Heath, Players Meet Following LSU Loss

FAYETTEVILLE -- After he finished with his postgame media obligations following Wednesday's loss to LSU, Arkansas coach Stan Heath retreated back to the locker room, where he met with his team for approximately 45 minutes after the Razorbacks lost their second straight game to start Southeastern Conference play.

"More than anything (it was) to make sure our heads were right," Heath said. "Knowing that there's 14 games in front of us but this is the most important one. I always refer back to the old adage that this is a marathon and not a sprint. It's real important that, hey, we didn't get off to a good start but there's a lot left in this race.

"We've got to start picking up our steam a little bit."

Both coaches and players spoke at the meeting.

"It was just little things --what individuals could do to step things up, what things we could do as a team to be better, what are some things that I kind of looked at that I think are maybe hindering us to win these games that we've just lost the last two trips out."

Heath said one of the Razorbacks biggest problems was consistency on defense.

"We defended very well (Wednesday) but there were key trips where we gave up offensive rebounds and second-chance points or second-chance opportunities and those were late in the game and we've got to be a little bit more tougher to get those possessions and not give something up."

Crimson Tide Switching Things Up
Alabama's first game without its leading scorer, Chuck Davis, went as well as could be expected. The Crimson Tide beat Auburn 56-52 without Davis' presence in the frontcourt.

Davis tore his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his right knee in the Crimson Tide's 71-61 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday.

"We don't have a lot of options," said Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried. "We have very little room for error, whether it's foul trouble or a sprained ankle or those kind of issues."

The loss of Davis for the season has forced Alabama to change its offense, moving Ronald Steele from point guard to shooting guard and inserting Brandon Hollinger as the point guard.

"Steele played the majority of one before," said Auburn coach Jeff Lebo. "That gives Steele a little bit more ability to try to score the basketball. They're going to have to change their way of thinking a little bit there, but they're still good inside."

Rebels Trying To Break Streak
Ole Miss is off to a 2-0 start in SEC play for the first time since 2001.

In order to keep up its hot streak, though, the Rebels will have to break a streak that goes back almost as long.

Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State on Saturday. The Rebels have not beaten their state rivals since Jan. 12, 2002, a streak of seven straight losses.

"I'm not really sure exactly what may happen or what to expect," said Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes. "We just want to play well and hopefully we'll end the streak for our own sake."

Not only are the Rebels in an unfamiliar position by being 2-0, but Ole Miss hasn't even been 1-1 for awhile. The 2001-02 season was the last time the Rebels started SEC play by not losing their first two conference games.

The Rebels have not started 3-0 in SEC play since 1997-98 when they finished 12-4 in the SEC and won the Western Division.

Shake-Up In Lexington
After Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt in Rupp Area on Tuesday, Wildcats' coach Tubby Smith decided to shake up his starting lineup.

Randolph Morris, who played for the first time this season in the loss after serving an NCAA suspension, will start against Alabama on Saturday.

"We'll start him on Saturday because he's a real force inside," Smith said. "He needs to get more touches and that's an area we've struggled with all year long.

"But he'll command the ball."

Smith will also start walk-on Ravi Moss, who scored 16 points against Vanderbilt --14 after half. The senior was hit four of his eight 3-point attempts Tuesday. Moss, who was the Wildcats' most accurate 3-point shooter the last two seasons, is 20 of 51 (39.2 percent) from behind the arc this season.

After losses to Vanderbilt and Kansas, the Wildcats have lost consecutive games for the first time in four years.

The last time Kentucky lost consecutive games was in 2002, when they lost to Mississippi State and Georgia to start SEC play. That year, the Wildcats finished 22-10 overall, 10-6 in the SEC and made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

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