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Nolan Richardson Press Conference – Tulsa

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Nolan Richardson Press Conference – Tulsa
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas plays its first game since the Nov. 18 71-57 win over Oral Roberts on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when the Razorbacks visit Tulsa for a 7 p.m. game televised by ARSN. UA (2-1) is also playing on the road for the first time this year. Tulsa is 2-0.

“Tulsa gave me my very first opportunity as a major basketball coach. I was fortunate to have a good staff and good kids to help get it going. It was a unique job because there was not that much enthusiasm about basketball. The good man upstairs waved his magic wand and blessed me. There hasn’t been a coach there (since then) who wasn’t successful. When I left the program, the freshmen and sophomores I had won conference and when I came to Arkansas, they won conference as juniors and seniors. Then Tubby (Smith) came in and got to the Sweet 16. There were always players left. That’s the key. They just won an NIT championship. Tulsa, in a 15 to 20-year period, has won two national championships. That has to be one of the most progressive jobs in the country. You can go from there, if that’s what you want to do. It’s been 17 years since I coached there and I’ve been removed by so many different coaches. It just so happens I coached at Tulsa. Fifteen years ago it wouldn’t be this way. That’s the way I see it. It’s not the same. When I was two years removed, I had a lot of fans, friends and family there.”

This year’s Tulsa team:

“They have some good guards. I remember (Antonio) Reed. He used to come to my camps when he was 10 or 11 years old. I’m also impressed with their inside game. Big Kevin Johnson looked impressive against Grambling. They are an up-tempo team. They push it, have great quickness, they’re playing hard, and they’re free and loose. They aren’t afraid to take a shot from anywhere. We have to guard them. I know it’s a big game. In listening to the tape, they were talking about our game when they still had another game to play before us.

“This is always a big game whether it’s football or basketball. It’s just a natural. Tulsa is a major college basketball program.”

Establishing UA’s player rotation:

“The fault of everything falls on me. We worked hard but there are some things that needed to be done. I want to win more than anything but I want to see what I have. You may not have your key guy at some point and if you haven’t given other guys a chance to play, it will come back to haunt you. We’re settling on our core group of players.”

Attacking the basket versus shooting three-pointers:

“We turned down 20 wide open threes against ORU. We told them to take it to the basket and they did. You could tell they were thinking, ‘Should I take it,’ and that’s when you have even more problems with your shooting. We’ve gone to the free-throw line a lot in the first three games. Now we want them to learn there’s a time to attack and there’s a time to shoot. It will not bother me if we shoot 20 to 25 threes in a game. Not only is this a physical game, it’s a mental game. We have to try to correct that. To win on the road, you have to shoot the ball. It’s tough to win on defense, totally, on the road.”

Injury update:

“Teddy (Gipson, sprained right ankle Saturday in practice) did not work out Sunday. He’s supposed to work out (Monday). Blake (Eddins, bruised right shoulder against Wake Forest, played against ORU) is getting more range of motion in his shoulder. He has to come through. He’s one of the guys we count on.”



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