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Nolan Richardson Press Conference – EA Sports

Nolan Richardson Press Conference – EA Sports
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas plays the first of two exhibition basketball games this week on Tuesday when the EA Sports Central All-Stars visit Bud Walton Arena for a 7 p.m. contest. EA Sports plays at Arkansas State Monday following losses at New Mexico, 77-71, Texas Tech, 81-76, and SMU, 94-85.

“We should be ready to play. We’re tired of beating up on each other. It’s that time of year when everybody’s nerves are a little short. It’s time to play somebody else other than ourselves. I’m looking for our players to play well. I want them to execute, run the offense well and play defense well. A guy who plays for five or six minutes may be different when he plays 14 or 15 minutes. I want to see them diving for loose balls, taking charges and getting a lot of touches. Everybody will play. I have a starting group, but I want to look at everybody. I don’t go into a game to lose, but I want to find out what I can about our players.”

Projected starting lineup:

“I’m planning on starting Teddy (Gipson), (Brandon) Dean, (Jannero) Pargo, (Dionisio) Gomez and (Alonzo) Lane. We will play most of the guys who have been here a while. I think they deserve that. In the second half, we’ll change it around and mix it up.”

Emphasis on rebounding:

“If we’re going to have a good team, we have to emphasize getting to the glass. That’s why we put up the chart at practice. We have to make them conscious of the fact we have to go get the ball for us to be a very good team. I feel good in all the departments – our depth, experience, shooting and running, but we still aren’t a big team. From a collective group, we might be able to do a better job rebounding and getting a hand on the ball. We’re going to play 94 feet. Most 94-foot teams aren’t good rebounding teams because they are so spread out. We’re trying to get as many opportunities as we can.”

EA Sports Central All-Stars:

“Nobody has beaten this team by 10 points. Texas Tech shot 37 free throws against them. You’re supposed to win when you get that many free throws. Litterial (Green) was an NBA player at one time. (Kenyan) Weakes used to light us up when he was at Florida. This is a good group. The reason they have fewer players on their roster (nine) than some of these teams is because they are getting paid and they are going to play.”

Surprises heading into the season:

“(Dionisio) Gomez has been a pleasant surprise. I’m not surprised as much as I am glad. He just needs confidence. He finishes his shots now. He’s probably the best rebounder on our team. He touches a lot of balls, he’s a good passer and he’s very mobile. He’s got all the tools. Once he decides he’s pretty good, it may make the difference. We’ve been waiting and waiting and hopefully this is the year it comes out.

“J.J. (Sullinger) is above a freshman. He does a lot of things. If all our seniors weren’t there, he would be a starter. He will play a lot.”

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