FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas travels to South Carolina for a 6:30 p.m. (central) Southeastern Conference contest on Wednesday. The game is not televised. The Razorbacks are 13-6 overall and 2-3 in the SEC following Saturday’s win over No. 16 LSU. The Gamecocks are 10-7 and 0-4. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“We are a team that is hungry for a road win. I’ve seen South Carolina go on the road and win at USC (Southern California) and at Baylor. I’m a big fan of Tre’ Kelley. He’s a tough, tough kid. He’s playing with a bum knee. We have to give him a lot of attention. It’s a credit to him that he’s playing through it. To put up those points when he’s hurt, you know he’s a smart player. He shoots well and has an assortment of shots inside and out. Brandon Wallace is a senior we have to keep an eye on him. We can’t let some of their other guys step up and beat us.”
“I think he’s going to play with great intensity. I think his teammates now know how to use him and where to get him the ball. Gary Ervin found him a few times, but Sonny Weems found him a few times, too. Gary spearheaded it, but everybody knows where to look for him.
“You can see how much more mature and outgoing he is from three years ago. He’s grown steadily since then. He doesn’t want to be the headline guy. He would much rather talk about the team or his teammates, but he realizes how he can help us win. He doesn’t talk a whole lot, but he is one of the leaders on our team. When he does talk, they listen.
“He’s looking to be more offensive-minded in everything he is doing. I still think this is just the tip of the iceberg. We would see two or three of these (efforts like the LSU game) out of five practices in a week last year.”
Playing on the road:
“We’ve had good performances on the road at Texas and Florida. Outside of the last 10 minutes of the first half at Ole Miss, we played pretty well there.”
“There aren’t any bad teams in our league. Every game is a dogfight. Ole Miss is tough and Georgia, with their backcourt, will win a lot of games. There are things we could have done offensively and defensively to win, and we didn’t get it done.
“Earlier, we talked about winning at home and what you have to do to win on the road. The team is fully aware of how important it is to win on the road. I think we’ll see a since of urgency when we take the floor.”
“We’ve been very efficient. We’re third in the league. We just don’t take care of the ball. We shoot at a good clip from the three and the two. Our challenge is taking care of the ball. In our last game, we were able to finish in transition. It’s really that simple. When teams play us, they really pressure our guards. We need to put it strong in our hand and make a move, or get rid of it early. That’s the best thing we can do – get rid of it early.”
“If you look around the country at teams with a new perimeter, I guarantee they’ve had ups and downs, and probably aren’t winning a lot of games. If I can get a little more help on the perimeter, it will make us more effective. Their minutes are up. Their ball-handling decisions are the key.”