FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Arkansas will make its 32nd postseason appearance on Tuesday night when it hosts Missouri Valley Conference member Indiana State at Bud Walton Arena in the first round of the NIT on ESPN. The Razorbacks will make their third appearance in the NIT and first since 1997, when it finished fourth. Arkansas is 4-0 all-time at home in the NIT, including 3-0 at Bud Walton Arena.
FAST BREAK FACTS
· First postseason appearance since 2008.
· First NIT berth since 1997, when it advanced to MSG.
· Own a 4-3 record in the NIT over two appearances.
· All four NIT wins have come at home, including three at Bud Walton Arena.
· One of three Division I programs and the only BCS team to rank in the top 30 nationally in scoring (80.2/T-16th), assists (15.4/T-30th), steals (8.6/10th) and blocks (5.6/19th).
· Averaging 86.4 points at Bud Walton Arena, scoring 80+ points in 12 of 18 games.
· Produced a 50-6 at Bud Walton Arena under head Coach Mike Anderson, the most wins over a three-year stretch in the arena's 20-year history.
· Eight wins over the final 10 regular season games is the best finish over the final 10 games since 1995.
· First 20-win season since 2007-08 and 29th in program history.
· First back-to-back winning seasons in the SEC play since 1997-98 and 1998-99.
· Eight of its 18 SEC games were decided by five points or less, including four games decided by two points or less, the most since the 2004-05 season.
· Six-game SEC win streak was the longest since 1998.
· Appeared on the #SCtop10 nine times, including seven via dunks from sophomore Michael Qualls.
· Finished the month of February with a 6-2 record, good for the program's most wins in February since 2001.
· Improved SEC Tournament seed by two spots for the second straight year.
· Lead the SEC and rank tied for 16th in the nation in scoring (80.2) with no players in the top 25 in the SEC in scoring.
· The 80.2 points per game is the most since 1997-98.
· Four 100-point games is the same total produced by the rest of the SEC and the same total produced over the program's previous nine years combined.
· Set a program SEC home record with 110 points against Ole Miss, good for its fourth-best offensive performance in SEC action.
· Equaled a program SEC record with 17 three-pointers against Ole Miss, tying the record set twice vs. Auburn in 1995 & 1998.
· 110 points and 17 threes vs. Ole Miss are both SEC season-bests.
· 10 different players have reached double figures while six players have led the team in scoring.
· Six different players have scored 20 points in a game.
· The Arkansas bench is averaging 32.4 points, has supplied a double figure scorer in 24 games and has out-scored the opposition 25 times resulting in a +12.7 per game margin.
· Hit a three-pointer in 836 consecutive games, good for the sixth-longest streak in the nation.
· Also lead the SEC in steals (8.6), assists (15.4), assist/turnover ratio (1.3) and turnover margin (+5.5), a figure it has led the league in both years under coach Anderson.
· Turnover margin of +5.5 ranks fourth in the nation.
· 661 points off turnovers, good for 26 percent of its scoring.
· Won the turnover battle by double-digits six times and have scored 20+ points off turnovers in 16 games.
· Finished with a positive assist/turnover ratio in 26 games, while opponents have accomplished the feat four times, including just two in SEC action.
· Won the turnover battle in 33 of last 36 games dating back to last year and 82 of 96 games under coach Anderson.
· Own a 6-0 record when passing out 20+ assists while coach Anderson is 81-1 all-time when his teams accomplish the feat.
· Forced opponents into 20 turnovers 20 times (19-1) under Anderson, including six times (6-0) this season.
against the nit field
The Razorbacks squared off against eight teams in the 32-team NIT field this season, going 6-5 over the 11 games. In the non-conference, Arkansas defeated SMU, Clemson, Minnesota and High Point while falling to California at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. Arkansas is one of four SEC teams in the field, joining Georgia, LSU and Missouri.
nit history lesson
Tuesday will be the third NIT appearance in program history and the first since 1997, when Arkansas advanced to Madison Square Garden. The Razorbacks are 4-3 all-time in the NIT, including 4-0 at Bud Walton Arena where they're averaging 82.5 points over those four games. Both appearances came under head coach Nolan Richardson (1987, 1997). Arkansas averaged 14,809 fans per game at Bud Walton Arena over the three NIT games in 1997 for a total of 59,237. The 76-71 win over Pittsburgh on March 17, 1997, was the highest attendance at 17,068.
Head Coach: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82)
Record at Arkansas: 58-38 (3rd Season)
Overall Record: 258-136 (12th Season)
NIT Record (App.): 2-1 (1)
Head Coach: Greg Lansing (South Dakota '90)
Record at Indiana State: 79-54 (4th Season)
Overall Record: Same
NIT Record: 0-1
anderson in the nit
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson is 7-1 all-time in the NIT as a player and coach. As a junior in his first season at Tulsa under first-year head coach Nolan Richardson, Anderson averaged 11.7 points and 3.5 assists while leading Tulsa to the NIT championship. The NIT championship came in Richardson's first year as a Division I head coach while Anderson also made the NIT in his first year at UAB, advancing to the quarterfinals.
Scouting indiana state
· Making a school record fifth straight postseason appearance, including its second straight to the NIT.
· Advanced to the Missouri Valley Tournament championship game before falling to undefeated Wichita State.
· Finished second in the MVC regular season at 12-6 and own a 23-10 overall record, good for fourth straight year of 18 more wins which is a program record.
· Balanced scoring attack features four players in double figures and five at 9.8 points or better.
· Have limited opponents to 63 points or less 16 times, going 15-1 over those contests.
· Senior point guard Jake Odum has earned a ton of postseason honors, including first team All-MVC for the second straight year, MVC All-Tournament team and NABC All-District 16 first team honors.
· Odum leads the team in scoring (13.2) and assists (4.5).
· Odum is the first MVC player in history to pass out 500 career assists and make 500 free throws, while his 587 makes at the charity stripe broke Larry Bird's school record.
STARTING 5 QUICK 5 HITS
#00 Rashad Madden (G)
· All five 20-point games have come at Bud Walton Arena.
· Team leader at 12.7 points per game and 2.9 assists.
· Reached double figures 23 times vs. 12 total in first two years.
· Led the team a team-best 10 times.
· Team-high 48 threes after 24 combined his first two years.
#12 Fred Gulley III (G)
· Only Razorback with postseason appearance (NCAA - 2010).
· Has just 12 turnovers in his last 561 minutes played.
· No turnovers in 14 of the last 18 games, including six straight.
· Has a positive or equal assist/turnover ratio in all but two games.
· Committed no turnovers in 21 games and second with 30 starts.
#24 Michael Qualls (G)
· Third on the team in scoring (11.8).
· Second on the team with three 20-point outings.
· Scored 500th career point at SEC Tourney (So. - 365, Fr. - 144).
· Landed on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays seven times this season.
· Team leader with 23 double figure outings & 31 dunks.
#04 Coty Clarke (F)
· Reached double figures in eight of the last 10 games.
· Five of top six scoring efforts this season have come back home.
· Named SEC Player of the Week on March 3.
· Top four scoring performances came in SEC play - 23 vs. Georgia.
· Has team-bests for boards (14), assists (7) & steals (5) in a game.
#10 Bobby Portis (F)
· Eight rebounds shy of tying Arkansas freshman season record
· All-SEC second team choice and All-Freshman team selection.
· Named to the USBWA All-District VII team.
· Three-time SEC Freshman of the Week - Dec. 9, Jan. 6 & Feb. 10.
· Only Razorback to start all 32 games.