FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas basketball head coach John Pelphrey met with the media on Wednesday to preview Arkansas’ trip to Cancun this weekend for a pair of exhibition games. Following is a partial transcript of his press conference.
“We had a good weekend. We scrimmaged Saturday and Sunday. As first scrimmages go, they were okay. They’re always a little scary. The day off on Monday was good for us. Tuesday may have been our best day as a unit. I’m pleased with how hard they’ve gone and their attitude.”
Sonny Weems (injured in practice Tuesday):
“Sonny has a broken left hand. No surgery will be required. He will be in a cast for four weeks and then in a soft cast. He should be back for the start of fall practice (October).”
Stefan Welsh (hamstring):
“He was back (Tuesday). He’s done a good job of rehabbing. He’s probably 60 percent. As long as he doesn’t have any setbacks, I think he’ll try to play (this weekend).”
“Gary got back on Friday and played well in the scrimmage and from a competing standpoint. He’s back up to speed.”
Playing time in Cancun:
“All of those guys will be playing. We’re getting everybody in to see what we have and give them a chance to develop. I’m not going in looking to play somebody 30 minutes. That may happen, but that’s not my intent.”
“I want to remove any anxiety and understand what it means to play hard in this style. Fundamentally, I want us to do things right. I want us to catch the ball with two hands, to spread out and to run their lanes. A lot of things are not necessarily due to talent, it comes down to repetition. You have to get a mindset. I’m hoping over these last three days and heading into the fall we can get that foundation and understanding.
“My concerns are can we get consistent point guard play and our lack of guard depth.”
“The biggest surprise has been their willingness to be coached. I’m pleased to see the effort defensively in terms of diving to the floor and picking one another up. Sonny Weems is better all-around than I expected, and Patrick Beverley and the way his motor runs.”
“I want to wait and see when we get there. I don’t know if Stefan can go. What I’ll tinker with is playing big. Right now I would say Gary Ervin, Patrick Beverley at the two, Charles Thomas at the three, and Darian Townes and Steven Hill. Michael Washington will play a lot. Vincent Hunter will be in the mix. Michael Sanchez has surprised me with his speed and transition.”
“We haven’t messed with those yet. They have a little wider lane and the three-point line is stretched. We haven’t focused on that and I haven’t thought about it. I don’t think that will cause us to play well or poorly.”
“I think he’s done very well. I’m pleased with his attitude. Physically he can go all day long. I’m excited about his potential impact.”