FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to No. 14 Vanderbilt on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. in a game televised by Raycom Sports. The Razorbacks are 18-9 overall and 7-6 in the SEC following Wednesday’s 59-56 loss at Alabama. Vanderbilt is 24-4 and 9-4, and coming off Tuesday’s 72-69 victory over No. 1 Tennessee. Following is a partial transcript of head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference previewing the game.
“That was a huge win for Vanderbilt the other day against Tennessee – the No. 1 team in the country. Vanderbilt is a team. They shoot from a lot of different spots. They have special players in Shan Foster and A.J. Ogilvy. Coach Stallings has done a good job and they are deserving of the attention they are receiving.
“Vanderbilt beating Tennessee doesn’t hurt as far as giving us more incentive, but I would like to think we’ll play for the right reasons.
“On Foster, you have to make sure you are there. He can shoot from the perimeter and he shoots far away from the basket. He has experience. He’s a really good player.
“Vanderbilt is equally as good as Tennessee. The big kid up front (Ogilvy) has a tremendous skill level. He has a high, high intellect for playing the game.
“We’ll have to guard them, rebound the ball and take care of it. We have to show some resolve, show that we are capable of being a basketball team and playing well.”
“We had several, several opportunities to take the lead, even with what had gone on. We couldn’t get it done. Give Alabama credit for that. Everything was hard – catching, passing, playing defense. Everything was a struggle.
“I’m sure the guys are frustrated, too, with the number of opportunities we had and we still didn’t get it done.
“I felt like if we could just put two or three minutes together on offense and defense together with toughness and discipline, that we would win.”
“We played beautifully against LSU. The ball moved and we shared, but we haven’t done that since. Sonny scored some late and Darian played well. I can’t put my finger on it, but it’s hard when you don’t score more than 60 points.”
Power forward spot:
“The play is not very high at that spot. We need to find somebody that will play well. One option is to play Steven and Darian together. That’s something to look at. We need to play better on offense.”
“This is an important game. They all are. Alabama was important. One thing that is evident is that there are not a lot of games left. Every game is important because there are fewer and fewer of them.
“I would like to see us focus on the right things and play ball. We talk about the post-season and seeding for the SEC Tournament, but right now, we need to focus on our jobs and responsibilities. Whatever it is, we need to get it out of the way.”
“There are six of them dealing with different feelings because it’s coming to a close, but that is no excuse for how we played. When the next one comes, and they are going to come again in the next three games, how are you going to respond?”
Playing at home:
“It’s not going to hurt us, but that will not guarantee a victory. We need to show some resolve.”
Steven Hill becoming fourth SEC player with 300 career blocked shots:
“He’s good at that. More than 300 for his career is a tremendous number. He is able to save the defense and erase plays as good as anybody I’ve coached.”