FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to Auburn Saturday at 2:05 p.m. in a non-televised game. Arkansas (5-7, 0-1) is coming off a 61-51 loss at No. 4 Alabama. Auburn (12-2, 1-0) beat Vanderbilt at home on Wednesday, 62-59. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“Auburn is scoring a lot of points. They have a lot of weapons and do a good job of attacking you one-on-one. Marquis Daniels and Marco Killingsworth give them a nice one-two punch. They pressure you, so we have to do a good job taking care of the ball. They have a good team, but I believe we’ve played a schedule that’s a little tougher than theirs and I hope that has prepared us for this. They aren’t a team that passes the ball around 10 or 11 times. Our perimeter defense will be tested along with our inside. Daniels is a scorer. He can do it in different ways. He rebounds, so he can hurt you on the offensive glass, he can hit the three-pointer and he can post up. We have to slow him down.”
“It was good experience on the road, and it was one of our better road games. Unfortunately, we were playing the No. 4 team in the country. Free throw shooting has been our Achilles heel. We’ve had games where we shot well, unfortunately yesterday was not one of them. We went to a hostile environment and made a couple of runs at a very good Alabama team.
“We had that eight-minute stretch at the end of the first half where we got one free throw, but we had some open looks and some high-low situations where we didn’t catch the ball or we were a little off the mark. In the second half, we got our offense going, shot a high percentage and played with them.
“We competed and fought. We had some opportunities and didn’t cash in. We haven’t had a lot of success on the road. I don’t want our guys to feel like just because we’re on the road our chances aren’t very good.”
“Our defense was fine. They scored 10 points in eight minutes (at the end of the first half). It was just a lack of us putting points on the board. We’re doing a better job of identifying the strengths of our opponents and taking those away. We’re making better decisions and taking care of the ball better. We had 17 turnovers and that’s a little high, but a lot of those did not lead to easy baskets.”
Mindset of the players:
“They are fighting and they want to win. They’re doing everything we’re asking of them. I have no problem with their effort. We’re still trying to learn how to win. We haven’t had success against any big-name teams and psychologically that hinders us.”
First SEC game:
“I was not in awe of their crowd. They treated me pretty good. They put up Motown signs. They’re the No. 4 team in the country and they had some empty seats. Actually it made me better appreciate the fans we have here.”
Three straight home games:
“That’s a big plus. We play better at home. We need to protect our home turf, play with confidence, get some energy from the crowd and feed off of that.”