FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to Ole Miss in a 4:06 p.m. contest on Saturday, which is being televised by Fox Sports Net. The Razorbacks are 15-10 overall and 4-7 in the SEC following Wednesday’s loss at Mississippi State. The Rebels are 17-8 and 6-5. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“We have to keep our heads up, stay positive and improve our team. Ole Miss is the one team in the division that has gotten on a role. Their seniors have set the tone. Todd Abernethy is playing his best basketball, Clarence Sanders and Bam Doyne are playing well, and Dwayne Curtis has done a good job. We’ll have to do a good job of putting a body on him.
“Sanders can heat it up. He’s streaky hot. They’ve been bringing him off the bench and he’s responded well. We have to make him take and make difficult shots, but he can do that.
“We have to create scoring opportunities for our team and pick up our defensive intensity. Playing at home will help.
“All the guys are searching for answers, and it’s us. We need to be consistent on offense and cut down on turnovers. It starts with practice and giving great effort.
“We’re hungry to get a win. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”
Mississippi State game:
“That’s the first game we’ve had a game like that in a long time. Part of it was us, but more than that, Mississippi State got hot. Playing at home could be the best thing for us. They are a difficult team to matchup against. They play four guards and Jamont Gordon is as difficult a matchup as you’ll find. Once they got things rolling, they were even able to make tough shots.
“Gary (Ervin) probably didn’t play to the level he can play, but he handled it about as well as he could from a character standpoint.”
“I wanted to hear what the players had to say and get feedback from them. I wanted to know where their hearts are and what they can do on this stretch run to change our course. Everybody was 100 percent. We’re going to fight and get better, and that starts in practice.”
“I think he tweaked it (hamstring) some in the game, but he will be better on Saturday than he was on Wednesday. On Wednesday, he was better than he was (last) Saturday.”
“Gary (Ervin) and Sonny (Weems) are back. The discipline is over (for missing curfew), but I’m not sure about the starting lineup.”
“He did a great job. I’m proud of him. He did a nice job at LSU and he was in a tough situation at Mississippi State, but he handled it like a champ.”
Last year’s late-season run:
“Ronnie Brewer and Pookie (Jonathon Modica) had a lot to do with it. They raised their level of play. We need a couple of guys to step up this year.”