Stan Heath Press Conference – Vanderbilt
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas travels to Nashville for a 6 p.m. contest Saturday against Vanderbilt. The game is being televised by Fox Sports Net, which is Fox Sports Southwest in Arkansas. The Razorbacks are 17-8 overall and 5-7 in the SEC following Wednesday’s 72-63 loss at No. 16 Alabama. Vanderbilt won at Auburn to improve to 15-10 and 5-6. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“Vanderbilt is as tough a place to play as there is in college basketball. The three-point shot is a deadly weapon for them and they’ve been hot at home. We have to defend the three but still not give up any layups.
“I’ve seen Vanderbilt annihilate man (defenses) with backdoor cuts. If you can defend the three and take away the layups – which is easier said than done – it takes away a big part of their offense. They are a different team at home. They have a couple of freshmen in their lineup and their comfort level is much higher in Nashville. They play primarily man on defense but sprinkle in some zone. They will get our Alabama game so I’m sure they will test us.”
The Alabama game:
“We got off to a slow start and then fought like crazy to come back and take the lead. We saw some adjustments with the zone and press, and we didn’t handle it well. The game slowed down.”
Arkansas against a zone:
“I was surprised (at Alabama). We’ve had success against the zone and the press. We were passive. A lot of the time against the press, we simply didn’t look up the floor and depended on Eric and Ronnie to get the ball down. That was very rare. Their 2-3 was their primary defense last year, so we had worked against it. Their length and their presence in that defense is a factor.
“We have to get to the point where we are aggressive against every defense we see. Controlling the tempo is how we have to play.”
“We have a lot of guys who look to score more than they look to distribute. We have to have everybody making plays for their teammates. We have to do more collectively to find one another. Our tendency is to try to do it by ourselves. We have to consciously make an effort to make plays for others.”
“He made some impressive moves to the basket. He has been scouted as a guy who likes to get his feet set, so we’ve talked to him about doing more of that. He rebounded well, too.”
NCAA Tournament chances:
“We have to look at the next game in front of us every single time. The door is not closed, but we have to look at the task in front of us. We need to take care of the business at hand. Alabama was a tough game and nobody is happy, but regardless, we have made progress. We are, in a worst case scenario, a post-season team, but let’s not lose sight of the fact we have games in front of us that we match up well in. Alabama is over. Let’s get to Vanderbilt and figure out what we need to do to win.”
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