LIVE UPDATES: Devo Mysteriously Absent for 2nd Time in Career Ahead of Arkansas vs Kentucky

Devo Davis, Davonte Davis, Arkansas basketball, Arkansas vs Kentucky
Has Devo turned his back on Arkansas basketball? (photo credit: Craven Whitlow)

FAYETTEVILLE — The Razorbacks will be without two of their regular starters for the Arkansas vs Kentucky matchup on Saturday.

Trevon Brazile is in the building, but watched pregame stretching and warmups from the sideline and doesn’t appear to be dressed out, while Davonte Davis was not spotted at all. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on ESPN.

UPDATE: The UA has announced that Davis has “stepped away from the program.” Read our Saturday night column about that here:

~Let’s Be Honest about What’s in Store for Arkansas Going Forward without Devo Davis~

The good news, however, is that Tramon Mark appears to be available, as he did warm up before the game.

Brazile and Davis have each started 18 of the first 19 games of the season, with Brazile coming off the bench for the first time against Ole Miss earlier in the week. He still played, but sat the entire second half because of knee soreness.

Davis’ absence is more of a mystery, as he also didn’t play in the second half against the Rebels after playing only 8 first-half minutes. Asked about his lack of playing time afterward, Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman said he was healthy and it was a coach’s decision.

This is the second time in as many seasons that Davis has missed time for non-injury reasons. Last year, he didn’t play against Troy on Nov. 28 because of personal reasons. He returned for the next game.

Mark did not play at all against Ole Miss because of migraines, which also prevented him from practicing a couple days leading up to the game. He is the Razorbacks’ leading scorer at 17.8 points per game.

On Friday, Musselman described Mark and Brazile as “game-time decisions” and it now appears Arkansas will have only one of them available to play against the Wildcats.

Follow along below for live updates, highlights and stats from the Arkansas vs Kentucky matchup…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth preview of Arkansas vs Kentucky)

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Kentucky

14:40, 1H – Arkansas 7, Kentucky 3

Hell of a start for the Hogs, especially defensively. They’ve limited the Wildcats to 1 of 9 shooting, plus forced a turnover, and they’ve done a good job rebounding. Kentucky has only one offensive board so far. Unfortunately, the Hogs started slow offensively, as well, but have started to score a bit more. They’re 3 of 8 from the floor.

11:14, 1H – Arkansas 9, Kentucky 4

Turnovers are killing the Hogs. They’re shooting okay, at 4 of 10, but they’ve turned it over five times. If they just get shots off on those possessions, they’d have an extra four points (assuming they shot at the same percentage). Thankfully for them, Kentucky is just 1 of 13 from the floor with two turnovers. It also made just 1 of 2 free throws.

7:01, 1H – Arkansas 18, Kentucky 8

The Wildcats have finally knocked down some shots, but are still just 3 of 21 overall. Arkansas, meanwhile, has stretched its lead to 10 and has actually had a couple of chances to extend it beyond that, but came up empty.

3:54, 1H – Arkansas 20, Kentucky 15

Kentucky is starting to function more like you’d expect the nation’s top scoring offense to function. It got back-to-back easy buckets immediately following the timeout and have pulled back within five. After starting 1 of 16 and 2 of 19, the Wildcats have made 4 of 7 shots. Arkansas has missed its last six.

HALF – Arkansas 26, Kentucky 24

Arkansas made just 1 of its last 12 shots, plus missed a few free throws mixed in, allowing Kentucky to dig almost completely out of its early hole.

15:10, 2H – Arkansas 37, Kentucky 31

The Wildcats manage to tie it up, but Arkansas has answered with a 6-0 run that started with an alley oop from Ellis to Graham. The Hogs are still making it tough on Kentucky, which is just 2 of 7 from the floor so far this half. They’ve also forced three turnovers.

12:54, 2H – Kentucky 38, Arkansas 37

The Hogs had a few chances to extend their six-point lead, but couldn’t do it. Instead, Kentucky went on a 7-0 lead. The last two points came on a fastbreak dunk by Reed Sheppart, who jumped in front of an El Ellis pass. That gives the Wildcats their first lead of the night and prompts an Eric Musselman timeout.

11:15, 2H – Arkansas 39, Kentucky 38

A tough bucket by Tramon Mark put the Hogs back on top out of the timeout and then the teams exchanged some misses before the U12 media timeout. Once again, Arkansas had chances to add to its lead, but couldn’t do it.

8:00, 2H – Kentucky 44, Arkansas 43

It’s been pretty back-and-forth since Kentucky took the lead. The Wildcats did extend their lead to 3 when Mark had his pocket picked for a fast break, but he bounced back by making a nice pass for a bucket on the other end to pull the Hogs back within 1.

6:14, 2H – Kentucky 47, Arkansas 46

The Wildcats went up by four on a 3-pointer and had a chance to extend it, but failed to do so and Khalif Battle drilled a 3 to once again make it a 1-point game. That prompted a timeout by Calipari.

4:14, 2H – Kentucky 53, Arkansas 50

Every time Kentucky appears to deliver a knock-out blow, Arkansas answers. Unfortunately, the Hogs have answered with 2s when Kentucky made back-to-back corner 3s. Mark was shaken up after the Hogs last bucket and had to be helped off. It appears to be cramps.

FINAL – Kentucky 63, Arkansas 57

Arkansas hung around, but Kentucky heated up from 3 over the final five minutes or so to pull away down the stretch.



Starting Lineups

Kentucky BasketballArkansas Basketball
#3 – Adou Thiero – G#3 – El Ellis – G
#12 – Antonio Reeves – G#12 – Tramon Mark – G
#21 – D.J. Wagner – G#0 – Khalif Battle – G
#2 – Aaron Bradshaw – F#11 – Jalen Graham – F
#4 – Tre Mitchell – F#8 – Chandler Lawson – F

Musselman on Devo Davis and Leadership

“I think leadership starts with every returning player,” Musselman said on Friday. “Leadership in the locker room, leadership on the floor. I think right now we need all of our main rotation guys to play well. I mean, when you look at our stats individually and as a team, they’ve got to improve in a lot of areas on both sides of the basketball.”

On Defending Antonio Reeves (whom Davis likely would have guarded)

“It’s going to be harder to defend him this year because they have more shooters around. You know, they have two scoring point guards who can also dribble drive. You got to chase them off screens, they run some floppy action.”

“We got to chase him off the single-double screens, we got to get to him at the 45 degree angle on their pitch-aheads in transition when they throw ahead to him. And baseline out of bounds, he has a nice floater, they’ll run a BOB play that gets him right in a sweet spot for runners. So there’s a multitude of things we got to do, got to have a hand in his shooting eye space as well.”

How to Watch Arkansas vs Kentucky

Date: Saturday, Jan. 27

Location: Bud Walton Arena (Fayetteville, Ark.)

Tipoff Time/TV: 5 p.m. CT (ESPN)

ESPN BPIKentucky has a 70.7% chance to win, favored by 6.4 points.

Odds/Betting Line: Kentucky, -5.5 | O/U 163.5 (BetSaracen)

SEC Basketball Standings

TeamSEC RecordOverall Record
1. Auburn5-116-3
1. Alabama5-113-6
3. Tennessee4-114-4
4. South Carolina5-217-3
5. Kentucky4-214-4
6. Florida4-314-6
6. Georgia4-314-6
8. Ole Miss3-316-3
8. Texas A&M3-312-7
8. LSU3-311-8
11. Mississippi State2-413-6
12. Arkansas1-510-9
13. Vanderbilt0-55-13
14. Missouri0-78-12


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