UALR signee Mareik Isom nearly shoots 50 percent from 3 as senior

A quick update on a UALR signee.

Austin (Texas) Bowie guard Mareik Isom ended up shooting 49 percent from the field, including 48 percent from three-point range. He also shot 83 percent at the free throw line.

He was first team all-district and all-region and named to the All-Centex team.

This was a story on Isom during last season:

Isom is one of five signees from November. He was joined by Josh Hagins, John Gillon, Stetson Billings and Andrew Poulter. Isom and Billings are shooting guards while Hagins and Gillon are point guards.

CBS reporting Chuck Guy will transfer from UALR, BTH confirms

Burn the Horse can confirm what was first reported by CBS Sportsline's Jeff Goodman. UALR sophomore Chuck Guy is transferring. Here's Goodman's transfer list:

Daylon"Chuckie" Guy, 5-10, G, Soph., Arkansas Little Rock

It's not a surprise. That's not because BTH has inside information. It just seems like there was going to be a minutes squish at his position next season. And there had been some occasional rumblings that this would happen last summer and again during the season.
No word where Guy might be headed. We’d guess he’s headed back home, somewhere near the Dallas Metroplex area. We have heard D2's are in the mix.
Guy was a heralded recruit out of Fort Worth, Texas, and had a very solid freshman season. He averaged 7.6 points while shooting 38 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range.
But with Solomon Bozeman’s graduation, it seemed a perfect fit for Guy to take over where Solo left off. Sometimes it happened (guy hit a late three-pointer vs. ULL to send a key game to overtime and had great finishing minutes vs. Troy). Other times it didn’t (He shot just 60 percent from the free throw line in Sun Belt games). His scoring went up but he had to take a lot more shots to do it. The inconsistency forced the staff to search for other options – ultimately then-freshman Ben Dillard.
Guy started 25 of 31 games as a sophomore and ranked second on the team by playing 954 minutes. He shot the same 38 percent from the field but dipped to 29 percent from the three-point line. And he shot it from out there a lot, leading the team in three-point attempts.
With Dillard shooting 43 percent from three-point range last season and incoming freshmen headed to campus with solid three-point percentages, it seemed likely that Guy might have to move to point guard to earn as many minutes as he played last year. Williams departs that position and two true freshmen are headed to campus as his potential replacement.
Guy’s departure puts UALR back at the NCAA allowed 13 scholarships for next season (they were one over with four departures and five incoming freshmen). No other UALR players are on the CBS list, but the staff has been looking at potential recruits for both the April and October signing periods.

Stephens Center, crowd looked good on TV

When UALR was eliminated on Saturday officials feared the Jack Stephens Center might look like a ghost town for Tuesday's game between Kansas and Delaware. Instead, the turnout was pretty good as Kansas advanced to the Sweet 16 with the victory.

There were also plenty of exterior and interior shots of the Jack Stephens Center throughout the night.

And some local media even showed up for the game. In addition to the Associated Press, the game was covered by locals from Arkansas Sports 360, the Sentinel-Record, 103.7 The Buzz and KTHV-TV.

A look-ahead for UALR in the 2012-2013 season


With the 2011-2012 season in the books, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2012-2013.
UALR doesn’t have as much to replace as it did last summer, but there are two giant holes to fill with the departure of point guard D’Andre Williams and forward Courtney Jackson. UALR will also miss role players Tramar Sutherland and Marlon Louzeiro, who came up big in spot duty several times last season.
We’ll assume everyone on the roster who is not a senior will be back next season. But that starts us out at one over the NCAA limit of 13. That means somebody who is here now won’t be in August.

Point guard
Williams is gone, leaving the point guard position wide open for someone to take. Senior Eric Lawton got the backup minutes last season, but never was able to provide enough comfort to allow Williams an extended rest during games. UALR could move junior Chuck Guy to the point. He has played the point some, more as a freshman than sophomore. Two incoming freshman also figure to get a pretty good look. Josh Hagins is a 6-3 point guard from the Shreveport area and John Gillon is a 5-11 point from the Houston area. Hagins is probably more of a traditional point guard, while Gillon is more of a scoring point.

