FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas travels to No. 12 Alabama for a 2:05 p.m. contest on Saturday. The game is being televised by Lincoln Financial Sports. The Razorbacks are 13-7 overall and 2-4 in the SEC while the Crimson Tide is 15-4 overall and 2-3 in the league. Following is a partial transcript from head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“As disappointed as we are, we’re still in the race. There is a lot of basketball left to play. The first thing we have to do is figure out how to be the same team on the road that we are at home.
“We gave up about 15 points on layups (at South Carolina). We gave up a lot of rebounds. We have to clean that up before we go to Alabama. This will be a totally different game (from the first meeting). We got on a run and shot the ball very well.
“We’re only one game out of first. That shows you how wacky the Western Division is right now.
“Alabama will be fired up. They will look back at the last game. I’ve seen how they play at home. They are a little different at home, too. We’ve got to regroup and do a good job preparing. I’m sure we’ll see some different things.
“We have to make Ronald Steele work as hard as he can. He can make shots. We have to pressure him and make him give up the ball as much as possible.”
“It is a little unusual that we’ll be finished with Alabama and we still haven’t played Auburn or Mississippi State. That’s just a quirk in the schedule.”
“We’re just a game out. It’s not time to panic. After Alabama, we will have played more games on the road than we have at home, so the schedule does change a little. We have to look forward and try to fix some things.”
The Western Division on the road:
“I expect teams to be very strong at home. That goes back to how balanced the West is. That shows that there is a home court advantage.
“I think we’re a little tentative on the road. We don’t shoot as well, we don’t take care of the ball and we don’t play with as much intensity.
“We knew going to South Carolina that they would be fired up. Unfortunately in the last two or three minutes when we took the lead, things didn’t go our way.
“We’re going to work our tails off in practice. There is a mental side to getting our spirits up, but we do need to correct some things.”
“We knew we let one get away from us (at South Carolina). Some guys are kicking themselves. I expect us to come back like we did when we got ready for LSU.”
“He’s always an option. He gives us a guy who can stretch the offense out and he throws into the post very well.”
“He’s getting touches and getting the ball around the basket. He’s not finishing as many plays. I wish he would go back to 15 feet out and driving. There have been a couple of games where you could say he wasn’t at the level he was for others. We need him to be a consistent performer for us.”
“I’m happy he made some nice plays and he got about five offensive rebounds, but there were a couple of other rebounds I wish he had snatched. Defensively, we need him to rebound.”
“When you get into league play, people have figured out what you’re good at. He had some great looks (at USC). He has to get used to the scouting report and not force anything.”