Stranger things: Arkansas’s annual Red-White game Saturday at Barnhill Arena promises to turn back the clock

Pig Trail Nation

LITTLE ROCK — If you thought the notion of dusting off Barnhill Arena for its first basketball game in 26 years was one of the stranger things you’ve heard recently, Eric Musselman double-downed with his Arkansas men’s basketball Twitter-promo-video released earlier this week touting Saturday’s annual Red-White game.

In it, Muss stars as a gamer in throwback Hog gear playing a vintage Pac-Man arcade game in what looked like a scene pulled straight out of the popular 1980s-genre, Netflix hit series Stranger Things.

“Razorback students, we need you to pack Barnhill this Saturday, 3 p.m. Go Hogs!” was the message Arkansas’s head coach delivered in what is being themed as a turn-back-the-clock game in the house that launched a storied Razorbacks men’s basketball program in the late 70s, early 80s.

Photo Courtesy: Netflix

Split into teams — Team Nolan and Team Eddie, referring to legendary Arkansas coaches Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton — the game will feature both men as honorary coaches with members of both families planning to attend the game.

“I know my oldest brother Steve (Sutton) and his family are going,” said Scott Sutton, assistant coach at Oklahoma State and son of Eddie Sutton. “There’s a chance that my Dad might go with them.”

Free and open to the public, the Red-White Game at Barnhill Arena will begin at 3 p.m. with doors to the arena opening at 1:30 pm. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served general admission basis. Parking is being billed as free by the UA (see more on that below). 

Fans are encouraged to wear Razorback gear from the 80s as well as 80’s-themed clothes. And oh by the way, that vintage PacMan game that co-starred in the promo video with Musselman — he autographed it — will be given away to a student as part of the event. 

The game itself will be four, eight-minute quarters with a seven-minute halftime. Players may switch teams if needed during the game. There will be concessions and souvenir sales. As for all home Razorback events, the Clear Bag Policy is in effect.

Following the game, there will be an autograph session with the 2019-20 Razorbacks and Musselman in the Walker Pavilion (Indoor football practice facility).

The Red (Team Eddie, see roster below) is led by Arkansas sophomore guard Isaiah Joe, who sccored a game-high 31 points (including 9-of-14 from 3) to lead the Red over the White, 105-82, in last year’s Red-White game. The White (Team Nolan, see roster below) is led by junior wing Mason Jones, who scored 22 points to lead the White team last season.

RED (TEAM EDDIE)

1 Isaiah Joe

2 Adrio Bailey

11 JD Notae

13 Emeka Obukwelu

23 Connor Vanover

24 Ethan Henderson

33 Jimmy Whitt Jr.

WHITE (TEAM NOLAN)

0 Jeantal Cylla

3 Desi Sills

5 Jalen Harris

12 Ty Stevens

15 Mason Jones

22 Abayomi Iyiola

35 Reggie Chaney

A couple of Hog greats who called Barnhill Arena home — big men Joe Kleine (who played for Sutton) and Oliver Miller (who played for Richardson) — put out video messages to promote the event.

Eddie Sutton was 260-75 (.776) as Arkansas head coach from 1974-85 and led the Razorbacks to nine NCAA Tournament berths in 11 seasons, including the 1978 NCAA Final Four. Sutton was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. This past spring, the men’s practice gym in the Basketball Performance Center was named in honor of Coach Sutton.

Nolan Richardson posted a school-record 389 wins with 13 NCAA Tournament appearances. The Razorbacks won the 1994 NCAA Championship, was 1995 NCAA Runner-Up and reached the 1990 NCAA Final Four. Richardson was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. 

On Oct. 20, Arkansas will unveil Nolan Richardson Court at Bud Walton Arena prior to the Razorbacks exhibition game with Arkansas-Little Rock.

RED-WHITE GAME INFORMATION

Oct. 5 – Saturday – 3 pm

Barnhill Arena

  • Date: Saturday – October 5
  • Time: 3:00 pm
    • Doors open at 1:30 pm
  • Location: Barnhill Arena
  • Tickets: Free – General Admission Seating
  • Parking: Free – Suggested Lots:

o        Lot 44 (Maple Street)

o        Any University lot west of Razorback Road.

o        ADA parking is available for those with a state-issued ADA hangtag in Lots 59 and 67. These lots are accessible from Meadow Street ADA drop off is also available in that location for those without a hangtag.

  • Postgame Autograph Session at Walker Pavilion (Indoor football practice facility).
  • Fans are encouraged to wear ’80s themed clothing OR your favorite retro Razorback gear.
  • We’re trying out a pregame lightshow during introductions! Fans can take out their cell phones, open the Razorback Game Day App and participate in a synchronized arena-wide light show. Here are the steps:

o        Make sure you have the Razorback Game Day App downloaded DOWNLOAD NOW

o        Open the app, click the menu icon in the top left corner, tap “Light Show”

o        Make sure you allow your microphone to be enabled

o        Have your phone out and ready before introductions begin to make sure you’re ready and your phone reacts to the beginning of the light show song.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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