Arkansas vs San Diego State: 2022 Maui Invitational game preview, TV schedule
The 3rd place game in the Maui Invitational features a couple of ranked teams in Arkansas and San Diego State. Who will avoid a second loss this week?
TV schedule: Wednesday, November 23rd, 10:00 pm ET. ESPN2
Arena: Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii
When participating in the annual Maui Invitational, there are usually some really good teams that end up losing multiple games, due to how many good teams attend. That’s going to be the case for both Arkansas and San Diego State, two programs currently ranked in the top 20 overall but each coming off a defeat.
For Arkansas (4-1) they defeated Louisville in the opening round without issue and they got into a shootout with the Creighton Bluejays for 40 minutes. In one of the best games of the season, the Razorbacks couldn’t get over the final hump, losing, 90-87. It was a fantastic game for freshman Anthony Black, going for 26 points and six assists in 38 minutes. Ricky Council chipped in with 24 points while playing in all 40 minutes of this contest.
It was an impressive performance against a very good team without arguably their best player, freshman Nick Smith. He won’t play for Arkansas tonight but the SEC has shown that they can keep up with opponents without him for now. Will they be able to beat San Diego State (4-1), who is capable of beating them?
The Aztecs defeated Cincinnati in the opening round and were putting up a fight against Arizona on Tuesday night, leading in the second half. But the offense went blank for them in the final 15 minutes and ended up handily losing, 87-70. Darrion Trammell scored 21 points and Micah Parrish had 10 off the bench. But the starting duo of Matt Bradley and Lamont Butler combined for just nine points on 3/16 shooting, which wasn’t going to work against a good team like Arizona.
Arkansas’ perimeter defense is also good so the Aztecs will need them to step up and produce. There’s plenty of experience for the Mountain West team against the younger Razorbacks but the confidence they gained from the Creighton matchup will do wonders for them mentally until Smith gets back.
San Diego State has a better offense than they did a year ago but there’s still some inconsistency to work through. But with a younger Razorback team to play against, I think the veterans will find a way to get a key win for their resume and leave the Maui Invitational with a good victory.
Prediction: San Diego State 70, Arkansas 66