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Hogs Set for SEC Opener

Are Mike Anderson's Razorbacks ready for life on the SEC road?
The Razorbacks are among the nation's leaders in scoring, using defense to create offense. But here comes the SEC road where right off the bat, Texas A&M will be out to alter Arkansas' biggest strength, it's style of play.

"Billy Kennedy's teams like to control tempo," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "He wants a game in the 60's. We're trying to create up tempo and I'm sure they're going to want to kind of dial it down a little bit. so it's going to a whose will will come out in the end."

While the Hogs spent December dismantling an array of outmatched opponents  the Aggies struggled at times, losing by to 20 on New Year's Eve to North Texas. Still, that's been A&M's only loss at home. They're 9-1 in Reed Arena and SEC play?  It's a different animal.

"I took it as, they're going to come out fighting in the next game harder and they're really going to take it out on us," Hogs senior guard Rickey Scott warned. "So they're going to try to keep that home court advantage."

Arkansas was humiliated in this game a year ago, losing by 18 with just one player in double figures. Mike Anderson called it the opposite of a team effort, a contest when one player tried to put the game on his own shoulders.

"I want to see, when the adversity takes place, do we have the capacity to bond together? As opposed to individual guys trying to go and save us," Anderson explained.

Senior guard Fred Gulley said he knows the answer to Anderson's question telling reporters, "We have a better feel for each other and everybody has everyone's back so as a team we're more bonded and I think that will help us, especially when it comes to playing on the road."

That bonding plus a deeper bench than a year ago, with a more diverse offense, are the keys to getting that SEC road monkey off Arkansas back right off the bat according to Anderson who noted that opponents haven't been able to stop the current Razorbacks by targeting one or two players.

The Hogs and Aggies tip it off January 8 at 8 p.m. in a game that can been seen on FSN.

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