Bouncing Back?

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas forward Charles Thomas doesn't need anyone to analyze his performance in the past few weeks.

The senior already knows how bad it has been.

"Atrocious. Horrible," Thomas said Monday. "Not up to my par. I've really been letting the team down."

Thomas, who is averaging 9.1 points and 4.7 rebounds a game, is hoping to snap out of a nasty slump when the Razorbacks (18-8, 7-5 in Southeastern Conference) play at Alabama (14-13, 3-9) on Wednesday. The senior is averaging just 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds the past six games. He also is averaging 3.7 turnovers and has fouled out of two games during the woeful stretch.

The poor play has come on the heels of Thomas' one-game suspension for violating team rules. He lost his starting job because of the suspension, but doesn't believe it has wrecked his confidence. He just wants the struggles to end with the season winding down, though.

"It's horrible," Thomas said. "Obviously I feel like I'm one of the leaders on the team. I put so much pressure on myself to go out there every night and give it my best, but right now my best doesn't cut it so I've got to do something different."

Finding answers isn't easy. Thomas said he has met with Arkansas coach John Pelphrey and assistants Rob Evans and Tom Ostrom in hopes they can help him snap the funk. Pelphrey was asked about Thomas' struggles and said much of it is "fundamental stuff."

"All of these seniors just need to make sure they're focusing on the right things, playing as hard as they can, being a good teammate and doing what they can to help the team," Pelphrey said. "Any other thought process that gets there is doing nothing but screwing them up, taking their mind and thoughts away from the things that give us a chance to be successful."

Thomas plans to cut back on the mental mistakes and remain aggressive. He also wants to correct what he called a "lack of focus."

If he can accomplish those things Thomas said the difficult slump — no matter how tough it has been — will eventually come to an end.

"I'm going to get it together," Thomas said. "It's one of those things. It's going to come. It's just a matter of doing so."



Who is No. 2?

Arkansas knows it's unquestioned offensive leader is senior forward Sonny Weems. But who else can the Razorbacks rely on? Arkansas didn't really have an answer against Kentucky.

Weems scored 26 points in the loss. Gary Ervin was the next highest scorer with eight points. All of his points came in the first half.

Patrick Beverley, Arkansas' second-leading leading scorer (11.5 points) was disappointed after being held to a season-low four points. Darian Townes, the team's third-leading scorer (10.8), had just six.

Pelphrey said Weems will need more help at Alabama.

"For whatever reason, we're not getting the consistency we need," Pelphrey said. "It's one of two things: You can give credit to the other team's defense or you can say we need to operate at a higher level."



Get Ready

The Razorbacks weren't exactly looking forward to practice after the sloppy performance against the Wildcats.

Ervin mentioned he was a little "scared" to go into the locker room after warming up on the court Monday. Pelphrey was inside waiting to speak to the team and it's regular film session

"It's probably going to be a really intense practice," center Steven Hill added. "We had an off day (Sunday) after a bad loss. It's probably going to be pretty terrible, but that's how it goes."



Townes Pleads Guilty

Townes pled guilty Monday to a misdemeanor failure to appear charge in Washington County District Court and paid a $530 fine, a court administrator said. The senior failed to appear for a January court date that stemmed from a September violation of Arkansas' seat belt law.

Townes, who averages 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, was arrested as part of a traffic stop on Jan. 19. When police offices noticed an arrest warrant for Townes, he was brought to Washington County Jail on the failure to appear charge. Townes wasn't suspended for any games.



Staff writer Ryan Malashock contributed to this report.

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