Shooting guard
Providing he’s not stationed at the point, Guy and sophomore Ben Dillard return to this spot next season. Guy didn’t shoot it as well in his sophomore year, but hit some big shots throughout the season. Dillard played well in spurts and became one of the team’s best outside options. Two more freshmen could figure into this position as well. Strong’s Stetson Billings and Mareik Isom of Austin, Texas, are both 6-5, 2/3 combo-type players. Both are reported to be above average shooters. And freshman walk-on Casey Wilmath could be another option here. Wilmath is a shooter who spent this season as a redshirt.

Off guard/small forward
UALR has a ton of options in this spot. Junior Will Neighbour will see duty at the 3, 4 and 5 positions and figures to get some time here. Sophomore Taggart Lockhart played well at times as a freshman and figures to be right in the mix. And redshirt freshman James White, who is 6-7, also figures to get a look here. White has put on some weight during his redshirt year and reportedly shoots it well enough to play here. Senior Reggie Fondren didn’t play much, but he came up big in the Sun Belt opener against North Texas. Billings and Isom could also get looks at the 3.

Power forward
Jackson’s departure will be a huge area of concern. But UALR has options at the 4. Neighbour, White and sophomore Gus Leeper, who redshirted last season, all figure to see time here.

Sophomore Michael Javes is the incumbent at the 5. Leeper was the incumbent before getting hurt last summer. Both figure to be in the mix here along with Neighbour. Freshman Andrew Poulter will give the Trojans additional bulk on the inside if he’s ready to play.

Besides Wilmath, UALR had two additional walk-ons to close last season in freshman Tre’von Wilkerson and senior Ted Crass. Wilkerson is quick as a point guard and Crass is a shooter who will work as hard as anybody to be successful.
Height won’t be an issue for this group. We could get a bit of time next season with the 6-10 Neighbour, the 6-9 Leeper and the 6-10 Javes all on the court at the same time.
And we don’t know who else is still out there. The UALR coaching staff appears to still be recruiting for both the April and November signing classes.

Stay tuned.

UALR officials pleased so far, hope for good turnout for NCAA regional tonight

UALR officials seemed pleased with the turnout for Saturday's first-round games at the NCAA Women's Tournament at the Jack Stephens Center, especially the number of folks who stuck around for the second game between Nebraska and Kansas.

Whether they come back tonight for the game between Delaware and Kansas is another matter. Hopefully they will. Neutral site attendance is a big indicator of support for the women's tournament when they make decisions about future tournament sites.

The tournament appears to be running smoothly. UALR and the Stephens Center have received plenty of compliments from out of town guests this week.

One thing that isn't helping with the NCAA is local media. Not counting The Associated Press, there were a grand total of ZERO Arkansas-based media members (print, TV, radio, Internet) at Monday's press conferences for Delaware and Kansas. Fortunately, it appears every Delaware-based media member made the trip. The room was full for them on Monday.

It's a shame because the media coverage was considered one of Little Rock metro's biggest pluses when UALR hosted the men's tournament a few years ago.

Some other observations:
  • Why did UALR-Delaware tip off before Kansas-Nebraska? I know. It's TV. The Stephens Center looked great on TV but would have looked even better if the Nebraska and Kansas sections had their folks present. And the end of that Kansas-Nebraska game would have been played before a great crowd.
  • The NCAA determines which fans sit where based on the seeds. That's why Delaware and Nebraska (the top two seeds) were seated behind the benches. But it would have looked better on TV to switch the UALR and Nebraska fan sections.
  • What? It's not all about TV? Then why is tonight's game tipping off at 8:40 p.m.
  • Wish UALR would have made some more first-half free throws. That would have kept the score a little closer and kept the crowd a little more into the game. Those free throw misses took all the pressure off Delaware. And when Elena Delle Donne went on her early second-half run, the game was over and the life sucked out of the Stephens Center.
  • We understand why Delaware didn't bring more fans to Little Rock. That's a killer trip. And Kansas doesn't traditionally travel well other than men's basketball. But we thought there would be a lot more Nebraska fans at the Stephens Center on Saturday. Perhaps they were saving their money for a trip to Iowa next weekend. I guess they can now pocket that money for football season.
  • No time to rest for either UALR coaching staff. The men's staff has been recruiting since season's end and the women's staff was back at it on Monday.

