FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson goes for his 500th career victory when the Razorbacks face No. 5 Illinois on Saturday.
Richardson's career record is 499-194 in 21 seasons, including 380-157 in 17 years at Arkansas.
"Illinois is big and I can see why they are ranked so high. They have big, physical players, which is what teams in the Big Ten usually have," Richardson said Thursday. "They are very experienced and they've lost to a couple of good teams. They are more of a big, half-court team, and they have great guard play."
Richardson said he is particularly impressed with Illinois' Frank Williams.
"Frank Williams will be a first-round draft choice and he should be a lottery pick. He's got everything and can do whatever he wants with the basketball," Richardson said.
The game is in Chicago, and Richardson said his team will have to make its shots to keep the hostile crowd quiet.
"We have to shoot the ball well and make some shots. If we do, we have a chance. Our kids have been working hard. The way we're playing, we will get some good shots. If we make some, we have a chance to be successful."
Richardson said speed should give the Razorbacks an advantage over Illinois if Arkansas can contain turnovers and neutralize Illinois' rebounding.
As far as the 500 win mark, Richardson is taking it in stride.
"Five-hundred wins means I've been coaching a long time. I'm thankful to the Good Man upstairs that I've been able to stay around long enough to reach this milestone."