Nolan Richardson Press Conference – Southwest
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas (3-2) plays host to Southwest Texas State (2-3) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a game televised by the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network. Arkansas is coming off a 69-54 home loss to Oklahoma while SWT has dropped two straight, 91-88 at TCU and 75-64 in overtime at Stephen F. Austin. SWT is coached by Dennis Nutt, the brother of UA head football coach Houston.
“I’ve watched some tape on them. They’ve shot more three-pointers (111) than they have free throws (106) this year. That’s not all bad, if you can shoot. Now we have to be out on the floor guarding them. Maybe this will help us understand that this is how we’re going to play – 94 feet with traps coming from all directions. Teams that can shoot the ball at any time make it tough on us. It will be a good contest for us. Defensively, we’ll see where we are when it comes to stopping kids from shooting threes.
“Anytime you lose, you’re ready to play again. We want to see if we can fix some of the holes that busted loose. We’re very unaggressive right now. We’ve got to get back to being aggressive. The only way our team can do that is to pick it up a little and bring more pressure. We’re playing too much halfcourt basketball. We still have to shoot the ball (three-pointers) whether it’s 25 times or 30 times. We have to take the open shot. We are a perimeter team. We have to realize that and use it to our advantage. Teams don’t usually take more shots and get more turnovers than we do. If you’re not a rebounding team, you have to get more turnovers, and we’re not getting enough right now.”
Loss of aggressiveness:
“When a team is behind, it plays with aggression and passion to make something happen. We have to play that way all the time. We have to get that same type of game 80 to 90 percent of the time. We have to reach a certain plateau where we play in the same rhythm throughout the game. We have yet to dictate the tempo of a game.”
“We have to get more shots and not have the thought pattern that ‘we’re shooting too many threes.’ Now, every shot is very important, and any time that happens, it’s even more difficult to shoot. (Brandon) Dean, at Tulsa, took shots without thinking. (Jannero) Pargo was attacking without thinking. When you do that in a half-court game, your shot changes. We kept a chart in practice last night and shot 50 percent from three-point.”
“This schedule has shown us what we need to work on. Southwest Texas is not a bad team. Illinois (Saturday’s 11 a.m. opponent in Chicago) is No. 2 or No. 3 in the country. We hope by the time conference rolls around, we will have been exposed to everything we need to see.”
“Anybody scouting our games can see we don’t press or run like we used to, and we aren’t shooting the ball very well. We’re kind of weak at everything we used to do so we’ve become a half-court team. J.J. (Sullinger) had 18 minutes in the first half (against OU) and Gomez is getting a lot of minutes. There’s no way you can do that if we’re playing the type of defense we want to play.”
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