FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After an open date on Wednesday, Arkansas returns to action on Saturday with the 2:05 p.m. home game against South Carolina. The game is televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports. The Razorbacks are 14-6 overall and 3-4 in the SEC while the defending NIT champion Gamecocks are 11-9 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“We have to get ready to play on Saturday and fight for a win. We have to create our own breaks and get to the point where we’re greedy with a lead.
“South Carolina is 2-5, but look at their two wins. They beat Florida at home and they won at Vanderbilt. They’ve shown they can win on the road and that they can beat a top-notch opponent. They also had double-digit leads against Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Tarence Kinsey is very underrated and Tre’ Kelley is a very good guard. They have four starters back from their NIT championship team. This is a big, big game.
“I still see a very positive ending ahead of us, but we have to do our part.”
Possible lineup changes:
“I’m not sure what changes we’ll make, if any. I’m looking at Eric Ferguson, Dontell Jefferson and Sean McCurdy at one guard spot. At power forward, I’m looking at Charles Thomas and Cyrus McGowan possibly getting that spot. At power forward, I’m looking for consistency, a good shooting percentage and a good assist-to-turnover ratio. If I get leadership or any intangibles, that’s a bonus.”
Areas to improve:
“Our rebounding has got to get better. I don’t want our guys to get tight, but I want them to cut down on turnovers. We’re emphasizing those two things heavily. The increase in turnovers is in part due to us emphasizing running more and making decisions. We should be making decisions based on when we have a 75 percent chance, but we’re taking 50-50 chances.
“We’re tracking all the guys to see if they are blocking out and getting beat to spots.
“We also have to cut down on momentum runs for the other team and get greedy with the ball.”
“The question is, when in certain situations, what can we do a better job of. Every game has a different personality. It’s unfortunate that it’s happened to us twice – at Alabama and Kentucky.”