Mo. State moves up

Missouri State moved up from No. 9 to No. 8 in this week's Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
UALR continues to receive some votes.

The last time = ugly

UALR last visited Missouri State in 2008 and it was ugly as the Bears pulled away for a 59-37 victory. Coach Steve Shields described the game as a: "Pure Butt Kicking."
UALR's defense wasn't awful. But the Trojans were unable to make anything from anywhere on the court. That included countless shots inside the free throw lane.
UALR shot 23 percent for the game, including 8 percent from three-point range. That also included 3 of 24 field-goal shooting in the second half. The Trojans had only two assists for the entire game. Although if they had made some easy shots in the paint, those assist numbers would have been a little better.
That UALR team ended up being a pretty good group, winning 23 games on the way to the Sun Belt Conference's West Division championship.

A good start

UALR needs to get off to a good start if it hopes to upset Missouri State on Wednesday at JQH Arena.
Thus far this season, UALR has gotten off to only one bad start in six games. And the Trojans rebounded from behind down 9-4 at the first media timeout to beat Louisiana Tech last Friday.
Here's the scores this season going into the first media timeout, which occurs at the first stoppage in play after the 16:00 mark of the first half.
  • SMU 5, UALR 3 (won)
  • St. Bonaventure 6, UALR 2 (lost)
  • UALR 16, St. Gregory's 1 (won)
  • UALR 7, Illinois State 0 (won)
  • UALR 6, Oral Roberts 2 (lost)
  • Louisiana Tech 9, UALR 4 (won)
UALR's two losses had little to do with the opening minutes of the game. It was the middle part of the first half when both game started to slip away. And both got ugly in the second half.
Missouri State has been down at the first media timeout in four of its six games so far.
JQH Arena should be rocking on Wednesday. Students are back from Thanksgiving break and finals have not yet begun. Taking the intensity of that crowd down a notch will be important if an upset is in the works.

Now it's really official

As first reported on Burn the Horse in October and confirmed again in November, the Sun Belt Conference is keeping its men's and women's basketball tournaments in Hot Springs through 2014.
We thought they might make the announcement during Basketball Media Days. Then we thought they might get to it before basketball season began. Now, here it is:
"This is an exciting time for the Sun Belt Conference as we have agreed to a new term to have our basketball tournament at a neutral site for another three seasons. Our fans, administrators, coaches and student-athletes have been provided with a great basketball tournament over the last two years in Hot Springs and the event will keep getting bigger and better thanks to our extension," said Sun Belt Conference commissioner Wright Waters.
The 2011 tournament is scheduled for March 5-8 and will be the final year of the original three-year contract. The extension will keep the tournament there for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
"We are very excited to be hosting the Sun Belt Conference Basketball Championships for three additional seasons. The past two tournaments have been great for our facility and the city of Hot Springs. I know that the next four championships will be a great experience for everyone," said Steve Arrison, CEO of the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The tournament will continue to be played using two courts. The main court will be Summit Arena, while a secondary court will continue to be constructed in the adjoining convention center space.
"I think it is a great place to have it," UALR Women's Coach Joe Foley said. "The way they set it up last year with the men's and women's basketball teams was great. It allows all the fans from different schools to plan ahead. I don't think any arena in the country could do that type of setup like Summit Arena does."
Here's what other Sun Belt officials had to say about it:
"Hot Springs has been a superb host for the Sun Belt Conference tournament. Hot Springs provides quality facilities, entertainment options for our fans and unequaled hospitality." -- Sun Belt President and Troy Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.

"The city of Hot Springs has opened its arms to Sun Belt Conference basketball and provided a great home for the league. The experience for our student athletes and fans has been phenomenal so an extension is definitely the right move for the Sun Belt Conference." -- Middle Tennessee President Dr. Sidney McPhee.

UCA Classic

We thought the format proposed by UALR was a great model, but they didn't get anywhere with it.
UCA's model appears to look something like this:
Year 1
  • ASU would play in the UCA Classic on Friday against a Division I opponent and Saturday against UCA.
  • UCA would play UALR at the Jack Stephens Center.
Year 2
  • UALR would play in the UCA Classic on Friday against a Division I opponent and Saturday against UCA.
  • UCA would play ASU at The Convocation Center.

There's some definite benefit to doing this for both UALR and ASU. Without having to pay to bring another opponent in, you get a home game one year and a neutral and road game the next year, all played in state.
We haven't heard from UALR or ASU yet on this, but if the other Division I opponent is decent (It needs to be to counter-balance UCA's current RPI situation in the eyes of the Sun Belt's scheduling criteria), it might be workable.

The atmosphere

Here's a little taste of the atmosphere UALR is walking into Wednesday night:

BTH Need to Read (11/30)

UALR-Missouri State game notes
Springfield News-Leader
More on UALR women
A little more on this UCA, ASU, UALR stuff.

Scores of interest
Marshall 88, Florida International 79; UAB 78, Troy 57.
Louisiana-Lafayette 88, New Orleans 27.

UCA, ASU, UALR to play?