Some notes for fans attending the UALR-Delaware game today

Some notes leading up to today's games at the Jack Stephens Center.

1. There are definitely still tickets available. I saw a report last night on one of the TV stations that made it seem like they weren't.  The Stephens Center box office opens at 3:20 p.m. today. You can purchase tickets then ($25 for today's session) or pick up tickets previously purchased through UALR. Get there early. With a big crowd, parking figures to be a mess. And speaking of parking, your 2011-2012 UALR parking pass gets you in the lot.

2. The Stephens Center opens to the public at 3:20 p.m. today. UALR takes on Delaware in the first game at 4:20 p.m. We're hearing this game will get plenty of airtime during ESPN2's Whip-around coverage. Holly Rowe and Fran Frischilla are the commentators. The second game will start 30 minutes after the UALR-Delaware game. Expect Kansas-Nebraska to tip around 7 p.m. Stick around. It makes Little Rock look good.

3. You'll notice a lot of differences at the Stephens Center today. The floor seats are all gone and have been replaced by media seating. The bands will be seated on the floor on the ends of the arena. It's also great to have our friend Jeff Matthews (B98.5) back as the PA announcer this week.

4. This is an NCAA event. So there won't be the traditional music and player introductions before the start of the game today. Everything must be done the way the NCAA wants it.

5. And while the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette won't be represented on press row today, plenty of others are. Be sure to check out the free coverage from Arkansas Sports 360. And the out of town media is also present. There's plenty of great coverage today in:

There's still plenty of local media covering the UALR regional this week

With the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette not applying for credentials for the NCAA Women's Tournament at UALR's Jack Stephens Center this weekend, you might be looking for another source of information. Since this is a men's basketball blog, we'll only have limited coverage. We'd suggest Arkansas Sports 360. Here's a story from today's press conferences from Jim Harris:

Click here

Other locals do have credentials. All four TV stations were on hand today and will be throughout the weekend. And in addition to AS360, the AP, the Hot Springs Sentinel Record and the North Little Rock Times were among those attending.

Set up for NCAA regional at Little Rock is outstanding

Congratulations to all the folks at UALR for the setup for the NCAA regional at the Jack Stephens Center.

Having covered a few of these types of events in the past I know what goes in to making things work. The court area looks fantastic. Behind the scenes where I'm working, they've transformed the weight room into a media work room and utilized every bit of space to get the most out of it.

I'll be working the tournament and won't have much time for blogging this weekend. Best of luck to all the teams, especially Coach Joe Foley and UAZlR.

UALR went 1-9 against postseason teams, including top seeds UK, MSU


UALR went 1-9 this season against teams playing in postseason tournaments.

UALR was 0-4 against NCAA Tournament teams, 0-3 against NIT teams, 0-1 against CBI teams and 1-1 vs. CIT teams. This included losing to Kentucky and Michigan State, which both were awarded No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament on Monday. UALR also lost twice to Western Kentucky, the Sun Belt Conference’s NCAA representative.

UALR lost to NIT teams Middle Tennessee, Oral Roberts and Illinois State and CBI team Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Trojans split this season with Louisiana-Lafayette, which is playing in the CIT.

Would the selection committee send UANWA to Little Rock?

ESPN's Charlie Creme released his latest Bracketology on Tuesday. In it he has UALR as a 14 seed taking on third seeded Delaware in a first-round game at the Jack Stephens Center. The other Little Rock game is sixth seeded St. Bonaventure vs. 11th-seeded UTEP.

But Creme also lists UANWA as a No. 6 seed and has them playing in Spokane, Washington. It's probably an oversight by Creme, but it seems likely the committee would make the obvious choice to keep UANWA closer to home.

Of course, that depends on those seeds coming true. No. 14 seems about right for UALR but No. 6 might be a little better than UANWA ends up.

Here's Creme's Bracketology.

