Lack Of Roles, Confidence Hampering Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE — Effort wasn't the problem. Arkansas coach Stan Heath couldn't identify any players who gave less than 100 percent in the Hogs' 71-56 loss Saturday against Texas Tech.

The Razorbacks tried hard, Heath said. In fact, he said, they may have tried hard to a fault. Point guard Gary Ervin and small forward Sonny Weems provided the most visible examples. Ervin committed six turnovers, often forcing the issue and prematurely picking up his dribble. Weems disappeared after nailing a 3-pointer to open the game, failing to deal with Texas Tech's pressure defense. "I think the biggest thing that will help both of them is when they start playing to their strengths," Heath said. "It appears sometimes that they're trying to do a little bit of everything instead of just playing to the things that they're good at." An absent comfort level immediately was noticeable Saturday. Arkansas missed 10 of its first 11 shots from the field and never found an offensive flow. Mostly, the Hogs showed little confidence with the ball. A usual sighting contained one Arkansas player dribbling and four standing around watching. Arkansas' players weren't cutting. They weren't setting screens. They weren't calling for the ball. Heath said a lack of defined roles served as the biggest reason for the stagnant offense. "We're getting so close to SEC season," Heath said, "and we need to figure when it's key situations, who's shooting (3-pointers), who should be driving the ball little bit more and who should be touching the ball when." Early on Saturday, no one looked too interested in scoring. Ervin repeatedly pounded the ball into the ground, unable to find open teammates. "It was tough because of their defense," Ervin said. "We just didn't handle it like I know we can." Weems couldn't use his athletic ability to his benefit. Every time he touched the ball, he attempted to do too much and often dribbled into traffic. Freshman guard Patrick Beverley misfired on 3-pointers, Charles Thomas couldn't get open and Steven Hill's presence was nonexistent. More than anything, Thomas said, the Hogs need to adopt a confident attitude with their offense. Right now, there's too much confusion. Too much uncertainty. "This has to be a wake-up call for us," said Thomas, who eventually became Arkansas' lone threat in the second half, scoring 19 of his 21 points. "We can't just stand around and expect somebody else to do it." WEDNESDAY'S TICKET ARKANSAS AT TEXAS WHEN: 8 p.m. WHERE: Frank Erwin Special Events Center, Austin, Texas TV: ESPN2 RADIO: KXIO-FM 106.9; KEZA-FM 107.9; KKEG-FM 92.1; KFPW-AM 1230; KQBK-FM 104.7; KHGG-AM 1580; KHGG-FM 103.1; KDYN-AM 1540; KDYN-FM 96.7; KTTG-FM 96.3 RECORDS: Arkansas 8-2, Texas 7-2 HEAD COACHES: Arkansas, Stan Heath (fifth season); Texas, Rick Barnes (ninth season)

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