FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No. 19 Arkansas opens its regular season on Friday with a 7:05 p.m. non-televised home game against Wofford. The Razorbacks beat West Florida, 117-43, and Campbellsville, 96-56, in their two exhibition games. Following is a partial transcript of head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference.
“We talked about last night (Campbellsville game). I don’t think my feelings have changed a whole lot. Anytime you string multiple positive things together, you start feeling good about yourself. Hopefully we can get our guys’ attention over the next couple of days.
“Wofford will have very good guard play. They will be able to shoot from all over the floor. The ball will be going up from the three-point line. We will have to defend it. The three-point line is the great equalizer. Defending that is critical.
“When we had to play half court defense (against Campbellsville) when they ran the clock and moved it around, that concerned me, especially with limited preparation time. Wofford doesn’t have the same team they had the year before, especially up front. They went on the road and played Purdue pretty well and at Clemson and Auburn, so they are not going to be in shock when they go on the road.”
“Their three-point shooting will put a lot of pressure on us, and some on the front court, too. There’s a good chance they will be shooting (threes) from four spots.”
First game as Arkansas head coach:
“It’s totally different. We’re counting (the games) now. We went into the other games (exhibitions) wanting to win, but win or lose, they weren’t going to count. Now, the scoreboard is pretty important.
“It’s different as the coach. What everybody else may find exciting, I find work. A lot of times, even when you’re winning, you’re moving on to the next one. I don’t know if any excitement is there or not. I’m honored and privileged to be the head coach at the University of Arkansas, but it isall business now.”
“I’ll have an idea for Friday, but you never know what’s coming around the corner.”
“He’s talented, long and athletic. He has an attacking attitude and is aggressive. He does a good job (at the front of the press).
“He’s got a spring in his hand. As soon as (the ball) hits that spot, it’s back out of there. He’s going to become better and better and learn how to cheat. In the classroom that’s not good, but out here it’s allowed. He will learn post position, body-to-body, when to bounce it and when not to.”
Power forward position:
“That position makes the first pass in our offense. That person takes the ball out of bounds. He has to get it out of the net and make that first pass. If there’s a trap, it heads back to him. He’s a handler. We have that with Charles Thomas and with Michael Washington to a certain degree. I would like for that guy to shoot with some range. He will also have passing opportunities, driving opportunities, which Charles is very good at, and will have to reverse the ball, which are all very important.”