UALR Gameday: Trojans finally get Isiah Thomas in the Rock


6 p.m. tonight
Jack Stephens Center
Vegas says: UALR by 5.5
For thefirst time in a long time UALR isn’t playing any games in Florida this season.And for the first time since 2007, Florida International is playing in LittleRock.

That meansas UALR hosts Florida International at 6 p.m. tonight at the Jack StephensCenter, Isiah Thomas will make his first appearance here.

FloridaInternational is a scary team. They’re ultra-talented with high-level recruitsall over the court. And they’re way better on the road than they are at home.

In Sun BeltConference play, FIU is 0-6 at home and 4-2 on the road. That alone makes themultra-dangerous going into tonight’s game.

Burn Notice
FIU’sstarting center Gilles Dierickx is a 7-footer from Ghent, Belgium, which is thesame town where former UALR sharpshooter Brandon Freeman starred.

BTH Keys tovictory
FREE TIME:One of UALR’s stated goals is always to make more free throws than opponentsshoot. FIU is a pretty good free throw shooting team at 71 percent, but theGolden Panthers get to the line four fewer times per game than their opponents.UALR doesn’t get to the line much more often than FIU, but the Trojans need totonight.
TURN, TURNTURN: It’s pretty simple. When UALR doesn’t turn the ball over, they’re reallygood. When UALR’s turnovers get to 15, 16, 17, it’s difficult for them to win.

GET INTO THEBENCH: Florida International played 11 in last Saturday’s loss to Denver. Butfour of the five starters are doing most of the damage. After DeJuan Wright(15.9 ppg), Phil Taylor (13.7 ppg), Jeremy Allen (14.0 ppg) and DominiqueFerguson (9.5 ppg), the next highest scorer is at 4.1 points per game. Thefurther UALR gets into the FIU bench the better.

NIFTY SIXTY:UALR is 7-0 this season when scoring at least 60 points. FIU is 1-8 whenscoring less than 60 points. First team to 60 wins.

Vegas, baby
UALR is a5.5-point favorite, making this only the fourth time this season the Trojanshave been favored. UALR is 3-1 in those games.

  • Omnirankings (13-7): UALR 67, FIU 60
  • Jeff Sagarin(16-9): UALR 75, FIU 69
  • CBSSportsline (16-9):
  • The SportsNetwork (15-10):
  • Real TimeRPI (14-11): UALR 72, FIU 60
  • Combination:UALR 71, FIU 63