FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to South Carolina at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday in a non-televised game. The Razorbacks are 13-3 overall and 2-0 in the SEC. The 2-0 start is the first for the Razorbacks since 1998. South Carolina is 8-8 and 0-2. Following is a partial transcript of head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference previewing the game.
“South Carolina has a tremendous coach in Coach (Dave) Odom. He’s done it at different places for a long time. They will be similar to Auburn in terms of having veteran players, toughness and three-point shooting ability. Devan Downey is a special player. At any moment in time, we’ve got ball containment issues. If they get into a drive and kick situation, we’ve got a problem.
“Their team has speed and athleticism. It will be a very difficult matchup along the same lines as the Auburn game. One difference is the game is played here.
“I think they will change their defenses, force us to handle pressure and make plays.
“With them being 0-2, that will do nothing but bring them closer together, and make them more focused and more desperate wanting to win."
“Had the game not been played here, once it got to overtime, if not for the extra energy and passion from our fans, I would have been even more concerned about the outcome.
“It was good that we kept playing. I didn’t think our attitude or our face changed, meaning we didn’t go in different directions and pout. It was hard. We were in control, but Alabama made a late run. If you don’t finish it off, all of a sudden, you have to regroup.
“A million things could have gone wrong for us to not come away with the win. If we had lost, we would be miserable. We got lucky and won, but we’re only two games in. We have to stay on an even keel. You don’t want to get too high or too low.”
Patrick Beverley (played most of the Alabama game with a dislocated jaw):
“It happened in the first half. I’m not sure when. I watched the game again and still didn’t see it. It is sore, but we anticipate him playing.
“He received a lot of accolades as a freshman, and they were well-deserved. The biggest compliment and his greatest gift is not that he scores, but that he brings his hard hat and lunch pail every day.
“He played two minutes (with the dislocated jaw) of clock time and decided it was too painful. He couldn’t wait any longer. The doctor took hold of it with both hands and popped it back in place. Somebody said something about his shooting, but I remember him hitting a shot when we had to have it.
“It was a courageous thing he did; a phenomenal effort by him.
“Is he perfect, no, but I don’t if I’ve ever been around anyone who could have done that.”
Gary Ervin and Stefan Welsh at point guard:
“They need to play better. We need them both. Gary made two shots, but he missed a bunch. They need to play better on each end of the floor. The game could have been a 12 or 14-point win if we do some things better – hit free throws, open shots and defend better. We’re not going to be able to jump up and hit those shots on a regular basis.
“I don’t see Gary as a scorer. He’s a defender who is capable of making players in transition. Stefan – I like his ability to distribute the ball and he has good size. He’s sporadic at best in terms of three-point shooting. He’s capable of making them when he takes good ones.
“We need them to understand what they do well, what the coaches want and what is best for the team.”
Chance to be 3-0 in the SEC:
“That’s not my focus. My concern is that they come out and understand what South Carolina is going to do and what we need to do. This is the SEC. Every night you take the floor, there’s a chance you can lose.”