Sun Belt Conference should alter tournament bracket

BTH proposed bracket with
2012 seeds. Click to enlarge. Also
I made a mistake. I put ULL as the 6.
They were the 4. But you get
the idea.
Before I lay this out, let me just say it is somewhat hypocritical. UALR took advantage of the current bracket system last year to win its Sun Belt Tournament.

But it appears the time has come for the Sun Belt Conference to do something different with its postseason tournament brackets. It's time to really make the regular season mean something.

Currently, it doesn't mean much. Last year, UALR swept through four games in four nights to win the Sun Belt Tournament. The Trojans beat a North Texas team in the final that also didn't receive a bye in the first round of the tournament.

Last night, Western Kentucky did the same thing, beating North Texas for the championship. That was a 5 seed playing a 7 seed for the title.

Why not reward teams that finish better in conference play with additional byes. And punish those with worse records by making them play more.

It works in the West Coast Conference. Top seeds Saint Mary's and Gonzaga received byes to the semifinals. Not surprisingly, they met for the WCC championship.

This is my proposed bracket. It may need some minor tweaks or adjustments and it would require Hot Springs to give the Sun Belt an extra day of basketball. But it increases the likelihood that the best teams will get to the finish line. And that ultimately is better for the conference.

Watch the UALR-Middle Tennessee finish

Watch the finish as UALR beats Middle Tennessee in overtime to win the Sun Belt. This is from the opposite side of the TV cameras, just above the UALR fan section. UALR will play in Little Rock in the NCAA Women's Tournament on Sunday, March 18. The game will be at the Jack Stephens Center.

Thanks to UALR fans for a record year on Burn The Horse

Just wanted to say thanks to UALR fans for a great season, both on the court and on Burn The Horse.

When we started this about 15 months ago, there was no way to know what to expect. Pageviews started a bit slowly in the beginning but grew throughout the first year. The numbers went over the top last year when the UALR teams advanced to their NCAA Tournaments.

Honestly, we just hoped to have similar numbers this year. But UALR fans have responded in a huge way. Numbers were up about 30 percent in November and 40 percent in December. January's numbers showed a more than 100 percent gain and February was even better.

And we have been off to a great start in the early days of March.

This isn't a UALR women's basketball blog, but please support Joe Foley and the UALR women as they go for their third consecutive NCAA Tournament at 1 p.m. today at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. A win today guarantees they will be playing again at the Stephens Center in a few weeks.

Updates on BTH will start to become less throughout the offseason, only when needed. If you have questions or comments, please email at

Burn The Horse!!!!!!!!

UALR Rewind: Early season issues haunt Trojans in final game of season

The deck was supposed to be stacked against this UALR team from the start of the season. There was just so much to replace from last year's team. After some struggles in the nonconference portion of the schedule, UALR went 12-4 in Sun Belt play to win the West Division and claim the No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt Tournament.

UALR couldn't sustain it with a first-round loss to Western Kentucky in a carbon copy of an earlier meeting between the two schools in Bowling Green, Ky. In both games, UALR was in control for most of the first 35 minutes before a late collapse.

Ultimately, the things that were question marks for this team this season proved to be issues in the final game. UALR's inability to rebound and handle opponents' press were obvious issues. The bigger question would have been why more teams didn't try to press UALR more often.

Here's a look back at the final game:

BTH Keys
THE START: UALR got off to a positive start, surging to an early nine-point lead and leading throughout the first half. The only thing that could have made it better was some missed opportunities to further expand the lead. Grade: A-.
COURT TIME: Courtney Jackson finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. There were times he was the best player on the court. And there were times during that stretch when UALR didn’t get him enough touches. Unfortunately, Jackson didn’t seem to be able to elevate in the final minutes, getting his shot blocked twice after good moves to the basket. Grade: B.
TURN, TURN, TURN: UALR only had nine turnovers (it seemed like more) in 40 minutes. That’s a winning number. But the consecutive turnovers vs. the WKU press in the second half hurt badly. Grade: B+.
FREE MONEY: WKU’s offensive rebound advantage hurt (17-5) but the HIlltoppers’ free throw advantage proved the difference in the game. WKU made 21 of 41 free throws to UALR’s 13 of 18. Grade: F.
Up next
The future’s bright for UALR. Will Neighbour, Michael Javes, Taggart Lockhart, Ben Dillard and Chuck Guy are among those returning. Gus Leeper returns from injury, James White (redshirt) figures to be in the mix for playing time at the 3. And two freshmen point guards will attempt to replace the minutes lost by departing senior D’Andre Williams. And a pair of big guards and a big man are also on the way.

