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Stan Heath Press Conference – Auburn

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Stan Heath Press Conference – Auburn
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to Auburn at 1:05 p.m. Saturday in a game televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports. The Razorbacks are 13-5 overall and 1-4 in the SEC following Wednesday’s 66-63 overtime loss at LSU. The Tigers, who have not played since Saturday, are 9-7 and 0-3 under first-year head coach Jeff Lebo. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.

“We have a good challenge in getting our guys’ juices flowing to play. I don’t know if this is a must-win, but it’s a key game. We will respond. We’ve talked to them. They feel like something was taken away from them.

“Auburn plays small ball. They shoot a lot of threes. They have a tremendous freshman in Toney Douglas. They have more than just him. There are other guys that can shoot the ball, but he’s the focal point. We hope to limit his touches.

“The way they spread you out can cause problems. Our zone is working against the right teams, but we need to have a lot of energy, passion and grit.

“They are still a team with a lot of older guys. They have a lot of experience to go with an impact guy like Douglas.

“Jeff Lebo is a good coach. He will build that program and he’s doing a good job right now.”

The shot at LSU:

“We have the tape we did ourselves. It shows all the things that were important. I had a long talk with the commissioner. He said they would handle it and get back to us.

“It was a travel (on Mike Jones), but it was a three. The mistake was (not calling) the travel, not the three.

“It’s strange how it was handled at the end because play was continued. I’ll allow the conference office to handle it.

“We’re disappointed. What can be done about it, I don’t know. We have a very, very good commissioner. He will look at it hard and get back to us. We’re looking for an admission of the truth.

“Things balance out in life, so I feel like we’ll get it back on the other end.”

The overtime:

“We had to get our heads right for overtime. I admit we were down. I didn’t think either team played well in overtime.”

Getting the players ready to play Saturday:

“The players have to understand this is life. You’re going to get some bad breaks in life. We felt like it was one play the referee decided, but there were a lot of other plays in that game.”

Team improvement:

“We took significant steps. That game was as different as night and day from how we performed in our previous game. Until overtime, we shot over 50 percent. Our post defense was outstanding. It was the offensive rebounding we gave up. Our team is good. We’re in a little bit of a lull, but we’re coming out of it.”

Rotation:

“We’ve had to shrink our rotation a little, to nine or 10. At some point in time, the guys who are playing well are the ones we’re going to go with. That doesn’t mean Coach is mad at you or that you aren’t going to play.”

Michael Jones:

“I’m happy and pleased with what he gave us. Give credit to him. He can play the wing or at forward, and he’s such a threat shooting the ball. He played well within himself. He’s a senior, and there’s some value in that. By going zone a little more, that helps him, and his defense is more solid.”



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