FAYETTEVILLE – Much as he dreaded playing Mississippi State on Tuesday instead of the customary Wednesday after last Saturday’s tough 81-77 SEC vs. Big 12 Challenge loss at Oklahoma State, Arkansas Coach Eric Musselman relishes Wednesday’s day off before his Razorbacks Thursday practice for their next game.
They host the Texas A&M Aggies in Saturday’s 5 p.m. SEC Network televised SEC game at Walton Arena.
The Razorbacks beat Mississippi State, 61-45 Tuesday in a bruising game at Walton Arena during which junior guard Desi Sills injured a shoulder, freshman guard Moses Moody played 38 minutes on an ankle he injured during Sunday’s practice and freshman forward Jaylin Williams played nine minutes despite a “deep bone bruise” on his knee from the game vs. Oklahoma State.
“For us it’s some banged-up bodies,” Musselman said. “Obviously Desi got a good stinger but we think he’s gonna be fine. Jaylin Williams really gutted it out. His deep bone bruise is really, really bothering him. And then Moses Moody did not practice yesterday (Monday) at all. We didn’t know until game time really what he was going to be able to give us, if anything. I thought he gutted it out tonight as well.”
What’s their prognosis by Saturday?
“Moses should be fine,” Musselman said. “We hope Desi’s fine and obviously Jaylin has a little bit of time to get ready before our Saturday game.”
They hope not too much time before their next game.
Texas A&M’s SEC game scheduled Wednesday against Vanderbilt had to be postponed because of covid-19 issues among the Aggies.
Arkansas had to wait out a similar situation with Vanderbilt postponing its previous game because of positive covid tests but Vandy did play Arkansas losing 92-71 to the Hogs on Jan. 23 in Nashville, Tenn.
So Musselman foresees playing the Aggies Saturday.
“ Our team is preparing for Texas A&M,” Musselman said. “That’s what’s on our schedule. That’s what I believe will happen. We look forward to playing another game on Saturday against Texas A&M.”
ON TOP FROM DOWN UNDER
Call Musselman’s top assistant coach, David Patrick, on top from Down Under.
The Australian was named an assistant coach to Australia’s Olympics men’s basketball team.
“It’s such an honor to get to be chosen to be an assistant coach on the Australian Olympic team,” Patrick said Wednesday. “It was a dream of mine to play for them which In wasn’t able to do but to now get to coach alongside the great Brian Goorjian as head coach and continue to be a part of that team is a dream come true for me.”
Patrick, who recruited Australian great Ben Simmons to LSU when he and Musselman were assistants there, said his summer post should benefit Arkansas.
“It’sgood to be able to tell a recruit, ‘I’m busy right now, I’m at the Olympics getting ready to prepare for LeBron and James Harden,” Patrick said. “That’s not a bad thing to talk about to a recruit when you’re recruiting them from afar.”