Hogs Continue Cancun Preparations

Arkansas continued to mold new players with old in preparation for a trip to Cancun, Mexico this weekend.

After a very satisfying practice yesterday today's practice was... well, it was less satisfying. Whether it was fatigue or just lack of concentration the offensive performance was marked by shots that wouldn't drop, turnovers and mental lapses. Nothing wrong at the defensive end of the court, though, as the defense for both "teams" took it to the offense. In one series of ten possessions each one team scored one basket and the other two. That was the extreme. The shooting did pick up a bit near the end of practice, thanks especially to Chuck Tatum, who nailed four consecutive threes.

Hard to pick out standouts, but I'd have to say the Vincent Hunter and Billy Pharis were pretty solid and Mike Jones was one of the few hitting shots early in the practice. Coach Heath noted that because of their being so thin inside, all the big guys especially, but really everybody, is probably getting a bit tired, with only the two walk-ons to spell anybody.

By the way, the would-be walk-on in addition to Preston Cranford is a 6'6" freshman from Oklahoma named Nate Lang. As I understand it he's kind of in a try-out phase and not officially a walk-on at this point.

In answer to a question about who was looking good Coach Heath noted that Hunter and Pharis had been steady and that Modica had had a couple of real good days, as had Brewer and Ferguson, but that none of those three had their best game with them today.

Word is that the gyms in Cancun have fans but no air conditioning, but with 5 Razorbacks on the court at a time instead of ten they should be able to get through it OK. Coach said he intended to start different teams the first two games and then kind of piece it together from there. He ssaid he wants to see how different combinations work together, whether anybody plays better starting versus coming off the bench and vice versa.

After the informal post-practice press conference Coach Heath walked over to where Coach Ronnie Thompson was sitting and beckoned the press to come over. "I want you guys to see that we don't really look alike" he said. Dudley suggested that perhaps one could let his hair grow and Coach Thompson said that really wasn't an option for him.

Coach Thompson also told the story that when he went to dinner with his father last night some Arkansas fan came over and said to Coach John Thompson, "Coach it's really a pleasure to meet you and to have you in Arkansas. I've always been an admirer of the way you handle yourself" or words to that affect. Then he turned to Ronnie Thompson and said "And Coach Heath we all just think you are doing a fantastic job!"


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