University of Arkansas head basketball coach Stan Heath gave writers a big laugh today at the start of his press conference.
He looked around for basketball SID Robby Edwards and then asked this question.
"Hey, Robby, have you got those sheets," Heath said referring to Arkansas notes. "I am trying to figure out which cupcake we are playing today."
Of course, that was a shot at ESPN's Dick Vitale describing the Razorbacks' early season schedule as cupcake city.
There is certainly no cupcake on the slate Saturday when the Razorbacks (5-0) host No. 3 Illinois (5-0) at 1:30 p.m. game at North Little Rock's Alltel Arena.
That's the same Illinois team that destroyed No. 1 Wake Forest 91-73 on Wednesday night in a game they led by 30 in late.
That has put them in position to be No. 1 when the new poll is released next week.
"This is a great opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the country and have a chance to figure out where we are," Heath said. "That's why we play the games - to play the best. To be one of the best you have to play against one of the best.
"They certainly have elevated their program and to watch them play last night, well, they are just playing phenomenal basketball," Heath added.
"They have great guard play, they have great chemistry out there on the floor and the team really reminds me - not in the style they play - but reminds me of the year we won the national championship when I was at Michigan State. They play with a confidence and they play with a chemistry and they have a swagger about themselves."
Heath is not looking to have his team just come close.
"We are going down there playing to win," Heath said. "I know the players are going to be looking forward to the game, too, because they like to be challenged. It's a good thing for coaches because you don't have to have the big-time motivational speech or anything like that. You just have to get your team ready to play."
Heath will once again send out 6-8, 243-pound freshman power forward Charles Thomas and 7-0, 233-pound freshman center Steven Hill to join 6-7 sophomore Ronnie Brewer, 6-5 sophomore Olu Famutimi and 6-4 junior Jonathon "Pookie" Modica in the starting lineup.
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