We read this story in today's Log Cabin Democrat
UCA and UALR talked several times about playing this season. Ultimately, they couldn't match up available dates in the nonconference portion of the schedule. Earlier this year, Arkansas State Coach John Brady said UCA turned down an offer to play against the Red Wolves.
In the past, UALR has proposed a classic format in which UALR, ASU, UCA and UAPB would be involved. That classic would have been played in alternating years in Little Rock and Jonesboro. But it never took off.
This story appears to be something different. It appears UCA would sign home-and-home contracts with UALR and ASU. And it appears UCA would play their home game in the series as some sort of classic.
Williamson said the arrangement is close to being established that a classic will be created that UCA would host and alternate playing ASU and UALR in successive years for the Saturday game of the classic. In years, ASU doesn't play in Conway, UCA would play the Red Wolves in a single game at Jonesboro.
We're assuming this story leaves out that UALR would also host UCA in alternate years. It's unlikely UALR is making the trip to the Ferris Center without a return trip from the Bears.
The bigger problem for both UALR and ASU might be how this might fit with the Sun Belt Conference's new scheduling criteria. UCA is 2-3 on the season with its victories coming against non-Division I's Hendrix and Champion Baptist. The Bears ranked No. 321 in the RPI in 2009-2010, 319 in 2008-2009 and 305 in 2007-2008,

Trojans-Bears preview

UALR-Missouri State preview and Missouri State's game notes


UALR men's and women's statistics and plus/minus ratings are updated.

BTH Need to Read (11/29)

Absolutely nothing out there this morning. Well, there's one story on the Oklahoma State women, who will host UALR on Thursday:

Scores of note
South Dakota 79, Louisiana-Monroe 66; SMU 76, Central Arkansas 72; Tulsa 80, Cal State-Northridge 63; LSU 80, South Alabama 65; Illinois State 60, Jacksonville State 47.
Memphis 58, North Dakota State 55; Middle Tennessee 70, South Dakota State 51; Florida International 68, Indiana State 47; Rice 55, Georgia State 52.

B Free in Belgium

Former Trojan Brandon Freeman is averaging 13.1 points this season for the Leuven Bears in Belgium's first division.

BTH Need to Read (11/28)

Billings Gazette
UALR official

Scores of note
George Mason 66, Florida Atlantic 51; Texas 62, Rice 59; North Texas 81, Texas State 77; Arkansas State 56, Southeast Missouri State 50; Cleveland State 69, St. Bonaventure 51; South Carolina 87, Western Kentucky 85 (2OT); Illinois State 59, Louisiana-Monroe 55; Florida International 80, Chattanooga 59; Oral Roberts 78, Utah 70; Boise State 65, Denver 52.
South Alabama 66, Maine 55; Central Florida 66, Western Kentucky 55; Louisiana-Lafayette 79, Murray State 66; Missouri State 62, Louisiana Tech 53; Denver 88, Stephen F. Austin 76; Arkansas State 49, Georgia Southern 37; Mercer 65, Rice 39; Tulsa 83, North Texas 75; Eastern Illinois 72, Florida Atlantic 57; Kentucky 79, Southern Miss 60; Louisiana Monroe 63, Alcorn State 55; Georgia 76, Loyola Marymount 44; Kansas 90, Memphis 58; Oklahoma State 74, New Mexico 65 (2OT); Bowling Green 71, Seattle 51; Saint Mary's 56, Wisconsin 50.

By the way ...

That same Oral Roberts team that dismantled UALR in Tulsa the other night went out to Utah and beat the Utes on their home court 78-70.

Women: UALR 51, Montana State 48

Freshman forward Hannah Fohne hit two free throws with eight seconds left as UALR held off Montana State 51-48 in the consolation game of the Seattle U. Thanksgiving Classic.
UALR (3-2)  played without senior forward Chastity Reed, who was not dressed out for the game. Reed was apparently not hurt and left out of the lineup due to a "coaches' decision." Reed, who was on the bench during the game, leads UALR at 23.0 points per game. She is UALR's all-time leading scorer.
UALR led throughout but was unable to put Montana State away.
And when Janette Merriex missed the front end of  a one-and-one in the final seconds, Montana State called timeout with UALR leading 49-48.
Montana State inbounded the ball but missed and UALR freshman Hannah Fohne grabbed the rebound with eight seconds left. Fohne made both free throws to give UALR a 51-48 lead. Montana State then missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Senior Asriel Rolfe led UALR with 13 points. Merriex had 11 points and 8 rebounds. Fohne, who was 4 of 4 at the free throw line, had eight points.
UALR won despite shooting only 34 percent, but the Trojans held a 39-32 advantage in rebounds. Junior Marian Kursh led the way with 14 rebounds.
UALR returns to action on Thursday against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. Reed's status for that game is not known.

UALR plays without Reed, leads at half

UALR women lead Montana State 29-21 at halftime.
The Trojans are playing without senior Chastity Reed. Reed, who leads UALR at 23.0 points per game, is not injured. BTH has learned her absence from tonight's lineup is a coaches' decision. She is not in uniform.
Senior Shanika Butler rolled her ankle in the first half, but she was able to start the second half.
Sophomore Janette Merriex leads with 10 points. Senior Asriel Rolfe has 8.

UALR- La. Tech Highlights

Here's some low quality highlights from the second half on Sunday:
El Fuerte grabs an offensive rebound and scores
Bails hits a jumper
Bozeman hits a 3 from the right wing
Bozeman hits a long 2

La. Tech And Ones.

- The flag of Mexico (senior Alex Garcia-Mendoza) was joined for the first time in the Jack Stephens Center by the flags of Brazil (junior Marlon Louzeiro) and Canada (juniors Eric Kibi and Tramar Sutherland).
- UALR missed its first eight field goal attempts, including three layups
- UALR started the game 3 for 20 from the field. But the Trojans made 17 of 30 field goals after that.
- Senior Derrick Bails entered Friday's game scoreless on the season. And he missed his first two free throw attempts of the game. But he finished with 11 points.
- Bails was a team high plus 20 in the game. That allowed him to go from worst to first in season plus/minus per minute rating.
- The top five in plus/minus is now Bails, junior Marlon Louzeiro, senior Alex Garcia-Mendoza, junior D'Andre Williams, and senior Solomon Bozeman.
- UALR is now 4-0 this season when holding its opponent to fewer than 65 points and 39.3 percent field-goal shooting.

