UALR Gameday: Former WKU guard leads Philander vs. Trojans


Philander Smith (2-6)
vs. UALR (2-6)
5:15 tonight, JSC
Vegas says: No line
There’s no way to know what to expect from Philander Smith. They don’t update their Web site with stories, scores and statistics. And most of their opponents don’t either.

We’ve been able to determine that the Panthers are 2-6 on the season with victories over Central Arkansas and Southern Arkansas. Philander Smith is coming off a 92-81 loss to Lyon College on Dec. 2.

Here’s what we do know. Philander Smith point guard Ken Brown is really good.

When we first started doing research on this game, Brown’s name was familiar. We just figured out why. Brown signed with Western Kentucky out of Cerritos College before last season. He was getting some minutes early last year when he was suspended indefinitely. WKU eventually said he was kicked off for “violating the team academic policy.”
Ken Brown at WKU.
Now he’s at Philander Smith and lighting virtually everybody up. Brown, 6-1, is averaging 29 points per game, scoring 230 points in 272 minutes of game action this year. He had 41 points, 9 rebounds, 8 steals and 6 assists in the loss to Lyon.

I know what your saying. Lyon?

UCA was probably saying that too. He had 28 points in the upset victory over Corliss Williamson’s Bears. He had 30, including the game winner, in the victory over Southern Arkansas. And he had 23 in an exhibition loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

Brown shoots about one-third of the Panthers’ shots (22 per game). He’s going to keep UALR’s point guards busy throughout the night.

Brown had a couple of juco stops before signing with Western Kentucky. He reportedly had offers from Hawaii, Houston, USC, Lamar, Louisiana-Monroe, Portland State, San Diego State, Texas Southern, Wichita State and Wyoming.

Keys to victory
  • UALR better take it serious. At 2-6, UALR doesn’t have the right to look down on anyone at this point in the season. Playing on the bigger stage in their hometown, Philander Smith will be ready to go. And Brown is a legitimate threat.
  • Turnovers and Rebounds. Philander Smith has been outrebounded 273-136 on the season. UALR has to dominate the boards. And Philander Smith has 114 turnovers while forcing opponents into 210. That’s 26 turnovers a game. UALR has to take better care of the basketball.
  • Develop confidence. Obviously, winning the game is first and foremost. UALR’s schedule doesn’t get any easier and wins have been tough to come by. But the Trojans also need to develop confidence for promising newcomers like Will Neighbour, Ben Dillard, Taggart Lockhart and Michael Javes.

Vegas says:
It doesn’t.