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Stan Heath Press Conference – Alabama

Stan Heath Press Conference – Alabama
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a 7 p.m. contest at No. 16 Alabama on Wednesday. The Razorbacks are coming off Saturday’s 65-62 victory over LSU and have won three straight to improve to 17-7 overall and 5-6 in the SEC. Alabama is 19-4 and 8-2 after Saturday’s 71-45 home win over Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide won this year’s first meeting at Fayetteville on Jan. 11, 64-61. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.

“We have a big task in front of us. They are playing very well. The closest conference game at their place was 15 points (73-58 over LSU). Their trio or Kennedy Winston, Earnest Shelton and Chuck Davis are a handful, and you can’t count out those other two (Jermareo Davidson, Ronald Steele). I think their starting five is as good as anybody’s in the country.

“We’re playing pretty well, but there’s still another level we can get to. Ronnie Brewer, Jonathon Modica and Darian Townes are playing well in a team concept. We need to get Olu Famutimi going. Eric Ferguson has played well on defense. Another guy who has been practicing well but hasn’t played as much because of the matchups is Steven Hill.

“We have a little momentum going. We need to stay focused and hungry.

“We need to avoid having a bad five minutes. They are a team that has streaks and gets hot. We have to have a consistent flow with no droughts. We have to play well on defense and not give up any easy baskets.”

Since the first meeting:

“Our team now has some games under its belt. We know what SEC play is like, we’ve had close games, we’ve gotten inside scoring with Darian Townes and Jonathon Modica is a different player. As a team, our chemistry is tighter and we’re closer.

“We’ve changed our style. We’ve played less full-court and extended defense, and played more zone. The guys realize the importance of playing strong and physical on the court. We had a hard time guarding bigger guys inside and giving up transition points.”

Jonathon Modica, the SEC’s Player of the Week:

“I’m happy for him. It is well-deserved. Anytime you put up numbers and win games, it’s a good thing. He’s getting a lot done in the team concept. He’s always scored, but now he’s doing it with other guys involved. His emotion is very positive.”

Three consistent scorers (Ronnie Brewer, Jonathon Modica, Darian Townes):

“Darian Townes has been a consistent player inside for us. Most good teams have three guys they can count on. I would like to get to four or five, and then we could be special.”

Going on the road:

“The Ole Miss game helped us. We look at different ways to get ready. Our energy level is high and our chemistry is good. We need to have a ‘feather in your cap’ game. It’s a hard challenge, but it’s something we need to find a way to do.”

Olu Famutimi and Charles Thomas:

“Charles is doing terrific in practice. There’s a big different in playing against the power forwards at some of the teams we played earlier this year and going against Mississippi State. We’re asking a freshman to go up against those guys. Sometimes your confidence gets shaken a little bit. Chuck Davis is a terrific player at Alabama. When we played his freshman year, he didn’t get off the bench. Most freshmen don’t play much.

“Olu will get it going. He said, ‘Coach, Jonathon and Ronnie had it going (against LSU),’ I still want him to be more aggressive, but that was a good attitude on his part.”

Ronnie Brewer:

“He’s got it. What ‘it’ is, I don’t know. When he’s got it going, we’re a better team. Ronnie may be our most natural point guard. With him at the point, it takes away our best all-around player, but I like what he gives us there in terms of matchup problems.”

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