Heath Admits He Underestimated Trojans

FAYETTEVILLE -- At some point, Arkansas coach Stan Heath plans to sit down and watch footage of Friday's loss to Southern California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

But he's in no rush to do it just yet.

Even without reviewing the tape of the 77-60 loss, Heath admitted Tuesday that he underestimated the Trojans while scouting them out in the days leading up to the game.

"Up close, I have to give them a little more credit than what I actually saw on film," Heath said.

In particular, Heath said he was surprised by how easily USC forward Taj Gibson was able to get to the basketball and find his spots on the court. Gibson scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three blocks.

"He created a bigger problem than I thought he would be able to do against us," Heath said.



No Departures Anticipated

Even as rumors continue to circulate about his future at Arkansas, Heath said he hasn't gotten any indication that any of his players are considering transferring to another school.

Heath plans to meet individually with his players early next week to discuss where he sees them fitting in with the team in the future. But as of Tuesday, he said he wasn't aware of anyone looking to leave.

"Every year, it's not surprising if someone wants to look at some other situation for playing-time reason; normally that's the case," Heath said. "And if that's the case, we'll do everything we can to assist any person that wants that.

"But right now, no one has made any indications like that whatsoever."

Heath said he also doesn't anticipate any players, such as center Steven Hill, deciding to leave school early for a chance to play in the NBA.

"I would be blindsided by that one, to be honest with you," Heath said.



Recruiting Needs

Heath said he's not done with this year's recruiting class. He wouldn't mind signing a point guard and another big man.

But it's the 2008-09 recruiting class that Heath said he's excited about, especially since he'll have seven scholarships to work with.

"That junior class is critical, and I really feel like right now we're involved in some of the best juniors in the country -- maybe one of the best classes we've been able to get involved with at this point in time," Heath said.



Less Time For Beverley

If Heath has his way, Arkansas fans will see a little less of guard Patrick Beverley next season.

Despite being a freshman, Beverley led the Razorbacks in playing time, getting an average of 34.4 minutes per game. That's way too much, according to Heath.

"I'd like to see him a little bit more (closer to) about 30 (minutes per game); 30 would be a lot better for him," Heath said. "And with Stefan (Welsh) coming on toward the end of the year, I think that's realistic."

Beverley, who was named the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the year, ranked fourth in the league in minutes per game.

And as Arkansas' leading scorer, there were times when the guard would be on the floor for long stretches without getting a break.

After a while, Heath said he believes the extra playing time took a toll on Beverley.

"In my opinion, I think those last two or three games, he probably hit that wall," Beverley said.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories