For those hoping for something juicy after the controversial ending in the loss to Florida, Arkansas coach Mike Anderson was probably disappointing on Monday afternoon when he met with the media at Bud Walton Arena. There were no comments about the Florida game.
As Bobby Portis and Manny Watkins indicated before Anderson came to the interview room, the Hogs moved on about midnight Saturday after losing a 57-56 basketball game at Florida. The Gators got the winning points on two free throws on a questionable foul called on a blocked shot by Alandise Harris.
That play was not mentioned Monday afternoon, nor anything about the officiating. Anderson opened the session with general comments about his team, then said he'd take any questions about the South Carolina game. Obviously, he wasn't talking about the Florida game, but did mention some things the Hogs would try to clean up from that game ahead of an 8 p.m. tip with South Carolina at Bud Walton Arena.
"We talk about having a short-term memory," Anderson said. "Even after wins. You look at the things you want to avoid from the last games. Primarily, it was sloppy play, turnovers. And, we gave up some offensive rebounds, especially at the end. We want to get more consistent and play more consistent for 40 minutes."
Rebounding will be the focus against what Anderson called one of the league's most physical team, the Gamecocks. He said grit and rebounding are the trademarks of a Frank Martin-coached team.
"We have to match their physical play," Anderson said. "We'd like to get the tempo up. We want to get into our shot quicker. Our defense has been better the last couple of games. Now we have to get our offense going, put it all together. This is the time of year that my teams usually get it together.
"South Carolina wants to slow it down to mid tempo. They have good guards. They shoot it up there and go get it (for rebounds)."
As far as the Florida loss, Watkins said, "It was tough. Every game like that hurts. But coach says, only let it hurt until midnight. We are focused on the next game, South Carolina."
Portis said, "We really have nothing to say about that game, just about tomorrow's game."
Both players were asked about the importance of building a resume for the NCAA tournament.
"It's not about that," Portis said. "It's about every game being important. In the end, we'll see. Every game is big. The next game on our schedule is the biggest. Me personally, I don't worry about the NCAA tournament. We are starting February and we need to get on a run."
Watkins said, "We just need to take care of business. If we do that, in the end, we should be there."
Both players know the mission Tuesday night, stay with the Gamecocks on the rebounds.
"They are a physical team," Watkins said. "Coach told us they are second in the SEC in rebounds, pretty good in a power conference."
Portis said, "They punked us on the glass last year. They are physical down low. It's on the forwards. They are the most physical team in the conference. It's going to be very physical down low."
Nothing Juicy from Anderson
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