Arkansas vs. Alabama
Jan. 6, 2007
Head Coach Stan Heath:
“What an outstanding game! I couldn’t be prouder of our team. I want to give credit to my assistant coaches. They did a great job of preparing our team for this game.
“We got a lot of momentum in the beginning of the game and just kept going. We got off track at the beginning of the second half but we came back after we let our guard down. Our guys were just tuned in today. They made it happen. Our defense was outstanding. They kept the intensity level up. Our team had a great balance. This is a special building to play in. Our crowd was great.
“This was a great start to our (SEC) season. We are going to enjoy today but we have 15 more conference game to go.”
Arkansas Player Quotes
“Words can’t describe how we played today. We were out to show we are an elite team. We have to carry our intensity into the Florida game. This was a statement game for us. We knew we had to match, or better, their intensity.
(On playing 36 minutes)
“It’s all about conditioning. Coach Heath and our staff prepare us very well.”
(On Gary Ervin)
“Gary stepped up in a time of need. He really proved himself today and was our leader.”
“I credit this performance to everyone. We did a good job of carrying practice into the game. (This win) sends a message that we know we can be a good team, because a lot of people may not know that. This was a statement game for us.
(On defending Ronald Steele)
“I just tried to play smart defense, don’t reach, don’t gamble, because he will make you pay.
(On his play)
“It’s a new year and I promised myself I would go back to the things I know I can do.”
“I can’t say enough about our guards. We have one of the best backcourts in the nation, and we were out to prove that. We tried not to let (Ronald) Steele beat us, and we took him out of his rhythm a little bit. It’s a big statement. Beating Alabama like this sends a statement that Arkansas is for real.”
Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried
“We were not ready to take somebody’s best shot. Arkansas was terrific today. You have to give them credit because they were phenomenal. We were not nearly as prepared for that as we should have been, and that’s my responsibility. They had a high level of intensity and we didn’t. The first eight minutes and the last two minutes of the first half, we were pathetic. We have got to get better. You have to realize that every game counts as only one game. We could have lost 75-73 and still got on that plane 0-1.”
(On Arkansas’ inside game)
“I have as much respect for their inside guys as anyone in the league. They are good.”
(On locker room talk at halftime)
“I definitely thought we had a chance to win. We’ve had a lot of those type games (one team coming from a large deficit to win) with them over the years.”
Alabama Player Quotes
“We weren’t ready today. They came out with the first punch. Their blocks were pretty good. They made us stop going inside because they were blocking our shots.”
“This loss is frustrating to all of us, especially me because I’m point guard and leader of my team. (Gary) Ervin did great and did exactly what he was supposed to do. Being a competitor you never give up, but we just couldn’t match their intensity and they were a step faster than us. We need a quick turnaround when we go back home.
“I give Arkansas credit because they out-hustled us today. They played harder than us and are a good team, but they shouldn’t have beat us by 27.”
“We have to give Arkansas the credit. They are a good team and brought their best punch. I think last year every time we lost it was a close game. But, this is only one game. Coach Gottfried told us everyone would be 0-1 or 1-0 in the SEC after today. We still have 15 more games to correct our problems. They stepped up their defensive mentality which swayed our offensive mentality, but we’re going home and getting into the gym to practice.”