BTH Need to Read (11/27)

UALR men
Arkansas Sports 360
Shreveport Times

UALR women
Toledo Blade
It's a day old, but this is a nice preview of the tournament

Women: Bowling Green 56, UALR 47

Foul trouble plagued UALR throughout as the Trojans dropped a Mid-Major showcase came in a 56-47 loss to Bowling Green in the first round of the Seattle U. Thanksgiving Classic.
UALR (2-2) entered the game ranked third in the College Insider Women's Mid-Major Top 25, while Bowling Green was ranked eighth.
Senior Chastity Reed led UALR with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but she made only 7 of 23 field-goal attempts.
Senior Asriel Rolfe, who generally plays the entire game, was held to 16 minutes due to foul trouble.
Bowling Green won despite shooting only 28 percent from the field. The Lady Falcons made up for that by making 20 of 28 free throws. UALR made only 5 of 10 free throws.
UALR jumped out to a 9-0 lead and the Trojans were still on top 20-15 with 5:52 left in the half as Rolfe was forced to the bench with her third foul. She played only 1:27 of the second half before getting her fourth foul. She didn't return to the game until the 4:51 mark of the second half with Bowling Green leading 47-44.
A three-pointer by Tracy Pontius with one minute remaining pushed Bowling Green's lead to eight points as the Lady Falcons held on for the victory.
UALR will play Montana State (2-3) in tonight's third place game.

Men: UALR 74, Louisiana Tech 65

The slowest of slow starts picked up the pace in time for UALR on Friday.
UALR survived 15 percent first-half shooting by blistering the nets at 70 percent in the second half as the Trojans beat Louisiana Tech 74-65 at the Jack Stephens Center.
UALR (4-2) remains unbeaten at the Stephens Center this season, while Louisiana Tech (5-2) had its five-game winning streak snapped.
Senior Solomon Bozeman led UALR with 23 points while senior Alex Garcia-Mendoza added 17. It came on the heels of Wednesday's 86-60 loss at Oral Roberts.
"I thought our guys did a really good job today on the constants that we can control every time we come to the floor, and those are effort and rebounding the ball," said UALR Coach Steve Shields said.
But it was the reemergence of senior Derrick Bails that provided an unlikely spark. Bails was suspended for the season's first two games and was a non-factor in the next three. But he had 11 points on Friday and helped spark a comeback from 14 points down.
With Bails in the middle, UALR was able to play a four-guard lineup that left Louisiana Tech unable to guard without fouling. And the Trojans fought back.
It appeared the lead would be only four points at halftime when Louisiana Tech's DeAndre Brown's three-point prayer went in at the buzzer to keep the lead 29-22.
But the Trojans took control from the start of the second half.
The game was tied 46-46 when senior Matt Mouzy missed on a three-point attempt. But Garcia-Mendoza grabbed the offensive rebound, dribbled with the left hand and scored to give UALR the lead. He also made a free throw on the play as UALR took the lead for good.
A three-pointer by Bozeman with 4:20 left upped the lead to 59-54 and a turn-around jump shot by Bails with 3:02 left made it 63-58. A three-point play by freshman Chucky Guy and a jump shot by Bozeman put the game out of reach.

Game time

It's gametime. Check the Twitter feed in the left column of this page for live updates.

Take a break

From Twitter:

ShieldsUALR Take a break from your shopping this afternoon--Trojans play La. Tech (5-1) @ 2 pm @ the Jack Stephens Center!

Today's predictions (11/26)

2 p.m., Jack Stephens Center
The Las Vegas line favors UALR by 1
Ken Pomeroy (2-2): UALR 68, Louisiana Tech 65
Jeff Sagarin (2-2): Louisiana Tech 77, UALR 74
Real Time RPI (2-2): Louisiana Tech 74, UALR 73
CBS Sportsline (2-2): Louisiana Tech 78, UALR 66

8 p.m., Seattle, Wash.
Real Time RPI (3-0): Bowling Green 70, UALR 61

BTH Need to Read (11/26)

Read up on today's UALR-Louisiana Tech game:

The News-Star of Monroe
Shreveport Times
The Associated Press,0,1661907.story
UALR official site
Statsheet's bot preview
Statsheet's statistical matchup

UALR women at Seattle U. Tournament
Seattle Times

ORU game and ones

- Junior Courtney Jackson had 5 points, 1 rebound and 1 blocked shot in 11 minutes on Wednesday. All of it came in the first half. Jackson didn't play in the second half.
- Junior Marlon Louzeiro scored the first two UALR baskets on Wednesday, but he went to the bench with 14:56 left in the first half. And he didn't return until there was 3:49 left in the half. Louzeiro had eight points in 20 minutes.
- Senior Solomon Bozeman led UALR with 20 points on Wednesday. But Bozeman exited the game with 12:15 left in the first half and didn't return until there was 3:12 left in the half.
- UALR Coach Steve Shields used all 13 available players in the first half on Wednesday.
- UALR also used all four post players in the first 11 minutes on Wednesday. Junior Marlon Louzeiro started and played until the 14:56 mark. Senior Montrell Thornton got the next shot and played until the 11:28 mark when freshman Gus Leeper entered. Leeper stayed in until the 9:13 mark when he was replaced by senior Derrick Bails. Thornton, Leeper and Bails combined to go 0-5 from the field.
- UALR was 13 for 40 (33 percent) on two-point field goal attempts on Wednesday. That included eight missed layups (according to the official statistics).
- Plus/minus ratings fell through the floor on Wednesday. The season top five now are junior Marlon Louzeiro, senior Alex Garcia-Mendoza, junior D'Andre Williams, senior Solomon Bozeman and junior Tramar Sutherland..

