Arkansas basketball: What to expect from Hogs in exhibition opener vs East Central

Eric Musselman, Arkansas basketball (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Musselman, Arkansas basketball (Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports) /
Arkansas basketball
JD Notae, Arkansas basketball (Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Arkansas basketball team will welcome NCAA Divison II opponent East Central to Bud Walton Arena today in their first game of the new basketball season.

The matchup, which is tantamount to a scrimmage game, will be one of two such games the Razorbacks use as a dress rehearsal before officially opening their season Nov. 9 against Mercer.

This exhibition game comes at a great time for the Razorbacks as they’ve been going days and weeks of playing against each other. The players are badly in need of some fresh competition.

The Arkansas basketball team will play East Central Oct. 24 at Bud Walton Arena

Head Coach Eric Musselman told reporters this week that his team is badly in need of these exhibition games.

“We need more game-like situations to develop our player,” Musselman said in comments captured by 247 Sports. “So, this is much, much, much needed. There’s a reason the NBA used to have seven exhibition games and now they have five or more. It’s because in order to develop your players, you’ve got to be in game-like situations with real refs and not behind closed doors playing against yourself every day,” the head coach said.

The starting lineup for this game, according to Musselman, is tentatively set to include: JD Notae, Jaylin Williams, Davonte Davis, Stanley Umude and Au’Diese.

Besides the annual Red/White scrimmage game, this will be the first time the Hogs suit up during the new basketball season.

Expect the starters to get plenty of reps and for Musselman to experiment with different lineups and combinations. It’s easier to let the players make mistakes and find out who plays well together in an exhibition game rather than a regular season game that counts against your record.

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