FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorbacks travel to North Little Rock this weekend for Saturday’s 2:05 p.m. basketball game against Appalachian State in Alltel Arena. The games is being televised by the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network. Following is a partial transcript of head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference to preview the game.
Northwestern State recap:
“There were a lot of positive things. I really liked seeing us expand on extra passing on the break. I would like to see us expand the floor more. Our toughness needs to continue to get better, in terms of our ability to focus over a 40-minute period. We did it for five minutes, now lets do it for five more, for a half and then for the whole game. Charles (Thomas) dove to the floor and into the scorers table in about 15 seconds. Those were good things.
“We’re still making silly fouls. Those need to be eliminated. A focus and emphasis for all of us and me in particular is the turnovers.
“There were some things we can build on.”
“This is a program that has had some success here of late. They’ve played a strong schedule after winning 25 games last year. They will be ready to go.
“We need to keep playing with great effort and attitude. We need to do our job.”
Playing in North Little Rock:
“I’m excited about it. Coach (Eddie) Sutton took the Razorbacks to the people to Pine Bluff and Little Rock and other places. Memories were made at some of those great games and that’s cool. I’m looking forward to getting down there. The excitement about the Razorbacks of the people I’ve had a chance to interact with is high.
“It’s a little different because the crowd will not be the same people that see us here. For some, they will be playing a lot closer to home or that is home, and it’s always special for a player when you have family and friends in the stands.”
Last game before Christmas break:
“This is the last game before the break. This time of year, all the games are really, really important. School is out, so you think that frees you up. Christmas is looming and the guys will be going to see their families. It’s a transitional period between football and basketball. There has been some excitement (about basketball), but not like what it’s going to be when we get to the conference season. We have to be ready. I don’t want us to let anything slip by. If you don’t take care of business this time of year, it could be something that keeps you out (of the NCAA Tournament).”
Making extra passes:
“It’s an attitude and a mentality. It’s an individual decision to try and do what the coaching staff is telling you. We did a good job last night of passing it. In order for us to quickly pass before we get matched up, you have to be spaced correctly. It’s infectious. That was a big part of why we had 24 assists.”
“We need to eliminate the silly fouls, turnovers and blown assignments. There are probably eight to 10 of those in an SEC game. If you don’t eliminate them, it can cost you.”