UALR-ORU highlights


BTH Need to Read (11/25)

Oral Roberts 86, UALR 60
Tulsa World
UALR official
Basketball Friday
Arkansas Sports 360
Scouting the Bowling Green women
Toledo Blade

Oral Roberts 86, UALR 60

Apparently, UALR's defense didn't make the trip.
The Trojans were blitzed 86-60 at Oral Roberts on Tuesday and were powerless to stop the Golden Eagles' offensive attack.
Senior guard Solomon Bozeman led UALR with 20 points, but the Trojans let the game slip away midway through the first half and never recovered.
Oral Roberts shot 57 percent from the field, 63 percent (10 of 16) from thee-point range, and made 20 of 30 free throws. UALR shot 35 percent and got outrebounded 38-29.
UALR got off to a good start, taking a 6-2 lead into the first media timeout and a 9-4 lead after Bozeman's three-pointer with 15:01 left in the first half. But Dominique Morrison answered with a three-pointer at the other end and Warren Niles hit another three-pointer to give the Golden Eagles the lead for good at 10-9.
Bozeman sat down with 12:56 left in the first half and the Trojans traling 13-9. When he finally returned with 3:49 left in the half, UALR trailed 29-18.
UALR got a brief bit of life when Oral Roberts was called for two technical fouls on the same play. That allowed Bozeman to make four free throws to cut the lead to 30-22. And UALR had the ball with a chance to get even closer. But the Trojans didn't take advantage as freshman Chucky Guy missed a floater with two ORU players on him. The Golden Eagles made two free throws at the other end and finished the half on a 12-5 run to lead 42-27.
Junior Marlon Louzeiro had 8 points, but UALR's other three post players (senior Montrell Thornton, senior Derrick Bails and freshman Gus Leeper) combined for 0 points in 25 minutes. And UALR's small forwards also failed to get on track. Junior Eric Kibi had 4 points and junior Courtney Jackson had 5.

Game time: Where to watch?

Fox College Sports Central: If you subscribe to the sports package on your cable or satellite system, you might get it. It's 617 on DirecTV
ESPN3: Log on to and the game is available there. Your Internet provider must subscribe to ESPN3 for you to get it.
ESPN Full Court: If you subscribe to ESPN Full Court you can watch it there (Channel 721 on DirecTV). Not sure if its available as a one-game buy, but this is a pay service.
Tape Delay
GEB: Golden Eagle Broadcasting, the ORU TV Network, is broadcasting the game on tape delay beginning at 10:30 p.m. You'll have to scan your channels to see if you get GEB. If you subscribe to DirecTV's HD package, you get it on channel 363.

Burn The Horse will also provide Game Updates in this column
Enjoy the game.

UALR women at No. 3

How do you know when you've earned respect? When you lose a game by 46 points and only drop from No. 2 to No. 3.
That's what happened this week to the UALR women in the Mid-Major Top 25. UALR was beaten by Texas A&M by 46 points, but rebounded nicely with a victory against Louisiana Tech. And the Trojans moved down to No. 3 in the poll behind Wisconsin-Green Bay and Old Dominion.
UALR gets a major test on Friday when it plays Bowling Green in Seattle, Wash. Bowling Green is ranked No. 9 this week.
Other UALR opponents continue to be ranked. Middle Tennessee got drilled by Arkansas and fell from sixth to eighth. South Dakota State dropped from 11th to 13th. Saint Mary's moved up from 25th to 20th. And opponents Western Kentucky, Arkansas State and South Alabama are receiving votes.

And the UALR men aren't far off making an appearance in the men's poll. It will likely take two tough victories this week to make it happen.

NOTE: The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast.

UALR-Oral Roberts predictions

Looks like Las Vegas favors Oral Roberts by 6.5.

Here's today's predictions:
CBS Sportsline (1-2): Oral Roberts 78, UALR 64
Ken Pomeroy (1-2): Oral Roberts 71, UALR 64
Jeff Sagarin (1-2): UALR 73, Oral Roberts 72
Realtime RPI (2-1): Oral Roberts 74, UALR 65

BTH Combined Prediction (1-2): Oral Roberts 74, UALR 65

BTH Need to Read (11/24)

Tulsa World preview
Tulsa World blog
Statsheet's statistical matchup
UALR Game Notes
Oral Roberts Game Notes
Updated TV information

TV info for Wednesday's game

The UALR Trojans travel to Tulsa, Okla., on Wednesday to take on Oral Roberts. And there's plenty of ways you can watch the game.
1. Go to Buffalo Wild Wings at 14,800 Cantrell Road in Little Rock. They will be showing the game.
2. Fox College Sports Central. If you subscribe to the sports package from your cable or satellite provider, you just might get it. It is channel 617 on DirecTV.
3. If your internet provider subscribes to ESPN3 you can watch the game there for free. If your provider does not, you won't have access to it.
4. ORU's Golden Eagle Broadcasting is showing the game on tape delay at 10:30 p.m. It is channel 363 on DirecTV and you get it as part of your regular HD package.
5. If you can't get it in one of these places and you're not crafty enough to find it for free on the Internet, there's always ESPN Full Court. However, this is a pay-per-view service.

