Hoops Practice Update: Dec. 28

Arkansas changes lineups for Elon College, focuses on improvement in three areas. Nolan Richardson looks at what's been accomplished on the practice floor in the last week.

After practice Friday, Nolan Richardson revised his starting lineup for Saturday's game with Elon College. He's decided to insert freshman Berry Jordan and senior Teddy Gipson into the starting group.

Richardson said he plans to start Jannero Pargo, Teddy Gipson and Brandon Dean at guard, and will start the inside tandem of Jordan and Dionisio Gomez.

"I want to see if we can get Berry and Teddy going," Richardson said. "And, at the same time, we want to put J. J. Sullinger in the second rotation so we can get some more scoring off the bench.

"Berry has gotten some time, but it's been with a different group than this. He wasn't out there with a group that could score a lot. With this group, he won't feel so much pressure to score. He can do the things he does well like rebound, block shots and intimidate (shooters). This will give him a better chance, and I want to see how he reacts to starting.

"In reality, we could have redshirted Berry. And, I asked him if we could do that, but he wouldn't redshirt. He wants to play. And, I think he can help this team. So, if he's not going to redshirt, we need to get him on the floor and build some confidence."

Alonzo Lane has been ruled out of the game Saturday because of a ankle sprain.

"Alonzo is out of it both mentally and physically right now," Richardson said. "He can't go right now. It's been tough on him since we went to uptempo. He's a little bigger and slower and it's been tough on him (mentally). And, he can't move right now. It looks like a high ankle sprain and they are tough to heal."

Sullinger practiced a bit more Friday than he did Thursday. He's bothered by flu-like symptoms.

"I think it's kinda like a head cold," Richardson said of Sullinger. "I think he'll be fine by Saturday. Those things take about two or three days, and he's showing signs of getting better."

Richardson said the Hogs have concentrated on fixing three major problems since the OSU game.

"The three things are rebounding ... and we've really worked hard on blocking out and a lot of that is with our guards ... the fundamentals of our defense, and the third thing is free throws ... we want to cut down the free throws being shot by the opposition," Richardson said. "We are trying to steal the ball and block shots. I want to challenge shots, but I still want to maintain position and block out. The long rebounds are killing us, and we've worked hard on blocking out in all areas."

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