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January 18, 2013

Analyzing the Enemy: Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock







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Analyzing Your Enemy: University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The Hilltoppers will be squaring off with the University of Arkansas AT Littler Rock (the AT is silent). The Hilltoppers are coming off a 72-49 home win over the Ragin' Cajuns and are looking to improve their standings in the Sun Belt East.

The Trojans of Little Rock 11-9 (5-4) are currently sitting in first place in the western division. They visited Murfreesboro on Thursday but left with a good ole fashioned 82-50 butt spankin'.
In Westerns first contest with the Trojans, the Tops fell 75-67. The Tops will be looking for a little payback on Saturday night.
I know you're ready to analyze your enemy! Open up baby birds, I'll feed ya.


Location:

They took all the guess work out of their universities whereabouts by spelling out their coordinates in the name. Little Rock derives its name from a small rock formation on the south bank of the Arkansas River called la Petite Roche (French: "the little rock"). The "little rock" was used by early river traffic as a landmark and became a well-known river crossing. The "little rock" is across the river from "big rock", a large bluff at the edge of the river, which was once used as a rock quarry.

The city sets in the middle of Arkansas and is populated with more than 700,000 dwellers, making it the 72nd largest city in the U.S. of A. After public outcry from the city's youth, Little Rock adapted nicknames such as "The Rock" and "Rock Town" to make it more appealing to the younger generation.

Changchun, China is one of Little Rock's sister cities only proving that even the south is full of communists.

Mascot

We are the Trojans, we, we are the Trojans. For those counting at home, that makes two Sun Belt schools with a Trojan as their mascot. As of next year, four teams are bolting the Belt for C-USA and we are still stuck with two Trojans. The humanity!

Notable Alumni:

Derek Fisher- You may also know him as the 5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time, NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. During his tenure at UALR, Fisher finished second on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,393 points. He also dropped 472 dimes and had 189 robberies. During his senior season in 1996, Fisher earned Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year recognition.

Charlie Daniels- Sorry, not the Charlie Daniels you were thinking about. This faux Charlie Daniels is actually just the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up for notable alumni. Let's continue.

The Venue:

The Jack Stephens center is a fairly new "state-of-the-art" arena that holds 5,600 spectators. The building was finished in 2005 and hosts basketball and volleyball games. A local business man and philanthropist donated $22.4 milli to the school in exchange for his name on the building. What a generous guy!

If you would like tickets to any UALR event, please contact Sheena Howell by phone at (501) 569-3382. Club level basketball seats with leather chairs are only $38!

Cheerleader Scouting Report:

I'm gonna have to skip past the cheerleaders on this one and go straight to the dance team. In my four years of covering the Sun Belt in Hot Springs for the tournament, I have done a lot of in-depth analysis of cheer/dance teams from around the conference. The Trojanetts are third on my "Hottest SBC Dance Team" depth chart, and that's nothing to pout about. Luckily here in the south we are blessed with beautiful women that like to dance thus creating many good looking Sun Belt dance squads. We also have a school in Miami so you already know who is number one on my list.

Don't get too caught up in them boys. Remember that one day they will be fully grown Arkansas women.

P.S.- My boy 2Chainz confirmed my decision to place the UALR dance team third in a text he sent me earlier today. The text read, "She in 3rd place, she in 3rd place. Bad, bad contest she in 3rd plaaaacce!"

Coach:


Steve Shields- Steve is definitely one of my favorite Sun Belt personalities. I enjoy watching him run up and down the bench, screaming at referees, crouching down for minutes at a time, and turning red in the face as he verbally abuses his team. If you haven't seen this guy in action please do yourself a favor and tune in tonight. Better yet, come watch him live in action on January 19th!

Shields is entering his 10th season at UALR, coming off a 12-4 conference record last season and winning the Sun Belt West title. The UALR athletics website boasts about how Shields has won 6 championships during his tenure which is more than any other coach during that time. In the fine print you will see that he has only won the Sun Belt tournament once. Basically, Shields is the Kermit Davis of the west. Oh well, we all have to take pride in something.

Steven who is 155-123 in his career, has his Trojans at an 8-7 (2-2) record coming into tonight's game.

Players to Watch:

Will Neighbour and freshman guard John Gillon are leading the way for the Trojans, averaging 11.2 and 10.8 points per game respectively. Neighbour is a solid post player that is leading the Trojans in rebounding with 7 boards per game. He scored seven points against the Tops in their first contest.

The majority of UALR's scoring in their first victory over Western Kentucky came from their post players. Watch for Michael Javes, James White, and Taggart Lockhart in Saturday night's game. These three big guys scored ten, nine, and nine respectively in the first matchup.

The Trojans shot nearly 50% from the field on Janurary 3rd in Little Rock.

Key Wins:

None on the hardwood but in 1958 all three public high schools in Little Rock were closed for one year by Governor Faubus. What a summer break.

Key Moral Victories:

There really aren't any moral victories for the Trojans either. They only lost to the Ole Miss Runnin' Bjork's 92-52 earlier in the year.

Recent History:

WKU has owned UALR in recent years. (That's right, the Trojans were owned by both K-Mac 1.0 and K-Mac 2.0). Western will look for their 9th straight victory over the Trojans tonight.

Summary:

It's going to be another difficult Sun Belt game for the Hilltoppers. UALR will feel like they have something to prove after a 32 point loss at Middle Tennessee on Thursday.
If the Tops win the rebounding battle then they will win this ball game, plain and simple.

WKU- 71 UALR-65

WKU will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its 1992-93 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 team at halftime of Saturday's game against UALR, which starts at 5:00 PM at E.A. Diddle Arena.

The 1992-93 squad finished the season with a 26-6 record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship. The Hilltoppers were coached by Ralph Willard and led in scoring by senior guards Darnell Mee at 18.9 points per game and Mark Bell at 16.8 points per contest.





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