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Pelphrey press conference – Red-White

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Pelphrey press conference – Red-White

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ men’s basketball team hits the floor in front of the public for the first time on Friday with the Red-White scrimmage in Bud Walton Arena. Doors open at 5:30, and both the men’s and women’s teams will sign autographs in the concourse. The women’s team scrimmages at 7:30 followed by the men’s scrimmage around 8:30. Following is a partial transcript from head coach John Pelphrey’s press conference previewing Friday’s event.

“We’ve had five workouts in three days (the team was off on Monday.). We have a lot to cover. From a defensive side and an offensive side, it was okay in terms of the amount of things we covered. It certainly got better. Sunday, both practices were spirited and the effort was outstanding from players one through 11. If we can repeat that, understand what’s best for the team and work hard, we have a chance if we over-achieve.“All the guys worked hard. It’s not about games right now. It’s more about drills and putting things in.”

First-year players:“It’s easier than it used to be because we were able to work out with that group in the off-season. Some of that anxiety is gone, so we’re actually a little ahead. Those guys did fine.”

Sunday’s practice:“The challenge is to repeat what we did Sunday. That’s the way it is throughout the course of the season. I’m not saying those were the best practices we’ve ever had in Bud Walton Arena, but a lot of things were expected. We did a lot of work on defense and offense. We covered a lot of ground. Those guys have to get those things (that we covered). I can tell them where to go, but they have to do it.”

Rotnei Clark:“Getting his shot off will not be an issue. He gets as many shots off as anybody. I’m not saying there aren’t going to be people who make it tough at times. There is a difference between getting a shot and making a shot. He’s getting his shot. Hopefully he will make a few.”

Teams for Red-White:“We have not done that yet. We may mix them up.“Friday will be a fan-friendly environment. It will not be a complete game, but we’ll be here early in the concourse interacting with the community. Our guys will enjoy the passion and support of our fans. Some of our guys may think they know about that passion, but I don’t think they do. “We will have already practiced earlier in the day, so we will have gotten in our work.”

Addition of walk-ons:“We haven’t decided that yet.”

Michael Washington:“He’s not a vocal guy in terms of leadership. You can look at him and tell he had a good off-season. The way he’s been playing, he has our attention.”

Stefan Welsh:“He had a good summer and fall. Both he and Mike have played at a sustained level longer than they have in the past. Stefan, because he’s a guard, can be more of a vocal leader. He’s done very well with the team in terms of work and attitude, and I couldn’t tell you how many shots he’s made.”

Marcus Britt:“He has improved. He had limited opportunities last year, but he’s better than he was last year. He’s not very vocal, but he’s a great encourager. He has an SEC skill in guarding. He is an SEC defender. He just needs to make that corner shot. He did it last year, but he didn’t get it into games, but again, he didn’t have a lot of opportunities.”

Small forwards:“Jason Henry and Montrell McDonald have a chance to impact the team in terms of winning and losing. They were not here in the summer, but they can make a huge, huge impact. Montrell has a chance to get us easy baskets with his defense. Jason probably has not been in a position where he’s had to work this hard, but he’s gotten through all of that. He’s talented on the offensive end, but we need to teach him defense.”

Pre-season predictions:“I don’t get caught up in that too much. It’s great for the media and it’s great for fans, but it is what it is. It’s on a piece of paper and that doesn’t mean a lot. We lost six seniors, a couple of other guys, and the heart and soul of our team in Patrick (Beverley), but if we get repeat performances of our practice on Sunday, we have a chance to be competitive.”



Sports Category : Basketball (M)