UALR season ends with loss to Western Kentucky

Disappointing end to a surprising season tonight at Summit Arena. Upset Sunday catches up with UALR and Middle Tennessee.

More tomorrow.

UALR Tweetcast: LIve updates from UALR vs. WKU Sun Belt Tourney game

Live Tweetcast at 8:30 p.m.
The Burn The Horse Live Tweetcast is up and running for tonight's Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinal between UALR and Western Kentucky. We're following those in maroon and silver and red and white for the game, which begins at 8:30 p.m.

Live updates all night long from Summit Arena in Hot Springs.

UALR Gameday: Trojans need to beware on upset Sunday

8:30 p.m. tonight
Summit Arena, Hot Springs
UALR students Free with ID
Children under 17 are $1
Beware UALR. It’s upset Sunday in the Sun Belt Tournament.

Last year on Sunday night, Western Kentucky upset Louisiana-Lafayette, North Texas upset Florida Atlantic and UALR upset Arkansas State. There’s no reason to think those types of upsets aren’t on the table tonight.

UALR opens Sun Belt Conference play at 8:30 p.m. against Western Kentucky. The Trojans finished 12-4 in Sun Belt play and won the West Division championship. WKU has won three-consecutive games for the first time this season.

I feel pretty much the same way about this year’s UALR team as I did last year. I think they could beat anybody in the Sun Belt Conference this weekend. I also think they could lose to anybody at the Sun Belt Tournament. The one exception is that I didn’t think last year’s team had the ability to put four-consecutive victories together.

This year’s team only has to win three. But if they don’t get by WKU tonight, the number of games won’t matter.

Keep an eye on WKU’s Nigel Snipes tonight. Last night in his press conference, WKU Coach Ray Harper said he expects the matchups to be in Snipes’ favor and for him to have a big game. He didn’t do much in the first meeting, but WKU may have a trick up their sleeve.

BTH Keys
THE START: One thing I think is difficult for teams receiving byes is the pregame ceremony during their first game at the Sun Belt Tournament. Before tonight’s game, UALR will receive its West Division championship trophy, D’Andre Williams and Will Neighbour will receive their all-Sun Belt awards, and UALR’s academic all-Sun Belt selections will be announced. It’s a major distraction and one WKU won’t have to deal with (they received their awards last night). UALR doesn’t need to dig itself a hole early.

COURT TIME: Courtney Jackson might have been UALR’s best player down the stretch and he’ll need to play big again tonight. The senior, who missed last year’s Sun Belt Tournament run due to injury, had 14 points and 5 rebounds in the first meeting vs. WKU. A big game tonight from CJ would help.

TURN, TURN, TURN: Teams that turn the ball over more lose more frequently. I know, nothing mind-blowing there. UALR has the ability to keep its turnovers down. And when they do, they’re much better. One thing the Trojans can’t afford are some of the empty possessions (unforced turnovers, contested three-point attempts early in shot clock) that we’ve seen in some recent games.

FREE MONEY: With the exception of the UALR-WKU game two years ago, free throws are generally at a premium in Sun Belt Tournament play. UALR has been a streaky free throw shooting team. When the Trojans get there, they need to make them.

Vegas says
We’re still waiting on the Las Vegas line for tonight’s game. We’d expect UALR to go in as a slight favorite.

  • Jeff Sagarin (19-10): UALR 72, WKU 67
  • CBS (19-10): UALR 67, WKU 66
  • The Sports Network (18-11):
RealTime RPI (16-13) and Omni Ranking (15-9) have not been updating. OmniRankings does have UALR advancing in its Sun Belt bracket.

