Aggie Basketball Game #14:
Arkansas (11-2, 0-0 SEC) at Texas A&M (9-4, 0-0 SEC)
Jan. 8, 2014 · 8:00 p.m. (CT)
Reed Arena (12,989)
College Station, Texas
TV: Fox Sports South (For more info - AggieAthletics.com/TV)
Dave Baker, Play-by-Play
Larry Conley, Commentary
RADIO: Texas A&M Radio Network
Dave South, Play-by-Play
Al Pulliam, Commentary
Local: WTAW-AM 1620 (College Station/Bryan)
LIVE AUDIO/STATS: AggieAthletics.com
LIVE MOBILE LIVE STATS: tamustats.com
TICKETS: Available at the door or online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com
COLLEGE STATION – Southeastern Conference basketball tips off Wednesday night at Reed Arena when the Texas A&M men’s basketball team renews its rivalry with Arkansas in an 8 p.m. contest.
The Aggies (9-4) and Razorbacks (11-2) are opening league play in Aggieland for the second straight season after Texas A&M earned its first-ever SEC victory with a 69-51 win over Arkansas at Reed Arena on Jan. 9 of last year.
The match-up will be televised on Fox Sports South with Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Larry Conley (commentary) calling all the action. Fans are encouraged to check with their cable provider for availability and channel listings in their area.
Additionally, the game can be heard on the Texas A&M Sports Network with local coverage in the Bryan-College Station area on WTAW (1620 AM).
Wednesday’s contest is the final game of this season’s Holiday Hoops promotion presented by Texas A&M Physicians, which offers fans discounted $5 tickets to Aggie men’s games.
The Aggies closed out non-conference play with a 63-46 win over UTPA at Reed Arena on Saturday to improve their record on their home court to 9-1 this season. During the win, A&M held an impressive 39-28 edge on the boards which stood out as their best advantage during a game in rebounding margin.
Junior guard Jamal Jones, a native of Wynne, Ark., is coming off a game-best 16-point performance against the Broncs which saw his season scoring average increase to 9.7 points per game. In five games a starter this season, Jones is scoring at a 12.4 points-per-game clip.
Senior guard Fabyon Harris returned to the starting line-up against UTPA and contributed 10 points to go along with three assists. A year ago, Harris was especially proficient against the Hogs by averaging 16.5 points in the two games against Arkansas.
Meanwhile, sophomore guard Alex Caruso continued his solid all-around contributions by filling up the box score against the Broncs with 13 points, six assists, four steals, three rebounds and three blocks during a season-high 35 minutes.
The Razorbacks come to Aggieland riding a seven-game winning streak and receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this week. The visit to College Station will be Arkansas’ first true road game of the season after nine home games and four neutral site contests during non-conference action.
Arkansas freshman forward Bobby Portis was this week named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season as the Little Rock, Ark., native leads UA in rebounding (6.2 rebounds per game) and ranks second in scoring (12.8 point per game). Sophomore guard Michael Qualls leads the way for the Razorbacks, scoring 13.7 points per contest this season, while Alandise Harris (10.5) and Rashad Madden (10.2) also average in double-digit scoring.
• The Texas A&M men's basketball team opens its second season of SEC play on Wednesday when it hosts Arkansas at Reed Arena.
• The Aggies and Razorback are no strangers to one another as the schools were partners in the Southwest Conference from 1915 until 1991 and now once again in the Southeastern Conference ... Arkansas stands out as Texas A&M's sixth most common opponent in men's basketball history with 149 career meetings.
• Wednesday's contest will be a match of contrasting styles as the Razorbacks have shown to be one of the country's highest scoring teams, leading the SEC and ranking seventh nationally in scoring offense by averaging 87.2 points per game ... Conversely, the Aggies rank second in the SEC and 15th nationally in scoring defense, holding their opponents this season to an average of 60.6 points per contest.
• Sophomore guard Alex Caruso has been a steady producer for the Aggies this season and enters the weekend leading the SEC in both total assists (58) and assists per game (4.5) ... Additionally, Caruso ranks fourth in the league in steals per game (2.2) while ranking third on the A&M roster in scoring (9.5 points per game).
• Texas A&M is 6-2 in its last eight conference-opening contests, including a 69-51 victory over Arkansas on Jan. 9 of last season that netted the Aggies their first-ever SEC win.
SERIES HISTORY VS. ARKANSAS (ARKANSAS LEADS 97-52)
• Saturday will be the second-ever SEC contest between the Aggies and Razorbacks ... The two schools shared a spot in the Southwest Conference from 1915 until 1991 when the Razorbacks joined the SEC.
• The two schools have faced off 149 previous times on the hardwood during the series, which dates back to the 1923-24 season … Arkansas stands out as the sixth most common opponent in A&M men’s basketball history.
• Last season, the two teams split a pair of meetings with each team winning on its home court ... The Aggies opened SEC play with a 69-51 win over the Hogs at Reed Arena on Jan. 9 ... Arkansas closed out the regular season with a 73-62 victory over A&M in Fayetteville on March 9.
• A&M's Billy Kennedy is 1-2 all-time as a head coach against the Razorbacks ... his lone meeting against Arkansas prior to last year came during the 1997-98 season while the head coach at Centenary ... the Gents fell in Fayetteville 61-48.
• Kennedy's head coaching counterpart, Arkansas' Mike Anderson, is 1-7 all-time against the Aggies.
