Arkansas at Ole Miss

FAYETTEVILLE — John Pelphrey didn't particularly enjoy Arkansas' biggest win this season. Sure, he was happy the Hogs dispensed of No. 18 Vanderbilt on Saturday. And sure, he was excited to — at least for a few days — be back off of the NCAA Tournament bubble.

But Pelphrey didn't look jubilant Saturday. He seemed ticked off more than anything, frustrated more than ever after watching his Razorbacks perform at home how they haven't on the road. So he didn't sit in the Bud Walton Arena media room and rave repeatedly about his Razorbacks.

Instead, he challenged them to play with consistent passion tonight at Ole Miss. He questioned their toughness, their heart, their desire. He told the media Saturday how his players didn't "need mommy cutting corners off our bread all the time or cutting our chicken nuggets up for us." And he didn't hold back Monday.

"We see plays that are made in Bud Walton Arena that we don't see on the road," Pelphrey said. "We see a togetherness at home that we don't see on the road. We see a lot of things that we don't see on the road. I think the University of Arkansas deserves a basketball team that can play both places."

Pelphrey said he didn't have any plans to shake up Arkansas' routine on the road. One part of this trip will be different, though. Arkansas practiced Sunday in Fayetteville but skipped town Monday afternoon before they could work out to beat the snow. The Razorbacks were set to practice in Oxford on Monday night.

Either way, they would've spent all day Tuesday just waiting for the Super Tuesday contest on ESPN, and Pelphrey isn't worried about their schedule.

"I don't think it has anything to do with where we eat the pre-game meal or what time we got to bed at," Pelphrey said. "We're not going to go see a movie. We're not going to go bowling. ... Our problem is between our ears."

Same as the team the Razorbacks face tonight.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy has just as erratic a group as Pelphrey. The Rebels are 13-2 in the Tad Pad and 1-7 in true road games, losers of their last seven away from Oxford. Sound familiar?

"I think all of us coaches have some frustration with why we can't bottle what we seem to be able to do at home and take it on the road," Kennedy said. "I don't know why that is. Obviously when you're on the road, you cannot depend upon external motivators. It all has to come from within."

Arkansas has struggled with producing that kind of consistent grit, that kind of constant desire, in opposing arenas. The Hogs are 2-5 on the road and their inconsistency last Wednesday at Alabama sparked Pelphrey's recent blunt assessments. But Arkansas' players talked after Saturday's win about a renewed attitude on the road.

Razorbacks assistant coach Rob Evans says it merely "takes time to build up" the mental toughness necessary to win away from home. And all involved seemed hopeful the Hogs could win for just the second time in 12 years in Oxford.

"Let's don't make it complicated," Pelphrey said. "Let's not complicate the fact. History here says that Arkansas hasn't competed well on the road, and that needs to change. It doesn't mean you win every time. But go compete and compete the right way and give yourself a chance.

"I don't feel like we do that all the time, and it's something I want to change."



WHEN: 8 p.m. TV: ESPN (Cox Ch. 25/732HD)

WHERE: Tad Smith Coliseum, Oxford, Miss.

RECORDS: Arkansas, 19-9, 8-6 Southeastern Conference; Ole Miss, 19-9, 5-9

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, John Pelphrey (19-9, 1st season; 99-76, 6 seasons); Ole Miss, Andy Kennedy (42-22, 2nd season; 61-35, 3 seasons)

SERIES: Arkansas leads 40-21 (Ole Miss leads 13-5 in Oxford)

LAST MEETING: Arkansas beat Ole Miss 75-69 on Feb. 9 in Fayetteville

Off in Oxford

Arkansas last won in Tad Smith Coliseum in 2005 and has lost 10 of its last 11 games at Ole Miss.

Year Winner Score

2007 Ole Miss 74-72

2006 Ole Miss 73-70

2005 Arkansas 66-65

2004 Ole Miss 55-45

2003 Ole Miss 73-54

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