UALR's rematch statistic back in play vs. Western Kentucky

8:30 p.m. Sunday
Summit Arena, Hot Springs
Western Kentucky held off Florida International Saturday night to advance to Sunday night's quarterfinal against UALR. Tipoff is 8:30 p.m. at Summit Arena.

This is the second meeting of the season between UALR and WKU. WKU won the first game 65-53 in Bowling Green, Ky. It was a game in which UALR looked to be on its way to victory before falling apart in the final five minutes.

The rematch brings this statistic back into play. In UALR Coach Steve Shields' nine seasons at UALR, his Trojans have lost 11 times by 10 or more points in the first meeting of the season and got a rematch. They've won 10 of the 11 rematch games.

That includes losing 68-49 to Louisiana-Lafayette before beating ULL 72-70 in the rematch this season. It also happened in last year's Sun Belt Tournament. UALR lost 92-79 to South Alabama in the regular season before beating the Jaguars 82-68 in the tournament.
Here's the list:
2003-2004 Western Kentucky L, 86-71 W 68-60
2004-2005 Middle Tennessee L, 85-50 W, 69-62
2004-2005 Arkansas State L, 78-64 W, 73-67
2005-2006 Appalachian State L, 75-65 W, 78-63
2006-2007 Troy L, 82-70 W, 79-71
2007-2008 Arkansas State L, 77-62 W, 82-52
2007-2008 Denver L, 54-40 W, 66-55
2008-2009 Western Kentucky L, 79-47 L, 78-69
2010-2011 Oral Roberts L, 86-60 W, 52-49
2010-2011 South Alabama L, 92-79 W, 82-68
2011-2012 La.-Lafayette L, 68-49 W, 72-70

Sun Belt Live Tweetcast: Florida International vs. Western Kentucky

UALR will play the winner of the first-round game between Florida International and Western Kentucky. Follow tonight's game live with the BTH Tweetcast. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. at Summit Arena in Hot Springs.

For other Sun Belt games, be sure and watch the BTH live Twitter Feed on the left column of this page.

Predictions for Sun Belt Tournament's first round games

A look at some predictions for tonight's Sun Belt Tournament games:

FloridaInternational vs. Western Kentucky
Vegas says:WKU by 2
The Sports Network: FIU 71, WKU 68
Sagarin: WKU 69, FIU 68
CBS: FIU 68,WKU 67

ArkansasState vs. Florida Atlantic
Vegas says: FAU by 2.5
The Sports Network: ASU 68, FAU 65
Sagarin: FAU72, ASU 69
CBS: ASU 67,FAU 66

Troy vs.South Alabama
Vegas says:USA by 3
The Sports Network: USA 76, Troy 70
Sagarin: USA 70, Troy 67
CBS: USA 73,Troy 69

WKU puts Sun Belt streak on the line in opener vs. FIU

Western Kentucky puts a pretty impressive streak on the line tonight. Actually, they’ll have to win tonight against Florida International and Sunday night against UALR to keep it alive.

Going into tonight’s 8:30 p.m. game against Florida International, Western Kentucky has advanced to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Tournament seven consecutive years.

Western Kentucky and Florida International split their regular season meetings. FIU pulled away in the second half to win the first game in Bowling Green, Ky., in one of the final games for former Coach Ken McDonald. Ray Harper was the coach when the Hilltoppers returned the favor with a victory in Miami.

Western Kentucky has lost 14 of their past 17 games away from home. But they did get a big win at FIU in an ugly game. WKU shot 27.6 percent while FIU shot 32 percent and made 1 of 12 three-pointers. But WKU held a five rebound advantage and forced 20 FIU turnovers to earn the 61-51 victory.

WKU also finished the season strong with home victories over Arkansas State and top seed Middle Tennessee.

Florida International has talent. They only won five games in Sun Belt play but landed three of the 15 players on the all-conference team in Phil Taylor, Jeremy Allen and DeJuan Wright. And on Saturday night against South Alabama, Coach Isiah Thomas made a tactical change. He went with a four-guard lineup most of the way, utilizing Wright, Taylor, Allen and Deric Hall. Instead of handling the ball all the time, Taylor played off it, making him a different type of threat to score. And Hall responded with the ball, posting 9 assists and 0 turnovers.

