FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas travels to Alabama for a 7 p.m. Southeastern Conference basketball game on Wednesday. The game is televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports. The Razorbacks are coming off the 78-66 victory over Vanderbilt while Alabama is coming off a 68-64 win at Kentucky. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“I think we’ve played well at Alabama. We’ve had some droughts and we haven’t won, but we’ve played well.
“Chuck Davis, who is one of the premiere players in the league, is out for the season. He’s a great kid who has worked hard and was having a tremendous season. Since that loss, other players have picked up the slack. Jermareo Davidson has really elevated his performance. With Brandon Hollinger at point guard, Ronald Steele is the two-guard and he’s added more of a scoring role to his game.
“They are a very good team. They may be missing a couple of horses, but they still have good players.
“They play more zone now to conserve themselves. We need to really defend the interior. That is the strength of their team.”
“Every game is always a little different. We either have to turn people over or get rebounds. We definitely have to hold our own on the defensive glass. Jermareo Davidson and Richard Hendrix are strong, tough, athletic players. When we rebound, it gives us a great opportunity to fast break and score second-chance points. We have to be strong and hopefully that carries over (from the Vanderbilt game) to Alabama.”
Playing on the road:
“Every year for me is a new season. I may try to look at doing some things differently to make sure going on the road isn’t mental. Every year is different. Some years you may have a team that is young. I think this team has the ability to win on the road. When teams are younger, they feed off the
crowd. The baskets and courts are the same. The only difference is people are booing instead of cheering.”
“Against Vanderbilt, we scored, we played defense and we rebounded. I loved how aggressive the kids were closing out the half. In the second half, when they made a push, we buckled down. Hopefully that’s the way we become and the way we do things.”
Sean McCurdy and Dontell Jefferson:
“The last few games, we have factored Sean in to be about a 10-minute guy. I see him sharing point guard responsibility with Dontell. Dontell should take (open shots), but if he’s distributing the ball and being more of a facilitator, I don’t see anything wrong with (him not shooting).
“Dontell’s presence defensively is unbelievable. He’s long, rangy and stronger than people give him credit for.
“Our older guys are like me. They want the freshmen to help us, but they don’t want them to be in tough situations. It may be time to turn them loose a little bit.”