Hogs Can't Hit Charities
Billy Pharis was zero for zero from the foul line in Arkansas' 66-55 loss to LSU on Tuesday at Bud Walton Arena. That was about as good as anyone did from the foul line for the Razorbacks.
The Hogs made only two of 10 from the foul line, and never made more than one in a row. It was that stat line that the Hogs were talking most about after dropping their SEC opener.
"I guess we need to concentrate a little more on foul shooting," said Pharis, who scored 21 points to lead all scorers in the game. "We are shooting a lot of free throws in practice, but we need to have guys shoot free throws before and after practice, too. You can never shoot too many, that's for sure."
Ronnie Brewer, who was zero for four from the line, was shaking his head in disbelief afterwards.
"I am real frustrated," said Brewer, who had hit 8 of his last 10 foul shots. "Coach harps on foul shooting. We work on it hard. We hit them in practice, but something happens in the games. It's a whole different setup. All I can do is keep working on them and hope I improve my foul shooting."
Eric Ferguson didn't think it was just foul shooting that kept the Hogs from beating the Tigers. He said they just didn't shoot well period. They made just 32.8 percent from the field.
"We had some good shots, but they didn't go down," Ferguson said. "For me, I think I was too excited, too hyped up. I had been thinking about this game since last year. It was a big game for me after what happened last year and I was really anxious, too anxious. It's a rivalry game and I let it get me going too much.
"I think you have to play ‘em just like they are another team, but after last year that was hard."
Ferguson was ejected after a verbal exchange with LSU coach John Brady in the first round of the SEC tournament. It was clear that Brady sought out Ferguson after the game Tuesday night.
"He told me good game and said I am a good player and patted me on the back," Ferguson said. "I appreciate that. What happened last year is finished now. It's long gone. I'm glad he said those things to me."
Arkansas' Jonathon "Pookie" Modica scored 11 points, but was only 4 of 15 from the field. He said he was "very disappointed" with the way the Hogs played, but noted the season was still young.
"We didn't execute our offense the way we did the last two games, but we still got decent shots," Modica said. "What it seemed like to me was that we just shot it bad from the field and from the line. The foul line? You just have to shoot enough in practice until you get some confidence. I don't know any other way. What I do know is that this hurts very badly and I'm very disappointed."
Pharis said he was shaking his head about some of the shots LSU made throughout the game.
"Our scouting report didn't show their big men making anything from outside, and we gave them some of those shots," Pharis said. "They'd bounce around the rim a bunch of times and fall through. That's frustrating. It's not like they were hitting them pure. They were bouncing around a bunch. We didn't think they could make those shots."
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