FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas travels to North Little Rock for Saturday’s 7:35 p.m. contest against former Southwest Conference rival Rice. The Owls are 4-4 while Arkansas is 7-2. The Razorbacks are coming off Thursday’s 79-75 victory over Missouri State. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“We’re looking forward to going to Little Rock and playing in front of our fans in central Arkansas. It will give some fans who can’t get tickets to games in Bud Walton Arena a chance to see us play.
“There’s a lot of history to this series, going back to the Southwest Conference days. That’s one reason we sought to get an opponent from those days. (Willis) Wilson has done a terrific job. He’s been there a long time. He has some young, talented guys and they had a nice win over Utah. They have a nice point guard (Lorenzo Williams), (Morris) Almond is a good shooter and J.R. Harrison is an undersized four-man, but he can play inside and out.
“We have to put last night behind us and focus on Rice. They don’t mind a speedy tempo and they run some motion. They are a team that has some weapons. Williams is dangerous and they have a couple of guys who can shoot. We’ll have to use our size and athleticism.
“When we put Darian Townes and Steven Hill out there together, that’s the biggest matchup problem we can make teams face.”
Playing in Alltel Arena:
“It’s important to get a quality opponent. When you factor in the history and the Southwest Conference, it makes it even more attractive.
“We wanted to make this game over the Christmas break. That way, a lot of students from the Little Rock area that are home can get there.
“I like Alltel Arena. It has a good atmosphere. If we have the chance to fill it up, the atmosphere could be at a high, high level. I’ve watched our football games in Little Rock and they are impressive. I would like for basketball to get there, too.”
Missouri State Game:
“We had the chance to put them away but we had some turnovers. They caught us a little off guard by going to a zone to start the second half. You usually don’t go to your second defense to start the half. Before that, it was a track meet.”