HawgBeat’s coverage of Arkansas basketball is brought to you by CJ’s Butcher Boy Burgers, which has locations in Fayetteville and Russellville.
Arkansas will host Texas-Arlington as part of its 2020-21 men’s basketball schedule, HawgBeat has learned.
CBS Sports college basketball reporter Jon Rothstein first reported the news Friday afternoon. No date for the game has been announced.
It is the fourth known non-conference opponent for Eric Musselman’s second season with the Razorbacks, but the first that will be played at Bud Walton Arena.
Although not a big-name program, the matchup with UT-Arlington is notable because it will be the return of Jordan Phillips to Fayetteville. The former Rivals150 recruit spent one semester at Arkansas before transferring in the middle of the 2018-19 season.
Phillips, an Arlington native, landed back home and received a waiver for immediate eligibility with the Mavericks last season. He started 21 of 32 games as a sophomore, averaging 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds.
It will be the first time since 2017 – when Lorenzo Jenkins returned with Colorado State – that Arkansas hosted a former player in Bud Walton Arena. According to HogStats, the Razorbacks are 6-1 against former players since 1973-74, with the lone loss coming against Missouri and Byron Irvin in 1988.
Led by second-year coach Chris Ogden, UT-Arlington went 14-18 last season. That includes a 10-10 mark in Sun Belt play, which was good for a seventh-place finish in the 12-team conference.
However, the Mavericks tied for second in the Sun Belt standings and reached the conference tournament championship game the year before, earning Ogden coach of the year honors in the conference.
In addition to Phillips, UT-Arlington is expected to return guards David Azore and Sam Griffin. Azore was the Mavericks’ leading scorer at 14.0 points per game, while Griffin finished third on the team at 9.4 points per game.
This will actually be one of two times Arkansas faces a former player during non-conference play next season. The Razorbacks are also scheduled to play at Tulsa, where Keyshawn Embery-Simpson transferred after his freshman year, as the return game in a home-and-home series that began in Fayetteville last season.
Other known non-conference games include a neutral site matchup with Oklahoma at the BOK Center in Tulsa on Dec. 12 and a matchup with Old Dominion for the annual game at Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock on Dec. 19.
Arkansas will also play in the MGM Resorts Main Event in Las Vegas on Nov. 20 and 22. The other teams are known, but matchups haven’t been officially announced. However, San Francisco is reportedly its first opponent at the event, followed by either Louisville or Colorado State.
The Razorbacks will likely participate in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, as well.
Sign up for an annual HawgBeat subscription and get $50 for Arkansas gear on the Rivals Fan Shop ––> details
College Students, get a year of HawgBeat coverage for just $11.95. Request details via email from your school account (.edu) to firstname.lastname@example.org.