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Hot Springs extension confirmed

As first reported more than a month ago on Burn The Horse, the Sun Belt Conference has extended the stay of its men's basketball tournament in Hot Springs, Ark. Here's a quote from Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters in today's Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
"Yes. For three years. But this year will be the first of four years. This coming year will be the last of the original agreement, and there were three years added to that. Although, this year was renegotiated as part of the new agreement."
What is perplexing is that the Sun Belt Conference has still made no official announcement.
Read the story here:


Interview with Sun Belt Commish

Here's a nice Q and  A with Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters. It was done by Adam Sparks of The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Read it in its entirety here:
SPARKS: Arkansas-Little Rock will be the only non-football Sun Belt member left after Denver leaves in 2012. Does it make the conference stronger or weaker whether UALR stays for the long haul?
WATERS: It doesn't matter. We've got teams that don't play golf or tennis or baseball. North Texas doesn't play baseball. So I think we look at football the same way with UALR. As long as everybody in the league brings value to the enterprise, then everybody serves a purpose. And UALR does that. Their women's basketball, for instance, had great wins last year and represented us well in the NCAA tournament. Basketball has been productive, and we think they will continue to be productive.


BTH Need to Read (11/23)

TV for Wednesday's UALR-ORU game (Game is also on GEB (363 on DirecTV on tape delay at 10:30 p.m.)
St. Gregory's hung around with Rice last night

UALR postgame interview

Sunday's postgame news conference courtesy of UALR Sports Information:

Hard work, coaches' faith boosts Louzeiro

The early season surprise for UALR has been the play of junior Marlon Louzeiro.
After barely playing in the season-opener against SMU, Louzeiro has seen his minutes increase. He had 11 points on Sunday as UALR beat Illinois State 63-54 at the Jack Stephens Center.
"I think he's really making hte most of his minutes. When you get six minutes, when you get eight minutes you maximize your minutes. He got eight minutes at St. Bonaventure where he was 3 for 5 from the floor and 2 for 3 from the free throw line and had 2 offensive rebounds," said UALR Coach Steve Shields. "That's what you're looking for from a team standpoint."
Louzeiro, who is from Brazil, has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. His role on his junior college team was to set screens and rebound. And his statistics were unimpressive when he signed with UALR.
Louzeiro has worked hard and done what the coaches have asked of him. But the coaching staff deserves a lot of credit too.
Louzeiro could have played and contributed last season. But his degree plan was going to require him to be at UALR for three years and a decision was made to redshirt him. There's no doubt that Louzeiro could have helped when Mike Smith went down with an injury in December. Louzeiro and Smith are somewhat similar players (Smith is a little quicker, but Louzeiro probably shoots the ball better). But the coaches decided to keep the redshirt on Louzeiro to preserve his two seasons.
And Louzeiro made the most of his year off with the help of strength coach John Barron. Louzeiro practiced with the team everyday, but he also went through tough, tough workouts with Barron in the mornings. These included strength and agility drills. Louzeiro wasn't great at them when they started, but he worked hard and got better. Each day when he finished he was covered with sweat and Barron was more and more encouraged.
His hard work has paid off with his start to the season. And the coaching staff will benefit from his improvement over the next two years.


Congrats to the UALR women's basketball team.
The players, coaches and staff received their NCAA Tournament rings and watches at a ceremony at halftime of the UALR men's game against Illinois State on Sunday.
And the new NCAA banner was also in place on Sunday.

Chucky channelling Kendall Gill?

We're not sure if its intentional, but UALR freshman Daylon "Chucky" Guy seems to be channelling former Illinois and NBA player Kendall Gill. Here's Guy from Sunday's victory over Illinois State and Kendall Gill during his rookie season with the then Charlotte Hornets. Both wear No. 13.
Guy scored 11 consecutive points in the second half of Sunday's victory over Illinois State.
"He plays with a lot of confidence. We needed his burst offensively tonight," UALR Coach Steve Shields said. "He's someone who can go on those stretches like he did tonight."

BTH Need to Read (11/22)

Recaps of UALR's victory over Illinois State on Sunday:

The Pantagraph (Bloomington/Normal)
UALR official
Illinois State official
The Sports Network

Louzeiro plus/minus best on Sunday

Marlo before scoring on a
post move on Sunday.
Junior Marlon Louzeiro hit a couple of big shots to get UALR started on Sunday and he was the plus/minus best on the court for the Trojans.
Louzeiro finished a team high +14 for the game. He tied for team best in Wednesday's victory over St. Gregory's.
On Sunday, Louzeiro was joined at the top by freshman guard Daylon "Chucky" Guy at a +12, junior Eric Kibi at +10 and junior Alex Garcia-Mendoza at +9.
Louzeiro is a team best +40 for the season and also leads with a +0.77 plus/minus per minutes played.

Computers are awesome

We love these computer-generated stories that the folks at StatSheet produce.
Actually, they put out a ton of information if you can read through the awkward writing.

UALR 63, Illinois State 54

Freshman guard Daylon "Chucky" Guy scored all 11 of his points in a three-minute span of the second half as UALR held off Illinois State 63-54 before 2,532 on Sunday afternoon at the Jack Stephens Center.
Daylon "Chucky" Guy
Guy was still scoreless when he entered the game with 14:05 left and the Trojans holding a 32-27 lead.
After missing one jump shot, Guy started feeling it. He hit a three-pointer, a jumper in the lane and then back-to-back three-pointers in the stretch as UALR expanded its lead to 47-39. The second three-pointer checked up on the back of the rim before dropping in.
UALR improves to 3-1 on the season and 3-1 at home under Coach Steve Shields against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference. UALR has previously beaten Southern Illinois and Creighton and lost last season to Missouri State. Illinois State drops to 2-1 on the season.
Senior guard Solomon Bozeman led UALR with 14 points.
But it was the inside out play of junior forward Marlon Louzeiro that made a difference throughout. Louzeiro finished with career highs of 11 points and 4 rebounds.
UALR took an early 7-0 lead and never trailed in the game. Although Illinois State cut a 19-6 lead to 25-23 at intermission.
UALR returns to action on Wednesday against Oral Roberts (2-1) at Tulsa, Oklahoma.

