Yeah, we usually have one of the better home court advantages in the country. It's not like it was in the 90's but we do care about basketball more than most of the SEC. Our aggressive style of play helps with that too since we can get away with a lot more grabbing at home, or "thug ball" as UK fans like to call it.
I thought we had a decent chance since we are playing at home, but then I watched last night's game and I'm not so sure anymore lol. We have a really young team this year with no seniors and 9 newcomers. So we're still trying to figure ourselves out. Texas was favored to beat us by 6 but they tied us with a last second 3 pointer and then beat us in OT so we played them better than I expected but still not sure how good Texas actually is this year.
Everyone probably knows about Gafford but here are some other players to watch:
Freshman SG Isaiah Joe (6'5, 167): Most Arkansas fans think he will be one of our best 3 point shooters in school history when he's done. Had 5 of them against Texas. You guys will have more of a scouting report on him though so it'll be interesting to see if he can be as effective when people know more about him.
RS Sophomore PG Jalen Harris (6'2, 166): Transfer from New Mexico. Very fast and a good distributor, which we've needed since we've had nothing but score-first combo guards running the offense the last few years. Doesn't have much of a 3 point game and can struggle with turnovers but good at getting to the rim.
Junior F Adrio Bailey (6'6, 222): Undersized but athletic, seems to have taken a big leap forward so far this year. Up until this year his game has been all about getting hustle points, dunks and rebounds but his jump shot has been surprisingly good this year. Oldest player on the roster.
Sophomore G Mason Jones (6'5, 207): Will start at the 3. Brother of former Duke player Matt Jones. JUCO transfer who was a late bloomer and didn't have any offers out of high school, but completely changed his body and has done a nice job for us this year. Will get rebounds and hit the 3 ball pretty well but not much of a threat to drive to the basket.
We aren't real deep, have a couple players out with injuries, so we will stick with an 8-man rotation the majority of the game. Our philosophy is typically to speed the game up and win the fatigue battle at the end of the game by playing a lot of players so having to combat that will be interesting to see this year. Gafford has been double teamed pretty much every possession this year so that's why he has so many turnovers, needs to learn how to deal with that better as the year goes on because it's not going to stop.