Arkansas coach Eric Musselman came to North Little Rock on Friday to address a banquet hall filled with hungry Razorback basketball fans and program supporters about 27 hours before his team played the Hofstra Pride at the Simmons Bank Arena.

The University of Arkansas will host Hofstra with kick off at 7:00 p.m. today.

Musselman spoke at the Downtown Tip-Off Club and the first of nine lunches hosted by North Little Rock Parks and Recreation for the college basketball season. He said he knows how important events like the Tip-Off Lunch are to fans. He said they are important to him and his team too.

“We have one state, and these are getting really important, because the Razorbacks are obviously the team for the whole state, and so it’s important for us to play games like this, and to be at events like this representing the university, too. ” said Musselman.

Perhaps most of all, Musselman has said he wants fans to know the test he expects from Hofstra. Hoping his players understand, he reminded them of Hofstra’s 83-75 overtime loss to Houston, currently ranked No.15 by The Associated Press, on November 9, and its 69-67 loss to No.1. # 19 in Maryland, which was ranked # 20 at the time.

“What we’ve been doing all week is showing our team some video clips and then we’re going to stop it and say, ‘Look at the score’ / 2021 / dec / 18 / fan-events-important-coach-says / “said Musselman. “”Do you understand the respect you must have for Hofstra?” https: //www.nwaonline .com / news / 2021 / dec / 18 / fan-events-important-coach-says / “

Musselman said lunches and other similar gatherings around the state, rather than games, give all Arkansas coaches the opportunity to build relationships with fans.

“Obviously, people who come to a game don’t really know the coach, whether it is the coach [Dave] Van Horn or Coach [Sam] Pittman or Coach [Mike] The neighbors, and I certainly think events like this maybe shed a different light on them, ”Musselman said. “And we also get to know other people. Relationships are getting really important statewide. “

Musselman said his wife Danyelle asked Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek to prevent him from traveling to Tampa, Fla. For the Arkansas soccer team’s Outback Bowl game with Penn State scheduled for January 1.

“She wanted our athletic director to make sure I stayed focused on the basketball and didn’t get too engrossed in Coach Pittman’s football,” Musselman said.

He said he and his wife were negotiating the possibility of a trip to Arkansas’ first bowl game since the 2016 Belk Bowl.

“I guess it depends on how we play,” Musselman said.

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