Analyzing Your Enemy: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Tonight the Hilltoppers will be squaring off with the University of Arkansas AT Littler Rock (the AT is silent). The Hilltoppers are undefeated (this year) and look to improve their conference mark to 5-0. I'm assuming that many of you don't know a lot about UALR but don't fret!
I know you're ready to analyze our enemy, Arkansas at Little Rock, so open up baby birds, I'll feed ya.
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.
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!
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 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!"
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:
The Trojans are a balanced team according to their stats. They have 10 players that average double-digit minutes per game.
Six foot ten inch, Will Neighbour leads the team in points (11.5) per game, rebounds (6.8) per game, and steals (1.3) per game. John Gillon is the team's second leading scorer with 11.3 points per game.
Just watch their whole team guys, I can't predict who will score for them.
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.
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.
I think the Tops will have their hands full tonight. The Trojans match up pretty evenly in the paint so we will need good guard play from Price, Kaspar, and Harris to make up the difference. Let's see if the Tops can get to a 5-0 mark in Sun Belt play for the first time since the 1992-93' season.
Tops win in a 73-71 nail biter.