UALR-Illinois State predictions

Las Vegas lines favor Illinois State by either 2, 2.5 or 3 points. It was at 3 points in most places on Saturday.

CBS Sportsline (1-1): Illinois State 78, UALR 68
Ken Pomeroy (1-1): Illinois State 67, UALR 66
Jeff Sagarin (1-1): Illinois State 77, UALR 74
Real Time RPI (1-1): UALR 69, Illinois State 67

BTH Prediction Average (1-1): Illinois State 72, UALR 69

More on Neighbour

Thanks to British basketball Web site Hoops Fix for contacting us about using the Will Neighbour Q&A. Check out their page here:

Maroon Out today

BTH Need to Read (11/21)

UALR-Illinois State preview
The Pantagraph (Bloomington-Normal, Ill.)
UALR official
Illinois State official
Baseball signees
Neosho (Mo.) Daily News

Butler's back

UALR senior guard Shanika Butler still isn't back to full strength, but she made  definite impact on last night's 59-55 victory over Louisiana Tech.
Butler had only 4 points and 4 rebounds while picking up 4 fouls in 23 minutes in her first game of the season. But her impact was shown most in her plus/minus rating. While most Trojans players hovered around the even mark, Butler was a tremendous +14 for the game.
And her driving layup late in the game helped put it away for UALR.

BTH Need to Read (11/20)

Not much out there today:
UALR Women 59, La. Tech 55
UALR official
Louisiana Tech official

UALR women receive NCAA rings and watches on Sunday
Vote for UALR's Chastity Reed

UALR women 59, La. Tech 55

The UALR women got back on track on Friday with a 59-55 victory over Louisiana Tech at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
Senior forward Chastity Reed scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half, including a late three-pointer, as the Trojans improved to 2-1 on the season. The game also marked the return of senior guard Shanika Butler, who scored a tough basket late in the game as the Trojans held off the Lady Techsters.
Reed didn't start and, despite making her first shot, struggled in the first half. She finished the half 1 of 7 from the field as the Trojans blew a 13-point lead to take a 29-28 lead into intermission.
The game was tied at 59-59 with 2:57 left as senior guard Asriel Rolfe grabbed and offensive rebound and passed outside to Reed, who didn't hesitate as she buried the three-pointer.
Then with UALR leading 54-53, Butler padded the advantage with a drive down the left side as she scored on a contested layup. It gave the Trojans a 56-53 lead with 41 seconds left. UALR then made enough free throws to hold on for the victory.
Butler played 23 minutes and finished with four points. Rolfe had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists and just 2 turnovers.
And ones
- Freshman post player Hannah Fohne set career highs with 10 points and 8 rebounds.
- After taking a 13-point first-half lead, UALR missed 13 of its next 14 field goal attempts. It allowed Louisiana Tech to take a 22-21 lead.

A few additions

We've moved the BTH Need to Read daily link list to the left column. And we've added links to the BTH Facebook Page and to the Little Rock Trojans message board in the right column.
Also in the right column is the statistics update for both the men's and women's team. We are tracking points per game, rebounds per game and plus/minus per minute this season.
You can also now choose to like or dislike posts on BTH. Don't worry. We'll only take it personally for a few minutes. Seriously though, tell us what you like.
And we're also working on a few other things.
This has been the biggest week yet for BTH with record page views. We hope to see them continue to go up throughout the season. Thanks for your support.

Recap of Big Joe's roast

Arkansas Sports 360's Jim Harris wrote a nice recap of last night's Roast of UALR Assistant Coach Joe Kleine. It was held in Derek Fisher Court and benefited the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.

Tonight's prediction

Real Time RPI predicts the UALR women will beat Louisiana Tech by one point tonight.

BTH Q&A with Will Neighbour

Daytona State sophomore Will Neighbour signed with UALR this week. Neighbour, who is from Aldershot, England, and played for Great Britain’s U20 National Team this summer, originally signed with UALR out of Central Park Christian in high school. After the NCAA ruled him ineligible, he attended Daytona State. But he never went back on his commitment to UALR.
Neighbour is a 6-10 forward who played most of his basketball career as a guard. He’s still getting stronger and learning to play the post, but he says his strength is his ability to play both inside and outside the lane.
Neighbour averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds for Daytona State last season and was his conference's runner-up for player of the year. The Sporting News named Neighbour a third team All-American junior college player.
Over the summer, he averaged 15.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.3 blocks for Great Britain. He shot 52 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range (8 of 18) and 69 percent at the free throw line. After that tournament, Sports Illustrated ranked him the fourth-best, U.S.-based player at the U20 European Championships (both Divisions A and B). 
Neighbour was not ranked this year by JucoJunction in its top 150 junior college players. But he didn't play in any of the summer junior college showcases (he was in Europe) or the preseason jamborees (due to injury). Most elite players are seen at these type of events.
Neighbour sat down with Burn The Horse for an exclusive interview this week. We want to thank Daytona State Assistant Coach Frank Burnell for helping to make this possible.
Q: What was it about UALR and the coaching staff that drew you to them?
A: “(Assistant Coach) Charles Cunningham has been like a dad to me. He’s been through everything with me. When I took my visit up there I met Coach (Steve) Shields and (Assistant) Coach (Joe) Kleine. I can’t wait to work with Coach Kleine. That’s one thing a lot of the big schools don’t even have -- a coach that’s been in The League (NBA) for 15 years with actual experience. I feel that was a great opportunity to get a chance to work with him everyday. They also have a great weight coach as well, John Barron.  It’s a good program.”

