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Richardson Previews Wake Forest Game

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Richardson Previews Wake Forest Game

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a brief transcript of a press conference held by Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson to preview the Arkansas vs. Wake Forest game set for 6:05 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20 at Bud Walton Arena.

(What is the status of Brandon Dean (suffered sprained ankle in practice on Sunday afternoon) for the Wake Forest game?)
“Dave (England – Trainer) said he wouldn’t know for 24 hours. He said it is very questionable.

(What sort of adjustments will you make if Dean can’t play?)
“It’s tough because you have a tough ball game. Those are the breaks of the game. Other guys would have to step up. I’m hoping that I can get Eddins involved a little more. You have to have somebody that can shoot the basketball. I think he has gotten a lot better. That would give us some minutes. I could look at him in the ball game.

(Do you know who you are planning to start?)
“To tell you the truth, I really don’t right now. I always have two or three guys in mind. Of course, Walker is always in the starting lineup. Shaq (Alonzo Lane) is going to start. Baker is a pretty good bet to start.
“I don’t know if I want to stay with the same rotation I had last night, but Jason (Gilbert) or T.J. (Cleveland) at the point. Teddy (Gipson) is an older kid, maybe if Dean is gone, Teddy might start in that spot.

(How big a win could this be when they start looking at non-conference wins to help get in the NCAA Tournament?)
“These kind of games can do nothing but help you. We don’t have any big-time quality wins if you are talking about the NCAA the way they judge the schedule. Not if we don’t win we can’t go, but it certainly would help.
If it came down to the point where you were real close and you beat a ranked team. That is what happened with Mississippi State last year. In talking with (C.M.) Newton about why they didn’t get in last year, he said it came down to their schedule versus somebody else’s schedule who lost more game, but had quality losses. I’ve never head of a quality loss, but that was the difference. So this would be a quality win.”

(A lot of players have talked about they are fired up to play a good opponent on television. Do you think they will have some extra incentive to play well?)
“I think they will be, but sometimes these young guys get so fired up they don’t play well. I don’t want it to be a situation where we feel like we have to show something, we just have to go play, take our practice to the game and try to improve. Sometimes you can get all caught up in we got to do this or we’ve to do that and then you don’t do anything. Tomorrow in the shoot-around we will talk about that. You just have to come out and play.
“You earn respect if you play well. You don’t have to talk about or think about it. You will earn it if you play well. That is what we have to do is play well.

(What do you remember about Wake Forest?)
“They were very impressive, the difference is that Pat Bradley had a phenomenal night and Derek Hood had a career rebounding night. Kareem Reid had a good night. Those guys really did it on the road.
“We are home. We have great fans. Our kids can learn to respond to being at home. To me if there is an advantage, that is it, the home crowd.

(What are your impressions of Robert O’Kelley?)
“I’ve watched him a lot. I watched him through his high school career into his college career. He is a tremendous scorer. He has a nice shot. He is like the kid the other night from Texas-Pan American (Brian Merriweather), he had a nice release. O’Kelley can find his shot. He doesn’t need a pick he just needs a ball and a rim to shoot at.

“That will be a tremendous challenge. They have a nice solid ball club. I remember them last year. They are big and solidly built. Their 6-9’s are real 6-9’s. Our 6-9’s don’t look like their 6-9’s. They are a very solid ball club.
“Apparently they may have lost (Darius) Songalia. I remember him hurting us last year. He is a big strong kid.
(They have some other size is that where having Larry Satchell will make a difference?)
“As we go into the league and in the games against the Wake Forests and Providences, we are going to be playing against some big folks. We need to have a few. That is why I think Satchell will have a chance to help us tomorrow night.

(Do you think the confidence Satchell got against Mercer will help?)
“I hope. Last night he got a little confidence in what he is going up against. Now if he could get some confidence in a game like tomorrow night, I think that will build him even more, because he is going to be playing against some quality-quality big guys. That will really help.
“You don’t know what to expect from his conditioning, but I know one thing he will fight you.”



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