Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson said Thursday in a visit with the media at Bud Walton Arena that forward Jacorey Williams benefitted from the team's day off Wednesday. Williams, who became ill during Tuesday night's game, should practice Thursday and be available against Florida for their noon tip-off in Gainesville.
Williams had a stomach bug that resulted in vomiting in the bench area in the first half of the Tennessee game. Anderson said there were still "ill effects" on Wednesday.
"But he's better today and he's going to practice," Anderson said. "I think he should play on Saturday. We think he'll be OK."
Anderson said the team needed the day off after playing three games in six days. He said key players like Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls were "going on fumes" by the end of the last two games. He said that's another reason it's important to get more bench players involved.
"We've got to get those guys playing well," Anderson said of reserves. "We have some guys who need some rest. We were going on fumes."
Anderson was pleased with the combination of twin towers Bobby Portis and Moses Kingsley at the end of the Tennessee game.
"They played well together," Anderson said. "They helped our defense. Moses played with a lot of pop. You were not seeing Tennessee get to the rim with effectiveness at the end of the game and that was Bobby and Moses protecting the rim."
Anderson was asked about the problems over the last several games with switches between guards and forwards on defense. He assured there was no need for some of those switches.
"It's a technical issue," he said. "It's a trap that wasn't strong enough, or a lot of times we were putting our bigs on a guard (after a switch) and there really wasn't a need for that. Our defense suffered because of it.
"It's up to a forward to get back on the forward and the guard to catch up to the guard. Our guards have got to learn that. The guard can't leave and we've got to get that corrected."
That's one of the reasons Anderson said, "I know we can play better. We are in January right now. I expect to be playing better in February and to be playing our best basketball in March."
The Hogs (16-4, 5-2) head to Gainesville to play the Gators (11-9, 4-3) in a venue that hasn't been kind to the visitors. In that respect, the Hogs have not won their last nine trips to Gainesville. Arkansas beat a Lon Kruger-coached Florida team in 1995 for the last victory in Gainesville.
Florida coach Billy Donovan is 16-6 againstthe Hogs. The Gators beat the Hogs, 84-82, in overtime last year in Fayetteville.
Florida won at Alabama earlier this week to snap a three-game losing streak that included a home loss to LSU.
The Gators start a three-guard lineup led by sharpshooter Michael Frazier II (13.4). Forward Dorian Finney-Smith (13.1) is also a force and has been effective against the Hogs in the past. Sophomore Kasey Hill (7.6) has explosive potential, scoring 20 against North Carolina.
Florida, a Final Four entry last year, had won 24 straight SEC games until losing at Georgia on Jan. 17.
"Billy has done a great job of creating a great environment there," Anderson said. "They won back-to-back national titles. I'm sure with the losses they had from last year that they have had an adjustment period and they are making adjustments, just like we are. I'm sure he'll tell you they have been inconsistent and we've had some inconsistencies in our defense, too."
Anderson: Williams expected back at practice
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