FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas hits the road for another Southeastern Conference basketball contest when the Razorbacks travel to Ole Miss for a 4:05 p.m. game on Saturday. The game is being televised by Fox Sports Net. Arkansas is 12-4 overall and 1-1 in league play after Tuesday’s 79-72 loss at No. 2 Florida. The Rebels are 11-5 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“We went really hard today. We probably lost a little at the end, but our intensity was strong. We need a road win. If we want to challenge in our league, it is critical that we get wins on the road. The focus is there and they understand.
“Your mindset and attitude have to be right when you go into those environments (on the road). You have to respect your opponent. Road wins are difficult in themselves. You have to come to play. You have to have ball-handling, execution, defense, shot selection – not just one area. You have to play a complete game and do all those things at a high level. If we do those things, we’ll give ourselves a chance to win.”
“Clarence Sanders took 16 threes (against Mississippi State), but that’s part of his offense. The best thing they bring to the table is experience. They have a senior laden backcourt with Todd Abernethy, Sanders and Bam Doyne, and Dwayne Curtis, who is a junior, is tough inside. They have a lot of older guys.
“They are really desperate to get a home win. We will get their best shot. We need to be sure we match their intensity.
“A key is how well we guard their inside players without a lot of help. They are a good three-point shooting team. Abernethy and Sanders are both around 40 percent. A strength of ours is to match up on the interior.”
“I’m very proud of him. He took a lot of criticism from all angles, including the coaching staff, and he handled it.”
Minutes played for Gary Ervin (74 last two games) and Patrick Beverley (76 last two games):
“That’s not what I want to do. We have to get minutes from someone else. We can’t play as much fullcourt defense because those guys are playing so much. For someone else to play, they have to be productive.”
Sonny Weems (will wear mask for broken nose):
“His nose is cracked. He has not worn the mask. He did not practice today, but he was fitted for the mask. His breathing is okay. We need him to play well. I feel better today knowing he will play on Saturday rather than on Tuesday when I didn’t know.”
“He’s really coming on. I was concerned because he was not the same guy that left Orlando (after the Old Spice Classic). He has found his niche and is really helping us.”