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Stan Heath Press Conference – Kentucky

Stan Heath Press Conference – Kentucky
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to No. 6 Kentucky on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in a game nationally televised by CBS Sports. The Razorbacks, who were off on Wednesday, are 14-5 overall and 2-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky, who is 15-2 overall and 6-0 in the SEC, is coming off a win at Tennessee on Tuesday. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.

“Kentucky is playing the best basketball of anybody in our league. They put a lot of pressure on the ball. We have to execute. We have to screen and cut. They share the ball well. Two of the most unheralded players may be the two best they have in Chuck Hayes and Patrick Sparks. They aren’t on a lot of All-America lists. Sparks is an old-school basketball player. He’s very crafty, is a great ball-faker and he takes what you give him. Hayes is one of the toughest kids in our league, if not the toughest. He’s going to do what he does every night – go out and fight and scrap.

“This is one team we play I feel we will not be able to wear down. They have some depth. Fatigue will not be a factor. We have to play well and be at our best to have a chance to beat them.

“They have only two losses. North Carolina is a good team, the Kansas game was hanging in the balance and the Louisville game went their way. You have to have the talent level to beat them, match their intensity on the glass and defensively, and then match them with good play.

“Tubby is recognized as one of the top-tier coaches in college basketball and rightfully so. He is able to sustain consistency. They are playing the best basketball in our league, and that is a credit to him and his staff.”

A big win:

“A big win would do a lot for our players. We’ve had some. A couple years ago we beat Mississippi State when they were ranked. Last year, we beat Vanderbilt and South Carolina when they were ranked. A big win for this team, this season could do a lot for us. You never know how that could jump-start your season.”

Atmosphere for the game:

“It should be incredible. It has all the bells and whistles you want. You’ve got the fans and you’ve got TV. You have one team that is really, really good and one team trying to get there.”

Michael Jones; UA’s starting lineup:

“He helps us because we have to keep pace offensively. He’s a good answer for us. I don’t see any reason to change our lineup right now. Mike will battle and fight.

Areas worked on with the open date on Wednesday:

“Wednesday we started off drifting a little then picked it up and got re-focused. They have some excitement built up but I don’t think I’ll see it in practice. We had to decide early this week how we were going to do certain things and make sure we’re on the same page.

“This week we’ve looked at different areas that can take our team to another level. One of those areas is on the boards. We have to be more active and want to get to the glass. Another area is free throw shooting. We’ve responded the last couple of games. That and rebounding would make a big difference for us.

“Jonathon Modica has really been practicing well and Steven Hill, the last couple of days, has been more aggressive. Olu Famutimi has played his best basketball the last couple of games. This break was good for us.”

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