TEXAS A&M-ARKANSAS CONNECTIONS
• A&M's Glynn Cyprien - The A&M associate head coach worked in Fayetteville as an assistant coach to Stan Heath during the 2006-07 campaign.
• A&M's Billy Kennedy - Texas A&M's head coach served as an assistant coach at Texas A&M during the 1990-91 season under Kermit Davis. His final game as an Aggie assistant was a 108-61 loss to the Razorbacks on March 8, 1991, during the Southwest Conference Tournament.
• Arkansas' Melvin Watkins - The Razorback assistant served as the 18th head coach in Texas A&M men's basketball history from 1998-2004 ... In four seasons on the Aggie bench, Watkins compiled a 60-112 (.349) record.
The Aggies will make their first road trip of SEC play this weekend when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face Tennessee on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT) ... The game is set to be televised by FS South.
GEARING UP FOR SEC ACTION
Year two of Texas A&M's membership in the Southeastern Conference has seen the Aggies earn a regular season and postseason league title in soccer and the A&M men's basketball team is ready to make its impression on the SEC when conference play begins this week.
SEC basketball tips off in Aggieland on Wednesday, Jan. 8, when Texas A&M reignites its long-standing rivalry with former Southwestern Conference running mate Arkansas.
Following a trip to Tennessee on Jan. 11, the Aggies return to College Station to face South Carolina on Wednesday, Jan. 15, before hitting the road once again for a two-game road swing that features games at Mississippi State on Jan. 18 and at Kentucky on Jan. 21.
The UK contest will see the Aggies and Wildcats face off in front of a national ESPN audience as part of Super Tuesday.
For the second year in a row, Texas A&M basketball will be visible across the country as every one of the Aggies’ 18 SEC games is slated to be broadcast on one of the ESPN family of networks, FSN, CSS or the SEC Network.
Vanderbilt pays a visit to the Lone Star State on Saturday, Jan. 25, and Texas A&M will return the favor with a trip to Nashville to battle the Commodores inside Memorial Gymnasium on Feb. 15.
As the calendar fades from January to February, the Aggies will travel to the East Coast for road contests at South Carolina (Jan. 29) and at Florida (Feb. 1).
Mississippi State will visit Aggieland for the first time in hardwood history on Wednesday, Feb. 5, before the Aggies return to the court for a road tilt three days later on Feb. 8 at Georgia.
LSU travels to College Station for a mid-week contest on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and two weeks later on Feb. 26 the Aggies make an appearance at the Tigers’ Maravich Center.
On Feb. 20, Alabama and Texas A&M will face off during their only meeting of the regular season with a Thursday night match-up at Reed Arena.
Closing out the regular season in March, the Aggies will host a pair of SEC foes with Ole Miss coming to College Station on Saturday, March 1, and Auburn making the trip to Texas a week later on Saturday, March 8. The final road contest of the year will see Texas A&M travel to Columbia, Mo., to battle Missouri on March 5.
REED ARENA SUCCESS
• A&M is 83-19 at Reed Arena since the start of the 2008-09 season with a 28-16 mark in conference games.
• The Aggies are 112-24 (.823) at home since the start of the 2006-07 season and are 145-29 (.833) since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.
• A&M has won 59 of its last 70 home games against unranked opponents (18 of last 23 in conference play).
• A&M is 186-70 (.727) in 15 seasons at Reed Arena ... the Aggies were 41-41 the first six years at Reed and are 145-29 since.
• Texas A&M was 9-1 in non-conference games at Reed Arena this season ... The Aggies are 117-12 (.907) all-time in non-conference games inside the facility, which hosted its first basketball game in the fall of 1998 ... A loss to Rice on Dec. 22, 2011, snapped A&M’s 67-game non-conference home win streak at Reed Arena (which dated back to the start of the 2005-06 season) and 80-game regular-season, non-conference home win streak (which dated back to 2003), both school records.
MOBILE LIVE STATS
Fans can access official live statistics on their mobile devices of all Texas A&M basketball home games and select road games by visiting tamustats.com
PROMOTIONS – JAN. 8 VS. ARKANSAS
LAST CHANCE FOR HOLIDAY HOOPS PRESENTED BY TEXAS A&M PHYSICIANS
Wednesday’s contest will be the final game of this season’s "Holiday Hoops Presented by: Texas A&M Physicians" and features reduced General Admission prices. Come see the Aggie Men open SEC play for just $5.
SPORTS PASS SPECIAL
Texas A&M students who have an All-Sports pass can bring a fellow student into the game for free. This promotion will run during all December and January home games.
A&M STUDENTS GET A RIDE TO THE GAME
On basketball game days, the Aggie Hoops bus will run on Route 01 beginning a few hours before tipoff and throughout the game. This route runs by the Quad, close to the dorms on the south side of campus and will drop students off at the corner of Kimbrough by the West Campus Garage, across the street from Reed Arena.
WELLS FARGO FREE PARKING
Wells Fargo is offering free parking to the men’s games during holiday hoops. Fans can pick up a parking flyer at a Bryan/ College Station Wells Fargo location and give the flyer to parking attendants at Reed Arena to receive free parking.
RESERVE YOUR PARKING BEFORE COMING TO REED
Fans driving to the game are encouraged to reserve their parking before they get to campus by purchasing on-line with Texas A&M Transportation Services – Sign up for the Arkansas game - HERE
PREGAME RECOGNITION OF PRESIDENT R. BOWEN LOFTIN
Shortly before tip-off, the Aggie men’s basketball program will honor out-going Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin during an on-court presentation.