Western Kentucky needs to shoot the ball well. The Tops are 1-9 when shooting less than 40 percent. But that’s only happened in 3 of the 13 games since Harper replaced McDonald. WKU is also 3-11 when attempting fewer free throws than its opponent and 4-13 when getting outrebounded.

One advantage the winner of tonight’s game will have is familiarity with Summit Arena, where they’ll meet UALR on Sunday night. In contrast, UALR players won’t get their first look at Summit Arena until they bus from Little Rock Sunday evening.

Denver will play Sun Belt Tourney without Chase Hallam

It appears Denver will have to play the Sun Belt Tournament without starting guard Chase Hallam. SB Nation Denver has the story here:

Hallam did a little bit of everything for the Pioneers. He averaged 7.5 points and 4.3 rebounds.
But don't write the Pioneers off just yet. Hallum didn't play in Denver's final regular season game, a victory over North Texas. And UALR fans remember what happened last year when starting forward Courtney Jackson was lost to injury late in the season.

Earlier this week, Louisiana-Lafayette confirmed it would play without suspended players J.J. Thomas and Raymone Andrews.

Denver is the No. 3 seed and will play the winner of South Alabama and Troy on Sunday.

UALR is Vegas' third choice to win Sun Belt Tournament

If one was inclined to get a bet down, these are some pretty serious odds on UALR, which is the third selection behind Middle Tennessee and Denver. No idea what the odds on UALR winning it last year (when the Trojans won it) but we might have been able to retire early.

Preparations for 2012 Sun Belt Tournament nearing completion

Click to enlarge
Preparations for the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament at Hot Springs Convention Center are nearing completion. We went by this afternoon to see the progress both at Summit Arena and Convention Center Court. It seems like they are much further along with CCC this year than in year's past.

Sun Belt Tournament Twitter feed up and running at BTH

We have compiled an extensive Twitter list of folks participating in the Sun Belt Tournament this weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It includes a little bit of everything: Players, coaches, SIDs, Athletic Directors, mascots, broadcasters and even some fans. We'll keep adding to it throughout the weekend.

Check it out in the left column of Burn The Horse with the "Hot Hoops In Hot Springs Logo."

Sun Belt teams begin arriving in Hot Springs for tournament

Sun Belt Conference teams began arriving in Hot Springs on Thursday afternoon. Western Kentucky's Khalil McDonald says its time for the Hilltoppers to "shock" people.
Others, like Florida Atlantic's Raymond Taylor, didn't seem too excited about being at Little Rock National Airport last night. Then again, Taylor went scoreless in his only Little Rock appearance this season.
Setup continues on both Summit Arena and Convention Center Court today with games set to begin tomorrow afternoon.

UALR, North Texas among nation's leaders vs. the spread this season

Saw this a few days ago and meant to post it. Saw it again today and snagged it. UALR and North Texas are among the nation's leaders in victories vs. the Las Vegas spread.

OmniRankings has UALR a longshot to win Sun Belt Tournament


Statistical Web site OmniRankings ( has UALR as its fourth choice to win the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament.

OmniRankings picks top seeded Middle Tennessee to win the Sun Belt Tournament, but it actually gives Denver a better percentage of winning it all.

Denver is given an 84.22 percent chance of winning its first game, a 65 percent chance in its second game and a 38.44 percent chance in the championship game. That is better than Middle Tennessee’s 37.58 percent chance of winning.

North Texas is the third choice with an 8.17 percent chance and UALR fourth at 5.82 percent.

OmniRankings doesn’t go with a first-round upset, taking Florida Atlantic over Arkansas State, Western Kentucky over Florida International and South Alabama over Troy.

Jeff Sagarin’s predictions also don’t favor first-round upsets, but two of the three games are really too close to call. He has:
·         Florida Atlantic 0.11 points better than Arkansas State
·         Western Kentucky 0.54 points better than Florida International
·         South Alabama 2.69 points better than Troy