Season opener vs. Oral Roberts, 3 other games added to Arkansas' 2020-21 basketball schedule

By: Scottie Bordelon , Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is shown during a game against LSU on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas coach Eric Musselman is shown during a game against LSU on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Fayetteville.

— Four games, including a season opener against Oral Roberts, have been added to Arkansas’ 2020-21 men’s basketball schedule.

The Razorbacks are scheduled to open the season against ORU on Nov. 10, and are also scheduled to play games against Northern Illinois on Nov. 28, Lipscomb on Dec. 5 and Abilene Christian on Dec. 23, according to game contracts provided through an open records request. All four games are scheduled to be played at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Arkansas’ game against ORU will be the 13th meeting between the programs and first since the Razorbacks defeated the Golden Eagles 104-69 on Dec. 19, 2017. Arkansas leads the all-time series 10-2.

The Razorbacks have played Lipscomb only once — an 83-54 Arkansas victory on Dec. 20, 2004 — and have never played Northern Illinois or Abilene Christian.

ORU (17-14), Northern Illinois (18-13), Lipscomb (16-16) and Abilene Christian (20-11) all had records of .500 or above when the 2019-20 season ended in March.

ORU is expected to return two of its top four leading scorers from last season in guard Max Abmas (14.5 points per game) and forward Kevin Obanor (12.3). The Golden Eagles had the second-best turnover rate in college basketball last season, according to KenPom analytics, turning the ball over on 13.9 percent of offensive possessions.

Northern Illinois is expected to return junior guard Trendon Hankerson, who started all 31 games last season and averaged 7.5 points per game. He was second on the team in assists (61) and steals (29).

Lipscomb, an NCAA Tournament team in 2018, is expected to return leading scorer Ahsan Asadullah, who averaged 18.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game — all second in the Atlantic Sun Conference. He was the first player in the conference to total at least 450 points, 250 rebounds and 100 assists in a season since 2007-08.

Abilene Christian is expected to return a talented front court that includes Joe Pleasant (11 ppg), Kolton Kohl (9.6) and Clay Gayman (9.5). The Wildcats were No. 2 in the country in defensive turnover rate last season, according to KenPom, forcing opponents into a miscue on 26.1 percent of their possessions.

There are 11 confirmed or reported games on Arkansas’ 2020-21 schedule. The Razorbacks' confirmed dates include games against Oklahoma at BOK Center in Tulsa on Dec. 12 and Old Dominion at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock on Dec. 19, and two games at the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas on Nov. 20-22 as part of a field that also includes Louisville, Colorado State and San Francisco.

Arkansas began a home-and-home series with Tulsa last season that is under contract to be returned on a date to be determined in 2020-21, and CBS Sports has reported the Razorbacks will play Texas-Arlington at home on a date to be announced.

An SEC spokesperson confirmed to WholeHogSports in May that Arkansas will play in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, likely on the road.

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