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Richardson Previews Divisional Battle at Ole M

Richardson Previews Divisional Battle at Ole M

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a brief transcript of a press conference held by Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson to preview this Wednesday night’s Arkansas vs. Ole Miss game at Oxford, Miss. The SEC western division showdown will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports at 7:05 p.m.

(Are your young guys where you need them to be?)
“We have growing pains. It’s going to be there. I don’t care what anybody says or how hard you play, no matter what you do you are going to still have growing pains. We are experiencing that now.
“I’ve said all along, it’s not how good somebody else is necessarily. When you look at the records as bad as the growing pains have been, all the teams are right in there. We have one team that is 5-1 (Auburn) and a bunch of them 3-3 (Arkansas, Alabama, LSU) and Mississippi State at 2-4.
“Ole Miss beat the best team in our league. It’s just one of those kind of years. When you look at the records of all the teams in the western division, everybody is above .500.
“You go to the other side and you have some teams that are below .500. That is a lot of teams above the five hundred mark in the Southeastern Conference. That is remarkable at this time of the year.
“I think if you go check the other conferences you will find a big disparity. In this conference it’s not like when we were in the Southwest Conference where you had two or three teams and the rest of them were just out there. It’s not like that here. It’s a ball game every night. If you don’t play well or shoot well, you are going to lose. It is as simple as that.”

(Do you see the Arkansas-Ole Miss matchup as a rivalry?)
“I think it has been. You have a reason. When Arkansas first got in the league, Ole Miss didn’t have very many Arkansas kids. When the Arkansas kids started going over there playing, it became a rivalry for them.
“Before we had no rivalry. Now Ole Miss is a rivalry. Why? Because they have a lot of Arkansas kids. The kids get together and talk and see each other in Little Rock and Memphis.”

(How have practices gone in the last few days?)
“We have had some good workouts. The problem we’ve had is players not being available. T.J. Cleveland (sick) has been out of it for a while. He hasn’t been in any practice since we have been back.
“Blake (Eddins) knocked his shoulder out of joint the other day in the first practice. He hasn’t practiced since the first day. The strangest thing the other day, Larry Satchell was just sitting there and sweat started pouring off of him. I’ve never seen a guy sit there and sweat like he did the other day. We had to get him off the floor and away from the kids.
“We were off Saturday, so that was Friday. He got a chance to get some rest Saturday. He came back and worked Sunday and I was surprised how hard he could work. We still didn’t have the other two.
“I don’t the status of Blake of Cleveland. I don’t know whether they will be back our not.”

(What do you think when you see that Ole Miss is 1-6 in conference play?)
“I think Ole Miss is the best 1-6 team in the country. I bet there is no 1-6 team in any other conference like Ole Miss. Let’s put it that way. Not just because we have to play them either.
“I don’t think there is a 1-6 team in the other division (South Carolina) in any other conference that has lost to Syracuse by a few points and had another couple of game that came down to a few points. Those games could’ve been the other way too.
“Even if you take the last place team in the other division and the last place team in our division and add the records together they really look bad. But when you look at what they are capable of it’s scary.”

(What kind of game do you expect against Ole Miss?)
“I expect a heckuva game. The reason I expect that is because we are playing against Arkansas kids. You have to expect that.
“And they are like everybody else, they are very good at home. Matter of fact we came from behind at home to beat them.”

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