The Southeastern Conference’s basketball league slate not only features a historic tipoff date but all eighteen games in the 2016-2017 season will be televised as a result of the SEC’s contract with ESPN. Putting aside what the college basketball lines have to say, there is something exciting about this SEC schedule.
For the very first time since Arkansas came into the SEC (before the 1991-92 season), the Razorbacks are set to open league play in December. Along with the Gators journeying to Fayetteville for the first time since the 2013-14 season, the Razorbacks will tip off with Florida in the Bud Walton Arena on the 29th of December.
The Razorbacks can look forward to a number of home and home games, contending against the likes of LSU, Vanderbilt, and Missouri, not to mention Texas A&M. They will also welcome Mississippi State.
Arkansas can look forward to making single road trips to Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina.
The back-to-back road tests awaiting Arkansas will begin with a trip to Tennessee on the 3rd of January. The side will also play Kentucky on the 7th of January at Rupp Arena, this after a conference-opener with the gators.
The Razorbacks’ schedule consists of four Saturday home games during league action. If all goes according to plan, then they should be hosting Missouri, LSU, Ole Miss and Georgia on the 14th of January, 21st of January, 18th of February and the 4th of March, these contests bringing the regular season to a close.
Sports enthusiasts will flood the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville between 8th and 12th in March. This is where the SEC Basketball Tournament will be held in 2017 (for the fourth time in five years).
With the Razorbacks, there is Head Coach Mike Anderson’s tactics to look forward to; Andersons is in his sixth season at the head of the team. With Arkansas, the key to their success will be three of their four top scorers who are returning for the new season. Notable names include Moses Kingsley, a SEC player of the year candidate that participated in the Nike Academy in Los Angeles this summer.
The camp brought many of the best players in the country together, giving them a chance to build their talents under the guidance of legendary Nike stars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
While Arkansas’ top three scorers are indeed something to behold, the Razorbacks are not without notable own stars. Dusty Hannah’s is one of only three players in the history of the program to score thirty points in a SEC tournament game.
Dusty will be accompanied by a complement of veteran returnees, this along with a highly touted recruiting class from which the Razorbacks can mine talent. Jaylen Barford is of particular interest.
Scoring an average of 26.2 points per game in 2015, Jaylen ended the year as the top JUCO student in the nation. Daryl Macon’s 23.9 points per game average weren’t that bad either. He was also ranked the Number 3 JUCO transfer in the class of 2016, having earned All-American honors in consecutive seasons.
There is a lot of excitement (and some anxiety)surrounding the 2017 Men’s basketball schedule.