Q: Talk about your background, growing up as a guard before a growth spurt at 16-years-old.
A: When I played basketball in England I was smaller. I was probably average height and one of the better players. I just always had the ball in my hands. I was dribbling and playing the point. I was playing with my Solent Kestrels club and I basically grew pretty fast. I was a point, then I slowly went to a shooting guard and then I hit 6-8, 6-9 and then finally 6-10. I had a coach that worked on my post moves, Jimmy Diamond. I became a back to the basket player who could play inside-out. I don’t know how I got so tall so fast. Both my parents aren’t that tall. I guess I was lucky.”

Q: Was it an adjustment to learn to play as a big man?
A: “It was hard. I had such a good coach who taught me all the moves. I worked on it everyday, either by myself or with him. It came pretty fast. When I was able to get a good hook shot it came kind of naturally. There’s still a lot of work that I need to do to become a really good back to the basket player.”

Q: Was a lack of strength an issue early in that transformation?
A: “Definitely. And that’s still an adjustment I need to make. I need to get stronger.”

Q: What is your current injury and your timetable for return?
A: “I tore my labrum. I was practicing and my shoulder came out of place. I had surgery about five weeks ago now. I’m trying to come back. I’m doing all the rehab. My coaches at Daytona want me to try and come back for conference play (in January). But if I’m not strong enough I’m going to take a medical red shirt and I’ll have three years at Little Rock.”

Q: What has it been like playing internationally for Great Britain?
A: “That has been a dream. It was amazing. Playing for my country was always something I wanted to do. When that opportunity came, the dream came true. And being the top scorer on the team for a couple of years was fantastic. The experience of playing against players that are playing professionally in their countries. They take it serious and it’s their jobs. It’s a high level over there. It was fantastic playing for my country.”

Q: How is European basketball different from American basketball?
A: “In America there are a lot of athletes. Europeans play with a lot of pick-and-roll and structured play. I would say it’s probably a little bit slower the way they play over there. They have a few big men that can really go inside-out. Over here, I haven’t seen many big men that can go inside-out. It’s either a big man who is powerful on the block or an athlete on the wing.”

Q: Are you going to play for Great Britain again this summer?
A: “If I hear something I’ll play for them again. I’ll see how it goes. I may just come to Arkansas. I’m not sure what the plan is yet.”
Note: Neighbour will be too old to play for the U20s this year. He could be selected for the U23 team.

Q: Anything else?
A: “I’m just trying to get that championship when I’m at Little Rock.”

Maroon Out On Sunday


Friday night coupon

Here's a coupon for Friday night's UALR women's game against Louisiana Tech. You get four tickets, four hot dogs and four Pepsi products for $24.

A preview

Here's a sneak peek at what Burn The Horse will present exclusively later today. It's a Q&A with UALR signee Will Neighbour.Here he talks about his growth spurt.

"I just always had the ball in my hands. I was dribbling and playing the point. I was playing with my Solent Kestrels club and I basically grew pretty fast. I was a point, then I slowly went to a shooting guard and then I hit 6-8, 6-9 and then finally 6-10. ... I became a back to the basket player who could play inside-out. I don’t know how I got so tall so fast. Both my parents aren’t that tall. I guess I was lucky.”
Check back later for more.

UALR-St. Gregory's highlights

Highlights courtesy of Today's THV.

Good result, still don't know

Wednesday's 108-58 victory by UALR over St. Gregory's was a good result, but it might not tell us much about this year's Trojans.
After all, UALR blasted St. Gregory's 100-56 last season. And last season's game came about 30 hours after UALR had played at Tulsa.
Still, it was a good all-around performance and should have everyone's confidence high going into Sunday's game against Illinois State. This upcoming three-game stretch will tell us a lot more. UALR hosts Illinois State on Sunday, goes to Oral Roberts on Wednesday and hosts Louisiana Tech the Friday after Thanksgiving.

BTH Need to Read (11/18)

Shawnee (Okla.) News Star
The Associated Press/ESPN

Up next: Illinois State
The Pantograph

Trojans win home opener 108-58

UALR set a school record with eight players in double figures as the Trojans routed St. Gregory's University 108-58 on Wednesday at The Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
UALR (2-1) jumped out to a 16-1 lead at the first media timeout and never looked back. The Trojans led 60-26 at halftime against the overmatched Cavaliers (3-2), which play in NAIA.
Senior Matt Mouzy led UALR with 16 points. Others in double figures were junior Eric Kibi (14), junior Marlon Louzeiro (13), senior Solomon Bozeman (11) junior Courtney Jackson (11), freshman Reggie Sonnier (11), senior Montrell Thornton (11) and freshman Chucky Guy (10).
UALR shot 59 percent while holding St. Gregory's to 27 percent from the field. And the Trojans held a 52-32 advantage in rebounds.
UALR played without freshman forward Gus Leeper, who was injured (concussion) in practice on Tuesday. His status for Sunday's game against Illinois State is not known.
Senior forward Derrick Bails, who was indefinitely suspended and missed games against SMU and St. Bonaventure, returned to action after the final media timeout of the second half. He finished with 0 points on 0-1 shooting.


Everyone have fun at The Jack tonight. Be sure to check out Burn The Horse tomorrow for an exclusive that all Trojan fans will want to read.

Tonight's game

While senior forward Derrick Bails has returned to practice, there is no word yet whether he is available to play in UALR's home opener at 7 p.m. tonight against St. Gregory's University at the Jack Stephens Center.
Bails was not on the bench for UALR's games last week at SMU and St. Bonaventure after being suspended indefinitely, according to the school.
Bails averaged 6.0 points and 3.9 rebounds last season.

