FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas plays host to Texas State Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. in a game televised by ARSN. Following is a partial transcript of head coach Stan Heath’s press conference.
“We’ve talked to the team about putting our foot on the pedal. We want to do a great job of getting and building a lead. Teams get up and then they may let down a little. When teams get loose and bombs start falling, with the three-pointer, anything can happen. We came back down the stretch (against Missouri) and that showed a lot. Both Ronnie and Jonathon stepped up.
“We were searching for an opponent. Baylor had to drop all of its non-conference games. Fortunately, Dennis (Nutt) was receptive to playing. I know they are rebuilding. They lost their inside guys from last year. They have some veterans and some newcomers. They are struggling with losses right now, but they give great effort. They are scrappy and they execute what they want to run.
“We can’t take anybody for granted or lightly. We won’t do that. We will try to be aggressive and try to pick up a little more full court. We want to continue to improve and get the ball inside. We’re not doing a bad job on the glass, but we need to get to the point where we’re dominating.”
“He’s not playing at the level he can play at, and he knows that. He’s pressing, and he knows that. At some point, it will click. We’ve got to help him get through it. Hopefully this is a game where he can get back on track. He still gives us great intensity on defense.”
Holiday Hoops (high school tournament in Bud Walton Arena this week):
“We are very supportive of Holiday Hoops. It is a tremendous (recruiting) advantage, not only for the teams from our area, but the tournament also attracts top-notch teams from around the country. It seems like just about every year we sign someone who played in the tournament, and we’re recruiting some players in this year’s field.”
“He seems more consistent. He’s happy and smiling. I love his hustle. He’s our most reliable guy at the free throw line. He’s grown a lot. Things are just happening naturally. I like the way he’s playing. If he continues, he might see some double teams and he will have to do something against that.”
Last game before break for finals:
“Everybody has an exam period. That’s just the way it is. We will use that time wisely. We have some really good teams coming up after the break.
“With nine days off, we don’t want to go in the break playing poorly. I’m really pleased with the progress we’ve made defensively. Ronnie is getting steals within what we’re doing on defense. Jonathon is probably our most improved defensive player. He’s taken a lot of pride in that. Townes is better in some areas. He’s rebounding better.
“We want to play better and that starts on the defensive end.”