COACHES: Arkansas - Stan Heath (33-36, third season); UF - Billy Donovan (177-87, nine seasons; 212-107 overall).
NOTES: This is Florida's SEC opener. Arkansas opened its conference schedule Wednesday with a 69-46 win over Mississippi. ... The Gators have won four of the past five against the Razorbacks, but Arkansas is on an eight-game winning streak and already has topped its win total from last season. ... The Gators are trying to earn their fourth straight win in an SEC opener.
- ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times staff writer
USF men VS. ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM
WHEN/WHERE: 1; Sun Dome, Tampa.
TV/RADIO: Ch. 28; 570-AM and 910-AM. RECORDS: UAB 11-3, 1-0 C-USA; USF 8-4, 1-0.
COACHES: UAB - Mike Anderson (32-16, second season); USF - Robert McCullum (15-24, second season; 59-69 overall).
NOTABLE: The last time the teams met, UAB hit a 3-pointer with one second left to steal a 61-59 victory in March at the Sun Dome. ... UAB, which went 12-4 in conference play to finish in a five-way tie for first, beat Southern Miss 83-75 on Wednesday. It's more surprising that USF, after a 1-15 finish last season, is also 1-0 after a 72-71 victory Wednesday at East Carolina. ... UAB has a frenetic, pressing defense led by twin senior guards Donell and Ronell Taylor, who with point guard Carldell Johnson are a major reason UAB leads the conference in assists and steals. ... The Blazers also lead in scoring and points allowed, so expect a high-scoring game. ... Don't be surprised if USF freshman Collin Dennis gets his second shot at the starting lineup after strong play (averaging 16.5 points) the past two games.
- GREG AUMAN, Times staff writer
TONIGHT: FLORIDA STATE men VS. VIRGINIA TECH
WHEN/WHERE: 7; Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, Tallahassee.
COACHES: Virginia Tech - Seth Greenberg (21-19, second season; 234-189 overall). FSU - Leonard Hamilton (41-35, third season; 241-245).
NOTES: The Seminoles are coming off their biggest win of the season, 82-69 against Florida, and look for their fourth straight home win. ... FSU is averaging 73.5 points, best since 1995-96 (75.5), on 47.9 percent shooting, best since 1992-93 (49.5). ... Junior forward Diego Romero is slowed by knee tendinitis; he played just the first minute against UF. Hamilton said he may start holding Romero out of practice so he might do more come game time. ... Greenberg, the former USF coach in his second year in Blacksburg, is rebuilding and relying largely on his youngsters. Sophomore guard Jamon Gordon, from Jacksonville's Jackson High, averages 9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists and leads the ACC in steals at 3.4. ... The Seminoles have won five in a row against the Hokies and lead the series 19-15.