Road Hurdle

Arkansas (11-3, 1-0) steadied itself Saturday with a home win over Tennessee and now hopes to clear another hurdle with a road game at LSU (9-7, 1-0) on Wednesday.

Arkansas' last trip on the road didn't go so well – nor has the past 9 years for the matter for the hoop program.

Last week's shellacking at Texas was humbling, embarrassing and any other negative word you want to come up with to describe it.

"I'm in therapy right now trying to get that blocked out right now to be honest with you," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "I don't want to remember anything about that."

Perhaps the best therapy was a 68-65 home win over Tennessee on Saturday and the feel good recovery could continue Wednesday night if the Razorbacks (11-3, 1-0) could win at LSU (9-7, 1-0).

"Anytime you go on the road, you have to be 10 points better than your opponent and have to be able to handle the environment and all the adversity that comes your way," Pelphrey said. "That is something we have not done this year…But I am looking forward to the challenge."

Since Nolan Richardson was ushered out as head coach, the Razorbacks have been just 14-61 on the road with Stan Heath (9-37) and Pelphrey (5-24).

"We need to get there," Pelphrey said of success on the road. "Obviously our history and our past has been tremendous on the road, but I guess in the last eight, nine, 10 years that has not been that good on the road.

"If we want to compete and do some things that the people that has come before us have done," Pelphrey added. "We need to learn how to handle those type of things. It will be interesting to see how we respond."

Pelphrey said there are obviously some keys to winning on the road.

"I think the thing on the road that you try to focus on is your concentration needs to be tremendous," Pelphrey said. "Your focus needs to be tremendous. The fundamental things have to be very, very important and making sure you keep yourself in the right spot (defensively), to still be aggressive on offense."

It is likely to help the Razorbacks' fate that LSU will be without leading scorer Ralston Turner, a 6-6 guard averaging 13.6 points per game.

"It's not day-to-day, it's week-to-week," LSU head coach Trent Johnson said. "I will not bring him back until he's 100 percent. The only result of coming back early from a stress fracture is another stress fracture. He'll be back, but he won't be practicing this week."

The Tigers, who have lost four of their last six games, are coming off a 62-55 win at Auburn.

LSU led the game 32-6 at halftime before the homestanding Tigers made a run and actually outscored the visiting Tigers by 19 in the second half.

"I don't think I've ever been involved in a basketball game where a team missed as many shots as Auburn did," Johnson said. "I think (Auburn coach Tony) Barbee said it best that sometimes guys let the offense dictate the game and when shots don't fall, the team doesn't know how to respond."

Arkansas knows just how that is after having floundered at Texas, but then rebounded to shoot 50 percent from Saturday against the Volunteers.

Now it's back out on the road trying to achieve another goal and get some consistency.

"Our basketball team is still a work in progress so this is the next hurdle for us to see how we can get prepared and go try to clear that," Pelphrey said.


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