FAYETTEVILLE — Man to man doesn’t accurately describe the defense that many teams play against the Troy Trojans, the opponent for the Arkansas Razorbacks’ lone home game away from their campus Saturday night in Fayetteville.
It’s more person to Person, and more often persons to Person, that most defend against the Sun Belt Conference’s Trojans of Troy, Ala. meeting Arkansas, 7-2, in the Razorbacks annual nonconference visit tonight to Central Arkansas.
Tipoff is 7 p.m. at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock is 7 p.m. With no TV or Internet video it airs only on the Razorbacks’ radio network. It’s officially a sellout
Wesley Person Jr. a son of Wesley Person Sr., the former Auburn star and retired 11-year NBA veteran, averages 20.3 points per game for the Trojans. Person personally rings the scoreboard whether driving to the hole or hitting 39 of 84 3-pointers and 36 of 42 free throws.
Just coming out of final exams before the Razorbacks practiced Thursday a Walton Arena , media available senior guards Anton Beard and Daryl Macon, both coming home this weekend as respective graduates of North Little Rock and Little Rock Parkview high schools, hadn’t then been acquainted with Person on film.
"They’re going to spread you with Person who can really shoot the basketball," Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. "Very impressive. He’s gotten stronger, a lot better. He can put it on the floor. He has the range you see out of Daryl (Macon, 20 of 49 threes many launched significantly behind the 3-point line). He can shoot it from there and he can put it on the floor as well."
Coach Phil Cunningham’s Trojans present double trouble when they had 6-6 forward Jordon Varnado, averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, healthy and complementing Person.
With Person and Varnado, the Trojans pack "a pretty good one-two punch," Anderson said. They played Hawaii to overtime in Hawaii, lost only eight to nationally eighth-ranked SEC power Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. and won by eight at Eastern Tennessee.
However Varnado has missed the last four games with a stress fracture and the Trojans lost the last two, 90-78 and 89-71, hosting Alabama-Birmingham and visiting Southern Mississippi.
Anderson also has concern because it’s the first game out of final exams, always dicey since the the week definitely has been exams first and catch as catch can practices around finals second.
And while he loves the atmosphere at Verizon refreshed by the enthusiasm of so many attending who otherwise personally don’t or seldom get to see the Razorbacks play in Fayetteville, Anderson said it’s also a concern that those Hogs coming home or close to home will stray from their game trying to do too much knowing they are watched by so many family and friends.
Beard, Macon and freshman reserve Darious Hall of Little Rock Mills are all coming home but it’s also the closest to home for instate players Trey Thompson, the senior forward from Madison via Forrest City High, and starting freshman forward Daniel Gafford of El Dorado and from just across the Arkansas line, senior starting forward Dustin Thomas of Texarkana, Texas.