BASKETBALL: Five Keys To An Arkansas Victory

1. BRING HEART, DESIRE Maybe it was the half-full crowd at Coleman Coliseum that a produced a drab atmosphere. Or maybe it was nothing at all that made Arkansas compete with less than a full effort Wednesday night in its loss at Alabama.

Regardless, the Razorbacks can't repeat that type of performance, can't enter Bud Walton Arena with that type of intensity. Being in Fayetteville should help, though, this afternoon against No. 14 Vanderbilt.

The Hogs rarely show up dead in Fayetteville.

"It's nice to be back to a friendly environment after (four out of five) road games," Arkansas senior Steven Hill said. "We'll need it to beat Vanderbilt."

2. DON'T FORGET A.J.

The Razorbacks can't afford to just worry about Vanderbilt senior Shan Foster, a leading candidate for Southeastern Conference Player of the Year. Center A.J. Ogilvy could give the Commodores a sweep by winning Freshman of the Year honors.

Ogilvy, an Australian, averages 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds, stands 6-foot-11, weighs 250 pounds and possesses the footwork of a guard.

"He's big and he has a tremendous, tremendous skill level," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "He has a high, high intellect for playing the game, and at such a young age, that is really impressive."

3. WORK FOR GOOD SHOTS

Arkansas simply needs more patience offensively. Too many shots too early in the shot clock have hurt the Razorbacks. Pelphrey thinks the Hogs could take a hint from Vanderbilt.

"They play the game the right way," Pelphrey said. "Great shooting, spacing, cutting and sharing the basketball."

Sonny Weems, Arkansas' leading scorer, wants more patience.

"I think we're doing a lot of rushing," said Weems, a 6-6 senior. "And it's resulting in a lot of bad shots. If we can just settle down and run our offense, we could be a great team."

4. GET A SECOND SCORER

Weems is the only Razorback averaging in double figures during SEC play at 18.8 per game.

Arkansas desperately needs a solid second scorer to emerge from its next three leading scorers — sophomore Patrick Beverley (9.9) and seniors Darian Townes (9.8) and Gary Ervin (9.5). Weems believes Beverley is that guy.

"We just have to find him a way to get him some easy buckets," Weems said. "Once he gets going, he'll be fine."

5. PICK UP THE PACE

Pelphrey is sick of seeing the Razorbacks score less than 60 points, as they did at Kentucky and at Alabama this past week. He wants an up-tempo game this afternoon.

"I would much rather play in the 70s or 80s (in scoring) than in the 50s or 60s," he said.

VANDERBILT COMMODORES (24-4, 9-4)

TEAM GLANCE

• COACH: Kevin Stallings (10th season)

• LAST TIME OUT: Vanderbilt beat No. 1 Tennessee 72-69 on Feb. 26 in Nashville, Tenn.

• KEY INJURIES: None

LINEUPS

PROBABLE STARTERS

Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG

G Alex Gordon 6-0 Senior 11.0 2.6

G Jermaine Beal 6-3 Sophomore 8.0 2.1

C A.J. Ogilvy 6-11 Freshman 16.6 6.8

F Shan Foster 6-6 Senior 19.8 5.0

F Ross Neltner 6-9 Senior 8.2 5.5

KEY RESERVES

F Alan Metcalfe 6-9 Senior 6.0 2.6

G Keegan Bell 6-1 Freshman 2.9 1.3

F Darshawn McClellan 6-7 Freshman 2.9 3.4

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (18-9, 7-6)

TEAM GLANCE

• COACH: John Pelphrey (1st season)

• LAST TIME OUT: Arkansas lost to Alabama 59-56 on Feb. 27 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

• KEY INJURIES: None

LINEUPS

PROBABLE STARTERS

Name Ht. Cl. PPG RPG

G Gary Ervin 6-0 Senior 9.3 2.5

G Patrick Beverley 6-1 Sophomore 11.2 6.8

C Steven Hill 7-0 Senior 4.9 3.1

F Charles Thomas 6-8 Senior 8.8 4.6

F Sonny Weems 6-6 Senior 15.4 4.8

KEY RESERVES

C Darian Townes 6-10 Senior 11.1 5.0

F Michael Washington 6-10 Sophomore 5.3 4.5

G Stefan Welsh 6-2 Sophomore 5.1 1.6

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