Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and a voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt has been awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year twice.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL ARKANSAS AT COLORADO STATE:
Razorbacks to test themselves on road
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson speaks to his players during a time out against University of Texas at Arlington Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, during the second half of play in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas men's basketball team carries a five-game winning streak into tonight's game against Colorado State, but all those victories have come at Walton Arena.
If the Razorbacks (5-1) are to extend their streak, they'll have to win their first game on an opponent's court.
Arkansas men vs. Colorado State
WHEN 9 p.m. Central
WHERE Moby Arena, Fort Collins, Colo.
RECORDS Arkansas 5-1. CSU 4-4
SERIES Arkansas leads 1-0
RADIO Razorback Sports Network
TELEVISION CBS Sports Network
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
POS., NAME, HT., YR.;PPG;RPG
G Anthony Masinton-Bonner, 6-2;Jr.;15.4;2.5
G J.D. Paige, 6-3, Sr.;15.1;4.7
G Kendle Moore, 5-10, Fr.;11.3;2.5
F Lorenzo Jenkins, 6-7, Jr.;9.3;3.4
C Nico Carvacho, 6-11, Jr.;12.0;10.4
COACH Niko Medved (4-4 in first season at CSU, 83-91 in six seasons overall)
POS., NAME, HT., YR.;PPG;RPG
G Jalen Harris, 6-2, So.;8.7;2.8
G Isaiah Joe, 6-5, Fr.;16.3;2.7
G Mason Jones, 6-5, So.;14.0;6.2
F Daniel Gafford;6-11, So.;19.8;8.7
F Adrio Bailey, 6-6, Jr.;11.0;3.8
COACH Mike Anderson (156-87 in eight seasons at Arkansas, 356-185 in 17 seasons overall)
CHALK TALK Arkansas is playing at Colorado State for the first time after beating the Rams 92-66 in Walton Arena one year ago today in the teams’ first meeting. … Arkansas sophomore forward Daniel Gafford had 14 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes against CSU in last season’s game. … CSU comes into tonight’s game off an 86-80 loss at Colorado. … CSU junior guard Kris Martin is averaging a team-high 15.7 points in three games off the bench. He was suspended for the first five games. … Arkansas sophomore point guard Jalen Harris has 39 assists and 7 turnovers. … CSU is 5-1 at home against teams currently in the SEC. The last time an SEC team played at CSU, the Rams beat Auburn 77-67 on Nov. 28, 2005.
— Bob Holt
Tipoff is 9 p.m. tonight at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. The game will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Texas beat Arkansas 73-71 in overtime to open the season Nov. 9, but that was on a neutral court. The Razorbacks and Longhorns played at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, in the Armed Services Classic.
Since then Arkansas has stayed at home and beaten California-Davis, Indiana, Montana State, Texas-Arlington and Florida International by an average of 19.2 points.
The one close call at Walton Arena was against Indiana. The Razorbacks beat the Hoosiers 73-72 when sophomore guard Mason Jones made 1 of 2 free throws with 2.5 seconds left. He purposely missed the second so the clock would run with Indiana out of timeouts.
Arkansas will play at Colorado State for the first time as part of a home-and-home series that began with the Razorbacks' 92-66 victory over the Rams last season at Walton Arena.
Tonight also will be the first road game together for Arkansas' nine newcomers, though Razorbacks sophomore point guard Jalen Harris played for New Mexico at Colorado State in the Lobos' 84-71 victory during the 2016-2017 season.
"It's the first true road game for us, and I'm anxious to see how we respond going to a place where we don't sleep in our own bed and we're playing in a different venue," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "As a coach, you want to see if your game will travel.
"Hopefully, the guys starting out can play well. Our bench has got to play well. I'm just looking for energy and effort, that's all. Continue to build on what we've been doing here."
Arkansas is the first SEC team to play at Colorado State in 13 years since the Rams beat Auburn 77-67 on Nov. 28, 2005.
"It's a great opportunity," said Niko Medved, the Rams' first-year coach. "We're a new staff, and I think it's great to have Arkansas playing here.
"It just adds energy and excitement to the program. Your fans get excited about seeing quality opponents, and I think Arkansas is a terrific team. Really talented and really well coached."
Medved said he hasn't talked to his players about the shot they have to knock off an SEC team.
"Kids know, right?" he said. "They're going to be fired up and ready to play."
Daniel Gafford, Arkansas' 6-11 sophomore, had 14 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes against Colorado State last season. He's averaging 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season.
Freshman guard Isaiah Joe, who had 34 points in the Razorbacks' 121-89 victory over Florida International on Saturday, is averaging 16.3. Sophomore guard Mason Jones (14.0 points, 6.2 rebounds), junior forward Adrio Bailey (11.0 points, 3.8 rebounds) and Harris (8.7 points, 6.5 assists) have started every game along with Gafford and Joe.
"Arkansas will be the most talented team that we've played against," said Medved, whose Rams lost 86-80 at Colorado on Saturday. "It's a great challenge for us, and I think that's how you get better."
Medved said it doesn't matter to him that the Razorbacks are playing their first road game.
"I don't focus much on home or road," he said. "I just expect to see what I've seen on film, and that's a really fast, athletic team that plays incredibly hard.
"Arkansas gets after you on defense. They attack you on offense. Obviously, they've got an NBA player in the post in Gafford who's playing at an exceptionally high level right now."
The Rams (4-4) return three starters from last season's 11-21 team in junior guard Anthony Masinton-Bonner (averaging 15.4 points), senior guard J.D. Paige (15.1 points) and junior center Nico Carvacho (12.0 points, 10.4 rebounds).
Colorado State 6-7 junior forward Lorenzo Jenkins, who began his college career at Arkansas, is averaging 9.3 points and 3.4 rebounds as a starter for the Rams this season.
Kris Martin, a 6-6 junior who redshirted at Colorado State last season after transferring from Oral Roberts University, is averaging a team-high 15.7 points in three games off the bench after being suspended for the first five games. He led the Rams with 21 points at Colorado.
Colorado State is averaging 80.0 points per game and is shooting 37.2 percent (77 of 207) on three-point attempts.
"Looking at their team, I think they want to play anywhere from medium to uptempo," Anderson said. "I think they push the basketball.
"They've got perimeter guys that can really knock shots down. They've got a big guy [Carvacho] that was there last year that played for them.
"This coach encourages them to get the ball up the floor and get into early offense and attack the glass. They've got some pretty good athletes on their basketball team. I think it'll be a good ballgame. It's a good test for us."
Sports on 12/05/2018
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