC play proved too much to overcome, and they lost nine of their final 12 games overall to miss the tournament for the fourth straight season. Their only road conference win last season came at Auburn. That was with a 16-game schedule, a number that's been raised to 18 this season with the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri - adding yet another road obstacle for a team that has struggled mightily away from home. ''Last year, I felt like we hit a wall,'' Arkansas' leading scorer BJ Young said. ''But this year, I think we've got a lot more pieces to our team, a lot more talent. ''So, we're going to be ready to keep going throughout the season and stay strong as a team.'' Texas A&M missed out on the NCAA tournament last year for the first time since 2005, and it enters Wednesday with only eight scholarship players. With school still out for the holiday break, the Aggies are offering tickets as low as $5 in an attempt to spark the Reed Arena atmosphere. Kennedy, for one, is counting on just that. ''Hopefully we will have a good environment,'' Kennedy said. ''Our students are here yet, but this rivalry goes back to the old Southwest Conference days. ... We will need every ounce of effort from our fans and players to win this game.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Try Outs, Ep. 1: What happens when two regular dudes attempt to workout with professional boxer Raquel Miller
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

WATCH: Tyler Lockett opens 2nd half with 75-yard TD

Newton benched on first play, Anderson immediately throws INT

Former commissioner Bud Selig and Braves GM John Schuerholz are headed to the Hall of Fame

WATCH: Josh Lambo has worst FG attempt of season so far

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Chiefs win game with incredible special teams play

WATCH: Jeff Fisher lost his challenge flag vs. Patriots

Colin Kaepernick benched for Blaine Gabbert in Chicago

Gronkowski releases statement, has no plans to retire

Sean Payton unhappy about Brandin Cooks trade rumors

Report: A 2015 investigation led to Kevin Wilson’s departure from Indiana

Top 10 takeaways from Sunday’s Week 13 NFL action

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 13

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker