FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to Stephen F. Austin on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for 2:05, but was moved to later in the day after Saturday’s football game at Mississippi State was scheduled for a 1:30 kickoff. The Razorbacks are 1-0 after opening the season with a 92-52 victory over Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 10. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference:
“Stephen F. Austin is a team we’re trying to get more and more familiar with. They have a solid club. They have a good inside and a good outside. We need to play well and continue to get better.
“Practice has been very good. We need to tone it down so we don’t beat each other up, but we’re about to get into a stretch where we play a lot of games.
“It’s important that we force the tempo. They don’t push it a whole lot.
“They have a lot of senior and juniors, and they’re coming off a winning record last year (17-12). We’re seeing upset after upset this year, so you can’t take anyone lightly. We have to come out and play.”
“Our players are aware of other scores. I would bring it up to them, but they usually mention it to me before I can.”
“Free throws are a hard thing to work on. We are very good in practice. All you can do is try to make it as close to a game situation as you can. We do different things. We have Red and White teams and one team has to make 10 in a row. If you miss, you have to run. We have another drill where you have to shoot a certain percentage.”
“We’ve also tried to emphasize taking care of the basketball. The way Southeast Missouri plays, you can either slow it down or attack, and I like to attack. We attacked but still have a few more turnovers than I would have liked. When you play like that, and we played well, you can’t complain.”
“When you put up numbers like that on your first night (29 points vs. SEMO), you get a target on your back. He may not get those same looks. He has to be careful not to force anything.”
“He’s as healthy as he’s been. He’s starting to pick things up and play better.”
“Sonny would be in the starting lineup (on Thursday).
“Charles (Thomas) is unbelievable. He doesn’t care if he starts or not. Vincent Hunter doesn’t care. I don’t care what they think. I want to do what’s best for the team. Those guys will get their minutes.
“Either Charles or Vince will come off the bench and Sonny will start (along with Gary Ervin, Steven Hill and Patrick Beverley).”
“The game got a little physical at the end. A lot of times, the referees see the second thing that happens, not the first. I want our guys to stand up for themselves, but what I have to teach them is that if there is a tie score, that could be a factor in deciding the game.”