Arkansas vs. South Carolina

FAYETTEVILLE -- The same songs will blast through Patrick Beverley's headphones before tip-off.

He won't consciously change his diet today, and the freshman guard won't stretch any differently before Arkansas' 6:30 p.m. contest at South Carolina.

In attempting to win their first road game this season, Arkansas' players and coaches said nothing substantial would change about their daily routine today.

Now, their mindset? That's another issue altogether.

"We've kind of been caught looking at teams lower, as inferior," Beverley said. "Against ranked teams, we feel the need to play hard. Against Ole Miss and Georgia, we didn't. That's a mistake. A big mistake. It changes now."

Beverley has uttered those last three words before. In fact, the Hogs collectively talked like this recently.

In the days leading up to their Jan. 13 road trip to Oxford, Miss., the Razorbacks spoke of not taking a team of lesser talent lightly. They spoke of increased intensity. They spoke of amplified desire.

And then, they lost to Ole Miss, still the Rebels' only Southeastern Conference victory.

"For some reason, we didn't see or treat Ole Miss as a threat," Arkansas forward Charles Thomas said. "We played kind of laid back, and by the time we got things together, it was too late."

In actuality, their road woes stretch further than just their poor showing at Ole Miss. In true road games, the Hogs are 0-4 this season.

So, if the Razorbacks want to capitalize on the momentum from their 72-52 victory Saturday over LSU, they'll need to heed their own advice.

They can't start slowly tonight, like they did at Texas and Florida. They can't buckle under defensive pressure, like they did at Missouri. They can't fail to sustain intensity, like they did at Ole Miss.

And, more than anything, they can't believe that anything less than maximum effort would suffice tonight. Especially since South Carolina has 6-foot guard Tre' Kelley, who continues to fight, and score, through a knee injury.

"In our league, there aren't any bad teams," Arkansas coach Stan Heath said. "Every game is going to be highly contested. Every game is going to be a dogfight."

That said, Heath alluded to some minor changes to preparations for tonight's game.

The Razorbacks didn't practice Tuesday in Colonial Coliseum. On their previous four road trips, they conducted a full workout in their opponents' arena.

But Arkansas practiced in Bud Walton Arena before flying to Columbia on Tuesday. The Hogs had just a shoot-around after arriving.

Also, Heath said Monday he'd switch around some of the room assignments at the team's hotel for Tuesday night.

None of those alterations seemed to bother Beverley, who claimed Monday he'd be disappointed with less than five wins in Arkansas' next six road games.

"Anything might help, but I'm not going to change anything I do right before the game," Beverley said. "I am going to change the way I think about playing on the road, though. Everyone is. For every game, we need to act like the next game is our biggest game of the season. We get that now."



Arkansas at South Carolina

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. TV: None

WHERE: Colonial Coliseum, Columbia, S.C.

RECORDS: Arkansas Razorbacks, 13-6, 2-3 Southeastern Conference; South Carolina, 10-7, 0-4

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

COACHES: Arkansas, Stan Heath (74-63, 5th season; 104-69 overall, 6 seasons); South Carolina, Dave Odom (110-77, 6th season; 388-251 overall, 21st seasons)

SERIES: Arkansas leads 11-6 (South Carolina has won four of the past six meetings)

LAST SEASON: Arkansas won 73-59 on Feb. 4, 2006, in Fayetteville


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