for this game

Pelphrey looks to return Arkansas to nation's elite

Nov 9, 2007 - 3:55 PM Wofford (0-0) at No. 19 Arkansas (0-0) 8:05 pm EST

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas (Ticker) -- With their entire starting lineup returning, No. 19 Arkansas looks to build upon a bittersweet season when it hosts Wofford on Friday.

The Razorbacks fought through an up-and-down regular season schedule in the Southeastern Conference last season before finally putting it together in March.

Arkansas, which was 15-13 before ending their conference schedule with wins over Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, used the momentum created from that mini-run to make it all the way to the SEC Tournament championship game, where it was soundly defeated by Florida.

It appeared that the Razorbacks would be able to make some noise in the NCAAs after making such a fine late-season run, but they were unable to capitalize when Southern California knocked them out in the first round, 77-60.

New Arkansas coach John Pelphrey, who replaced the fired Stan Heath after consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, will be tasked with the responsibility of improving on the Razorbacks' 21-14 season and consecutive first-round exits in the NCAAs.

He will have the luxury of shot-blocking center Steven Hill, who has averaged 2.8 blocks per game over the last two seasons, and double-digit scorers at forward in Sonny Weems and Charles Thomas. They are joined by the backcourt duo of Patrick Beverley and Gary Ervin.

Wofford, on the other hand, is looking to recover from a disappointing 10-20 campaign. It is led by senior guards Shane Nichols and Drew Gibson, the latter of which initially put his name in for the NBA draft, but pulled out in time to return for his senior season with the Terriers.

Nichols led Wofford with 15.6 points per game last season and Gibson averaged 12.8 points and a team-high 2.3 steals per game for the Terriers, who hit a school-record 297 3-pointers.

This is the first meeting between the schools.

    --- --- -----
    WOFFORD 26 19 45
    ARKANSAS (19) 30 37 67 FINAL

    Nov 9 9:58 PM

    WOFFORD 26

    Nov 9 8:50 PM