FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey met with the media on Thursday to preview Friday’s 7:05 p.m. Red-White Game in Bud Walton Arena. Following is a partial transcript of his press conference.
“Michael Washington will not play on Friday. That’s a continuation of his punishment for violating team rules. Also, Patrick Beverley and Gary Ervin will not be participating. That has more to do with my decision. Both are good young men, but I need more overachieving from them away from the court and in the classroom. I’m not getting the same overachieving attitude that I get on the court. We’ve got to get that corrected. If we can get that done by them missing the Red-White Game or if it’s a game against a Georgia or somebody else, we’re going to get it done. It’s a one-game deal.
“I wanted to let our fans know before they get to the game. Since we’re playing ourselves, it’s not a big deal. This is a fan-friendly game, and unfortunately we will not have three of our better guys out there. Hopefully this will help them be better young men.”
Expectations of the Red-White Game:
“We’ve worked on a lot of different things. We have a lot of different parts in. We’ll see how it goes.
“We will try to go 40 minutes. It will not be easy with only 10 guys. We may have to get (assistant coach) Isaac Brown, (program specialists/video coordinator) Matt Siverling and (assistant coach) Tom Ostrom out there. They were big-time players in their day. You should be able to Google them and find something.”
“There could be some mixing and matching. We’ll get some work out of it.”
Beverley and Ervin:
“Both of those guys love to play. Nobody has playing time but me. Part of my job is for us to do the best we can out on the floor. Another part of my job is to have an impact on their lives individually. We’ll see if we can give them a life lesson and get this done in a scrimmage game.
“I shouldn’t be dealing with the things I’m dealing with. It’s not acceptable. Let’s be as good a human being as I can and be a good student-athlete. I want the effort (off the court) that they give me on the court. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
The other players:
“Marcus Britt, Patsa, Stefan Welsh and (Stephen) Cox will be in the mix. Charles Thomas and Vince (Hunter) will get a look at small forward. It’s not ideal, but when someone decides to take the focus off the basketball team, these are the situations you’re left with. We’re not making excuses. We’ll do the best we can with what we have.
“The more reps these other guys get, the better it will be for them.”
Levan Patsatsia and Marcus Britt:
“Patsa has a mental and physical toughness to him. We need to continue to work on getting him comfortable with the terminology.
“Marcus has made strides. Don’t be surprised if you see him make good plays.”
“I think he’s capable of more than six points a game. He can draw fouls without having the ball. That’s important because fouls can build up and get us in a bonus situation. He can help by being aggressive with his mind. We’re asking him to do more. There’s a conversation of ‘way to go’ or ‘pick it up Steve’ every day in practice.”