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Richardson Previews Oklahoma Game

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Richardson Previews Oklahoma Game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The following is a brief transcript of a press conference held by Nolan Richardson to preview the upcoming Arkansas vs. Oklahoma basketball game at Bud Walton Arena.
On Oklahoma
“They are basically the same athletes that they had last year, with the exception of Ryan Humphrey being no longer with them and Martin, the kid that shot lights out against us. When we got there he was averaging six points, and when we left he was averaging 25. So, other than those two, the basics of their basketball team is still there, and that is probably why they are undefeated to this point.
“I didn’t watch any film on them, or any on who they have been playing. I have been watching when we played them, and that is what we will show the guys, what we did and didn’t do right, from a stand point of letting them watch that rather than watching what they do well. Even though they are missing those two guys, they run the same offense, the same defense. Therefore we can get a better picture, because we have some kids that were here last year and knew what happened, and I want them to understand that this will happen if we play the type of basketball that we played in that ballgame.
“They shot lights out, but we weren’t very good on the defensive end. We didn’t cover any body, I can tell you that. We had just came back from Alaska and had just played Northeastern Louisiana then went to OU and played. We weren’t very good after we left Alaska. When we played Northeastern, they had a very good ball player on that ball club, we had to go match and one. That team exposed us a lot, in that we weren’t able to press as well as, we weren’t ready to trap. That is when we got out of the press, worked with it a bit, and then and then got back into it, so that everyone would get on the same page.
“We are not where I would like us to be, and that is why we are running more multiple defenses, and continue to improve basically on our pressing. Right now, we are concentrating on a really good half court man defense, with a mixture of double teaming off of it and then at times spring our pressing game and run it at periods. We will do that when I have them to change. So it is going to be a multiple defensive team as opposed to press, man or match. It is all mixed into one and that is what we have been working on and hopefully we score off of defense as well as we did against Jackson State. I thought that we did a good job. I was concerned about making changes as the ball moved up the court, they did a good job of recognizing what had to be done.
“I don’t think that we have to say anything, because you had enough of them that played or was there. And then as Lane said, I didn’t know, but they came in a showed him the tape. But they made sure that they showed him that. That is fine. That is what I told him, we have highlight tapes too, but our highlights are not to tell somebody,
In other words, I don’t keep memories of games won or how much we lost by, I don’t keep that in my mind, you would have to get a book and show me. All that I keep in my head is if we won or lost. Those are the only two stats that I want to know; I don’t care about the score. If you try to start to get points and you try to beat teams by what you were beat by or by what fans expect of you, when you start to go that route you are in for a long, long year. You should always go out and expect to win. Now what is winning? One point. That is winning. If I would play you to two or four what ever it takes to put the W on the right side, that is winning. That is how we have to approach this game and every game.
“We have a four game deal, so this is only our second game. I don’t mind playing this game forever, as far as I’m concerned. We are in the radius of pretty good schools that have good basketball programs. Right now we have both of the Oklahoma schools starting next year, with Oklahoma State. I think that is a four-year deal; I rarely do anything in twos.
“I think that every time that we play a good ball club, the test is on and I just hope that Baker, Lane and Gomez continue to improve. As I said help is on the way, but the great part is, these guys will get a lot of playing time before the help gets here. Hopefully that playing time will make them better basketball players. Those are the only three sizable kids that I have.
“The thing that Lane has done for me, because we have made him play all over the floor. He got tired quicker doing all those things. But in the long run it will be good for him. The other day he was at the front end of the press, not knowing that he could have been at the back end. He reacted so well, that he made a good decision. That is the thing with Lane, you don’t want him to pick up fouls 94 feet away from the basket. He is real coachable.
“Baker, I have talked to him about being a blue-collar worker for us. Some of the best players in the country are blue-collars. They don’t make their game on their jump shot, which is something that you spend your time on. Baker needs to become a scorer. Not a shooter, you can improve on that, but you should work on the mental deal about if, ‘I shoot the ball, it is going in.’
“We are going to run, that is the type of game that we run. We are going to try to get into a street fight, but we want it to be an intelligent street fight. We have more guys that can shoot the ball than last year’ team. So you don’t have to rely on Pat (Bradley) having 18 points for you to win. You have more guys that can shoot and score; therefore it is all spread out.”



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