UALR-Texas A&M Highlights



ESPN's Charlie Creme has released the first women's basketball Bracketology of the year. He's got UALR as an 11 seed playing at Shreveport, La., against Georgia Tech.
Last year UALR defeated Georgia Tech in the first round at Norman, Okla.

UALR up to 2nd

The UALR women moved up to No. 2 this week in the CollegeInsider Women's Mid-Major Top 25. And they even received one first place vote.
That might not be the case next week after Tuesday's 87-41 loss at Texas A&M, which is ranked eighth in the regular top 25.

BTH Need to Read (11/17)

UALR story on Neighbour
UALR men vs. St. Gregory's preview
UALR stats
St. Gregory's stats
Texas A&M 87, UALR women 41
Associated Press,0,5712079.story
The Battalion
Houston Chronicle
Bryan/College Station Eagle

Texas A&M beats UALR by 46

Mercifully, this game is over. It really never was a game as Texas A&M blitzed the UALR women from the start and went on to win 87-41 at Reed Arena.
This would have been a tough game even with senior guard Shanika Butler in the lineup. Without her, it's been a disaster.
Chastity Reed lead UALR with 17 points on 8 of 15 shooting. But she also had 9 turnovers. UALR had 24 turnovers, including 16 in the first half as the Aggies took a 40-19 lead. At that point, Texas A&M held a 26-0 advantage in points in the paint and a 16-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
The only bright spot for the Trojans was that Butler, who is recovering from surgery, did not play. Her status for Friday's game against Louisiana Tech at the Jack Stephens Center is not yet known.

Bails returns

Fox 16's David Raath reported on Twitter this afternoon that UALR senior forward Derrick Bails' suspension is over and that he's back at practice. No official word yet from UALR. Perhaps Fox 16 will have some video on tonight's newscasts.
draath16 UALR big man Derrick Bails back at practice today, suspension is over.

Will Neighbour signs with UALR :D

Neighbour averaged 15.1 points and
7.8 rebounds this summer while playing
for Great Britain.
Daytona State's Will Neighbour's letter of intent has been signed and received by UALR, which made the announcement on Tuesday.
Neighbour is a 6-10 forward who is a sophomore at Daytona State in Daytona Beach, Fla. He currently has an injury on his non-shooting shoulder and has not played this season. It's likely he'll redshirt this season and have three years to play after transferring to UALR.
Neighbour originally signed with UALR out of high school at Central Park Christian in Birmingham, Ala. But his international transcripts didn't translate to NCAA eligibility. He kept his commitment to UALR throughout his freshman year at Daytona State and signed this week.
Neighbour averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds last season and was his conference's runner-up for player of the year. That went to Ricardo Ratliffe, who was the No. 1 juco player in the country and is now playing at Missouri. The Sporting News named Neighbour a third team All-American junior college player.
He also has a lot of international experience, playing for England and now Great Britain. This summer, Neighbour played for Great Britain in the Division B Under 20 European Championships. He averaged 15.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.3 blocks. He shot 52 percent from the field, 44 percent from three-point range (8 of 18) and 69 percent at the free throw line. After that tournament, The Sporting News ranked him the fourth-best, U.S.-based player at the U20 European Championships (both Divisions A and B). 
Neighbour was not ranked this year by JucoJunction in its top 150 junior college players. But he didn't play in any of the summer junior college showcases (he was in Europe) or the preseason jamborees (due to injury). Most elite players are seen at these type of events.
BTH will have more later.

RT RPI says A&M by 1

No idea how they calculate this, but Real Time RPI picks Texas A&M to beat UALR 61-60 tonight.

Good opportunity

Very good opportunity to scout two future UALR opponents today. Tulsa is hosting Oral Roberts in the ESPN College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon in a few minutes.
UALR hosts Tulsa and plays Oral Roberts at Tulsa and at Las Vegas this season.

Blair on Reed

Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair, the well-respected former Arkansas coach, said this about UALR senior Chastity Reed.
"She's on the WNBA watch list. She'll remind people a little bit of that [Danielle] McCray who used to play for Kansas."
UALR plays at No. 8 Texas A&M tonight.

BTH Need to Read (11/16)

UALR gets some good coverage from the SMU game
Chastity Reed gets some pub, but the UALR women don't make it??
UALR gets a mention on Blogging The Bracket
Texas A&M-UALR women's preview
And we must have missed this Sunday. Really???

El Fuerte speaks

Not a surprise

Recruiting Web site Juco Junction has released its top 150 junior college players in the class of 2011. Not surprisingly, UALR commitment Will Neighbour isn't listed. A BTH story earlier in the fall predicted they would not rank him. Rivals, of which Juco Junction is a partner with, doesn't even list Neighbour as a recruit.
Neighbour played only in Europe in the summer and did not play for Daytona State in any preseason jamborees or games due to injury. It's likely he will redshirt this season with a shoulder injury.
Probably more surprising is that Northwest Mississippi's Reggie Fondren didn't make the list.;_ylt=An32wQgTUuaceQbgIW2JfRVrWpB4

SGU here on Wednesday

Saint Gregory's is 3-1 on the season going into Wednesday's game against UALR at The Jack Stephens Center. After playing the Trojans, they'll also play Rice and Lamar.
The game counts as a regular season game for UALR and an exhibition game for St. Gregory's, which is NAIA.

BTH UALR women's +- Ratings

Through one game, here are the UALR women's plus/minus ratings:





Janette Merriex




Asriel Rolfe




Chastity Reed




Hannah Fohne




Megan Williams




Karisma Tyson




Britteni Williams




Taylor Ford




Marian Kursh




Asiah Scribner




Whitney Gaston-Loyd




Nia Gregory