UA basketball teams to kick off 2012 season with Primetime at the Palace Oct. 12

Photo: Walt Beazley,

The University of Arkansas football team is off to a rough start in 2012, leaving many Hog fan these days asking themselves, “So, when does basketball season start?”

The answer is Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m.

That’s the date of Primetime at the Palace, the annual fan event and scrimmage commemorating the first practice for the Arkansas men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The event will begin with autograph sessions by both squads at 8 p.m., followed by short scrimmages, a dunk contest, performances by the Arkansas Sprit Squads, and other activities.

The Razorback men are coming off a summer trip to Italy in which Head Coach Mike Anderson’s Hogs went 4-0 against teams from Italy and Lithuania. The Razorbacks return 67 percent of their scoring from last year’s team, including the SEC’s leading scorer among freshmen, BJ Young, and the SEC leader in three-point percentage, Mardracus Wade. Added to this year’s squad are junior Marshawn Powell who missed all but two games a year ago with an injury and eight players who are either new to the team or coming off a redshirt season. The men’s team will take on Southwest Baptist in their first exhibition game of the season on Nov. 2 at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas’ women’s team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago and return a pair of starters to the floor in senior Sarah Watkins and junior Dominique Robinson. The Razorback’s experience does not end there as seven other letterwinners return and are joined by a talented class of freshmen who have the ability to make an immediate impact. The women will begin their season against Rogers State at Nov. 4 at Bud Walton Arena.

Admission to Primetime at the Palace is free, but the public is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry, a student-run emergency food assistance program that distributes food and personal products to all members of the University of Arkansas community.

The first 1,500 fans to the arena will receive a Primetime at the Palace t-shirt courtesy of Pepsi and 5,000 fans will receive a Razorback basketball desk schedule.