FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to Missouri Friday at 7:05 p.m. in a game televised by ARSN. The Razorbacks improved to 4-2 with Wednesday’s victory over Southern Mississippi. The Tigers are 2-1. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“Missouri is a good team and we have to be ready to play. Sometimes when a team gets upset, everybody assumes they aren’t that good. There have been a lot of upsets. We have to play well. This is a big game. They have an outstanding player in Jimmy McKinney, Thomas Gardner is off to a great start and Kevin Young is playing well inside.
“I am pleased with the way we played against Southern Miss, but it’s time to move on. We can’t be satisfied. We know some things we have to execute better, such as rebounding and free throw shooting.
“That was a big win for us last year on the road (at Missouri, 62-52). The game went down to the wire and we made plays down the stretch. I think both teams will be very competitive. Thomas Gardner has stepped up his game immensely.”
“Missouri is a dangerous team. We need to be prepared. If we play like we did against Radford, we will get beat. If we play like we did against Kansas, we should have a chance to win.”
“Stats sometimes for some guys don’t tell the whole story. He hit his only two shots (against USM). Hopefully he gets some more touches. (Altered shots) are one of the things he does for us that don’t show up (in stats). He gives us a toughness factor around the basket we didn’t have previously. That rubs off on other guys.”
Areas of improvement:
“Offensively, we shot a high percentage (against USM), had a low turnover number and if we had had more opportunities, I think we would have scored in the 90s. Our defense was the best it’s been.
“In terms of what we work on, the guys stuck with it for 40 minutes and that’s what I am pleased with. That might have been one of our better all-around performances.”
“I’m leaning towards the big lineup (Darian Townes and Steven Hill, along with Ronnie Brewer, Dontell Jefferson and Jonathon Modica). I thought they played well together. We will practice today with that in mind. We got tremendous bench play against Southern Miss. We got 19 points from Charles Thomas (nine) and Vincent Hunter (10).”