– No. 19 Arkansas faces the College of Charleston at 4 .m. (central) on Thursday in the first round of the O’Reilly ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Razorbacks meet either Providence or Temple in the second round on Friday at either 4:30 or 7 p.m. (central). Arkansas opened the season on Friday with a 67-45 win over Wofford. Following is a partial transcript of head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference.
“On Sunday, we practiced twice and watched film of the Wofford game and talked about some things. We’re stressing to the guys there is a standard to which we want to do things. For us to reach that standard, they have to overachieve. We’re not lowering the bar so they can reach it. We’re going to set them (standards) high and get them out of their comfort zones. The staff believes those things can be achieved through discipline and hard work.”
“We did some good things. Obviously there are some things we need to work on. We were somewhere between us being good and fatigue coming in on Wofford. We reviewed the game both on film and on the court. We’ll try to get better.”
College of Charleston:
“Bobby Cremins is a very, very good coach. I think he won 20-plus games again last year. Dustin Scott I saw a year ago. He’s a good player. He can play on a lot of different levels. (Cremins) always had great guards at Georgia Tech with Mark Price, Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury. Last year, (CofC) had a really good guard and everything went through him. We expect them to take advantage of the three-point line and they will probably fast break at every opportunity.”
Early season upsets:
“You’re always on the alert on the coach’s side. Sometimes as a player, you get comfortable. I’m always concerned, even at home games you’re supposed to win. On the road at a neutral site against a well-coached team, there’s always a level of concern.”
“I went to Puerto Rico when I was at Florida. It was our first year. We really enjoyed the resort. I think we came out 1-2.
“It’s about our guys having focus and understanding. It’s not any different for us than it is everybody else.
“The venues (in tournaments) have something special to them and the guys will remember this for a long time.”
Expectations of the tournament:
“Adversity is coming. I’m looking forward to see how we handle that. I want to see how we stick together and who does what for us when winning and losing is on the line. Who is going to do it for us? It’s not going to be a big play. It could be something like a guard blocking out a seven-footer, getting a rebound, diving to the floor or making a free throw.”
The other teams:
“Miami had a lot of guys hurt last year, but they’re all back. Anthony Grant has an outstanding team at VCU. What an incredible human being he is. He’s a very good friend. Providence plays a lot of zone. Houston gets up and down the floor with Tom Penders. For Temple, everyone knows the success Fran Dunphy had at Penn.”
“He had a great practice. He was awesome (Monday) morning. I’ve said before that I didn’t want to come in the door and form any opinions, but I have been surprised. I enjoy Darian. Sometimes he does have a problem with his body language, but other than a couple of occasions, he has been very good.”