Nolan on Sooners

Arkansas (3-1) play host to Oklahoma (2-1) Friday at 7 p.m. in a nationally televised game on ESPN2. Arkansas won at Tulsa on Wednesday, 79-75, while Oklahoma beat Central Michigan, 81-64.

"They (Oklahoma) always pick up some junior college players who are pretty good and (Hollis) Price is a big-time swing guard. Ebi (Ere) is a very good player, plus they have a great returning group in Price, (Aaron) McGhee and (Daryan) Selvy. They can all score. They play up-tempo basketball. They played Michigan State a heck of a game. They played them down to the last few minutes and then it changed. I'm impressed with how hard they played.

"They really waxed us over there (87-57 in 1998-99). We played decent in the second game (66-62 home loss in 1999-00) and we could have won last year (88-79 overtime loss at OU). Joe (Johnson) had an awful game. We're 0-3 in this current four-year deal. They were a preseason top 25 team. We have our work cut out for us. It should be a great game and hopefully we're ready to play."

Tulsa recap:

"We graded the tape and (Dionisio) Gomez graded out as high as any player has ever graded out. There are some areas where we're concerned, like how to play the game. We have to talk about basketball IQ and work on knowing how to preserve a victory. We had some turnovers that we shouldn't have had, we fouled three-point shooters and things like that. I know we're hustling, but there's a difference between hustling intelligently and just hustling. Mental mistakes will beat you.

"The guys were happy but they weren't jumping around. I like how they took it in stride. They handled that part of it really well. When you go play, you're supposed to expect to win. We have a lot of games left. If we can stay at our peak level performance, that's better than being on an emotional high.

"We've won three straight games on the road. We won our last two road games last year (at South Carolina and at Alabama) and one this year. We have some confidence, but now we have to see if we can play better."

Larry Satchell's first free throw with eight seconds left, which bounced around the rim before going in:

"I saw one like that beat us. I'm just glad it went through. At least we had the lead. He was able to put the game away. I think that was a confidence builder."

Three-point shooting (1-11 in first half, 5 of 9 in second):

"Of our three-point shots, only two were taken too quickly. The others were wide open. (Janner) Pargo and (Brandon) Dean have a scorer's mentality and are going to take some threes. We have to continue to work and take our shots to the game. We certainly have those shots in practice."

Brandon Dean's performance at Tulsa (18 points, 16 in second half):

"He's had two good games in a row. He looks like he's in a lot better playing condition now. He's got some talent. A lot of guys live by their jump shot and when his is on, he starts feeling it and he wants the ball. I'm glad he's making some shots because he's as good as any of them when he's making shots."


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