FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas Razorbacks, who improved to 8-1 with Wednesday’s win over Texas-San Antonio, travel to Oklahoma (7-3) for a 2 p.m. game on Saturday, which is being televised by ESPN2. Following is a partial transcript of head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference.
“I thought the good part of the first half was that our pressure was able to get to their guys and we forced turnovers. That helped us. That kept them from scoring and brought fatigue into the game. Overall, make no mistake that winning is the most important thing, but we had too many turnovers on offense and too many fouls on defense. We had 20 of each. That will be an emphasis for us.”
“We need to get better over the next two days. Any time you go on the road, you need to be 10 points better than your opponent. If you turn the ball over too much or if you foul too much, that will not help you on the road.
“Their frontcourt is very, very impressive. They have size, speed, strength and experience. It will be a challenge. They can score from outside, which gives them balance. Our defense will have to be as good as it has been all year. We need to be efficient on offense.”
First true road game:
“Certainly at South Alabama we would not be talking about our first road game right now. Being able to get off to a good start is important (in scheduling home games early), but it’s time (to go on the road).
“You have to be good at a lot of different things. Your face can’t change. You have to be a team the whole time. If you want to point to just one thing, you have to take care of the ball.
“Look at our team. We turn it over 23 percent of the time. That’s one out of every four possessions. We make it hard on ourselves. If we take eight of those (turnovers) away and scored just 40 percent of the time (off those eight possessions), that could be another eight points a game. Who couldn’t use another eight points?
“I’m aware of Arkansas’ trouble on the road. The true measure of a team, if you want to compete for a championship, you have to take care of home court and compete on the road. I told the guys, a lot of them have individual awards and I’m happy for them, but if I look at their records, what stands out more.”
“When you turn it over, a lot of times, it’s in transition. You can foul, which puts a good player on the bench and their shooting percentage goes up. It leads to problems.”
Dunk by Sonny Weems against UTSA:
“I was watching to see where Steven’s man was. I saw Sonny turn the corner and clear, and I said ‘throw it.’ When Stefan threw it, I thought it was going up in the stands. (Weems) is a different cat when it comes to leaving the floor. Sonny gets a lot of that into the games (not just practice).”
Oronde Taliaferro (former Arkansas assistant) on OU staff:
“He may know our guys better than I do. We’re probably doing some things different now, so I don’t know how much that will be a part of the game.”