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Eric Musselman's NBA Experience Pays Off in 'Hall of Fame' ... Hopefully

Playing back-to-back games is something the Hogs' coach did in the pros and the hope is that gives them an edge.

Arkansas is undefeated so far but they haven't played a team from a Power 5 conference and none of the games have been close together.

The Razorbacks beat Mercer, Gardner-Webb and Northern Iowa. The games were much closer than the final scores.

Most of that's due to the annual game of figuring out which new players work with the others. It's all about combinations.

Heading to Kansas City for the Hall of Fame Classic where the Hogs will play Kansas State first (Monday at 8 p.m. on ESPNews), then either Illinois or Cincinnati, they will be spending a lot of time together for the first time.

It's not really unknown territory for Eric Musselman. He coached in the pros where they do that on a regular basis.

"We’ve got a whole new group of guys," Musselman said Friday afternoon. "You become much tighter and closer and your bonding and chemistry starts really formulating once you get on an airplane together, once you get into a hotel together.

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"You wake up, you eat breakfast, you have lunch, you have your pregame meal. Then after the game you’re back eating with the guys. So there’s a lot of bonding that’s going to take place. You’re going to stat to know each better. You have a different roommate on the road than you’re living with here."

He's hoping the experience they've gotten figuring things out in the second half of the first three games pays off now that they are playing better teams.

"A lot of good things are going to come about playing these two games," Musselman said. "I like the fact that we’ve played three games. We held serve here at home. Did what we were supposed to do.

"We’re figuring out roles and rotations a little bit better than what we knew going into the season. Now we have two neutral site games against two quality opponents, Power 5 opponents. Then we come back home for four. The schedule, the way that we’ve worked on it is working out to our advantage.

"Having said that, we’ve got two really good games and if you don’t come to play, any of the four that are in this tournament, you can come up 0-2 really, really quickly. Then you could come back 1-1 and there’s going to be one team that comes back 2-0 and is really happy."


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