Five Keys To An Arkansas Victory

1. 40 MINUTES OF ORDINARY Doesn't sound too compelling, does it? Well, the product of first-year coach John Pelphrey's love of "ordinary things" can entertain and, more importantly, can lead to victories. The Razorbacks demolished division-leading Mississippi State on Wednesday night through grit, hustle and chemistry.

"I think we have found a foundation here a little bit," Pelphrey said.

From here on out, beginning today against No. 20 Florida, the Hogs must build on that. They must produce more of the kind of play Pelphrey demands — more dives on the floor, more charges taken, more encouragement of one another.

"Effort, energy and togetherness can overrun a lot of other stuff in terms of schemes and styles and plays," Pelphrey said.

2. GUARD GATOR SHOOTERS

The thought of Florida snapping passes around, finding open shooters and draining jump shot after jump shot frightens Pelphrey. The Gators rank third in the Southeastern Conference in 3-point percentage (38.5) and can hurt opponents from most spots on the court.

In SEC play, freshman guard Jai Lucas shoots 61.1 percent (11 of 18) from 3-point range. Freshman swingman Nick Calathes makes 45.2 percent (14-31). And junior guard Walter Hodge makes 37 percent (10 of 27).

"Florida's spacing, passing and shooting is lethal," Pelphrey said. "It just really puts heat on you. They're good enough on any given night to make enough 3-point shots to beat you."

3. QUICK START FOR WEEMS

For most of this season, Arkansas senior Sonny Weems had been a second-half scorer. More often than not, the 6-foot-6 swingman has needed the first half to work out some offensive kinks.

Not lately, though. In the Hogs' last two games, both victories, Weems has scored 29 of his 43 points before halftime. Another swift start would surely fuel the Razorbacks.

"I'm just looking for my shot a lot more and being more aggressive," Weems said. "I'm just taking what the defense gives me. I'm not forcing anything."

4. BE SMART WITH THE BALL

The Razorbacks have recorded more than 17 turnovers just once in 2008. They do still struggle with decision-making, but they have improved, and that must continue.

"We're just being smarter," Arkansas point guard Gary Ervin said. "Coach (Pelphrey) tells us, it's the middle of the season and the teams that get the most possessions are going to win the game."

5. RATTLE THE YOUTH

Six of Florida's eight leaders in minutes played are either freshmen or sophomores. Ervin sternly said the Gators weren't performing like their age, "their freshmen are like sophomores now."

But the inexperienced Gators, 2-2 on the road this season, aren't immune to getting rattled.

FLORIDA GATORS (18-3, 5-1)

TEAM GLANCE

• COACH: Billy Donovan (12th season)

• LAST TIME OUT: Florida beat Vanderbilt 86-64 on Jan. 27 in Gainesville, Fla.

• KEY INJURIES: None

LINEUPS

PROBABLE STARTERS

Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG

G Jai Lucas 5-11 Freshman 9.7 1.8

G Walter Hodge 6-0 Junior 10.1 2.2

F Nick Calathes 6-6 Freshman 16.0 5.0

F Dan Werner 6-7 Sophomore 8.4 6.9

C Marreese Speights 6-10 Sophomore 14.1 7.9

KEY RESERVES

F Chandler Parsons 6-9 Freshman 5.3 3.2

F Jonathan Mitchell 6-7 Sophomore 3.3 2.3

F Alex Tyus 6-8 Junior 3.7 2.3

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (15-5, 4-2)

TEAM GLANCE

• COACH: John Pelphrey (1st season)

• LAST TIME OUT: Arkansas beat Mississippi State 78-58 on Jan. 30 in Fayetteville

• KEY INJURIES: None

LINEUPS

PROBABLE STARTERS

Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG

G Stefan Welsh 6-2 Freshman 4.9 1.6

G Patrick Beverley 6-1 Freshman 12.2 6.6

C Steven Hill 7-0 Junior 5.2 3.1

F Michael Washington 6-10 Sophomore 5.6 4.8

F Sonny Weems 6-6 Junior 14.4 4.6

KEY RESERVES

F Charles Thomas 6-8 Senior 10.5 5.1

G Gary Ervin 6-0 Junior 8.8 2.5

F Darian Townes 6-10 Junior 10.7 5.0

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