Richardson: Ole Miss Preview

Arkansas travels to Ole Miss Saturday for a noon game which will be televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports. Arkansas (12-9, 4-5) has not played since Saturday's 62-60 home win over Auburn while Ole Miss (17-6, 6-4) has lost two straight, including Wednesday's 79-59 decision at Alabama.

"The key is the same key we've had everywhere we go. We have to defend and rebound. We get destroyed on the boards, giving up offensive stick-backs. They are a very physical team. They play with reckless abandon going to the glass. The keys are how we take care of the ball and rebound. Our seniors will do most of the playing and they probably will for the rest of the year. They've earned that right. Those four (Brandon Dean, Teddy Gipson, Jannero Pargo, T.J. Cleveland) have worked hard. They are limited sometimes because of their size and weight. J.J. (Sullinger), (Michael) Jones and Berry (Jordan) have helped at times, but there's no question that if we going to get any farther, our seniors have to do it for us."

Possibility of Matt Jones playing:

"He's still a freshman, but he has some bulk. He's a big kid and he can score, or at least draw some fouls. Hopefully he can hit some free throws. He's never played college basketball. He's coming off a great football year. He's a big, strong kid with basketball skills. He doesn't shoot well from the perimeter, but that's not what we need from him. He's had a week to get in basketball shape. He stayed on the floor for most of the practices and he may be able to help us match their toughness."

Arkansas' rebounding:

"We have tremendous aggressiveness when we're pressing, but we don't take that same aggressiveness to the boards. Rebounding is effort and sometimes we don't have that effort. We've been working on that, putting a body on someone and going to the glass. I've pointed out the Memphis game when (Jannero) Pargo had eight rebounds. Our guards have to rebound because we have three of them on the floor."

The SEC:

"We have some tough places to go. Last year was a little different. The schools that it was really tough to play at we had coming to us down the stretch. Alabama is probably the most superior team in the entire conference. This is a crucial week for us. In looking at our schedule and the games we have remaining, if we win four of seven, to me, we're in pretty good shape for the NCAA Tournament. Everything is still there for us to take or not take. We have to go on the road and get one or two, but more importantly, we have to take care of our home. We just have to take them one game at a time."


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