Pelphrey Not Interested In Lobbying

FAYETTEVILLE — Of course, Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey has an opinion about whether his team deserves to make the NCAA Tournament.

But he's not about to state it publicly.

Pelphrey had several opportunities during a news conference Thursday to lobby for why the Razorbacks (19-10, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) should receive one of the tournament's at-large bids. But he didn't take the bait.

"I believe that games are won and lost on the court. Nobody really cares what I think," Pelphrey said. "And I can tell you a lot of stuff, but unless we perform, it doesn't really matter.

"So I believe the proof is in the pudding. We'll get what we deserve."

National media outlets have debated Arkansas' chances of making the NCAA Tournament, and Tuesday's 81-72 loss at Ole Miss didn't help the Razorbacks' cause.

The popular perception is that Arkansas has done enough to earn an invite, even as the Hogs prepare to face Auburn at 5 p.m. Saturday in possibly their final game of the season in Bud Walton Arena.

Pelphrey said his focus is on Auburn, not on whether the Razorbacks will be heading to the NCAA Tournament later this month.

"Anything I would say would just be another opinion to the pile," Pelphrey said.

Pelphrey, however, wanted to make it clear that going to the Big Dance is a priority. He just doesn't think lobbying to the NCAA selection committee does his team any good.

"To say that you're not interested to go to postseason play, I don't think that's accurate," Pelphrey said. "I understand and our coaching staff understands and we're trying to convey to our players that the way you do that (make the tournament) is by performing as well as you possibly can in your next game. I can't control anything else."

Weems On The Rebound

Arkansas forward Sonny Weems hasn't had to bounce back from too many bad shooting nights this season. This is one of those times, though.

Weems, who's Arkansas' leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, had one of his worst performances of the season in Tuesday's loss at Ole Miss.

The senior missed his first seven shots and didn't score until the final four minutes. He finished with five points on 2-of-11 shooting.

"It was just one of those nights. Everybody has one of those nights," Weems said Thursday. "You've just got to bounce back. You have to just go into the next game."

Weems said he didn't think Ole Miss did anything special defensively to get him out of his rhythm.

"I was just missing easy shots that I normally make," Weems said.

Pelphrey said Weems perhaps made things tougher on himself by taking shots that weren't ideal.

"I did feel like Sonny took some shots early in the (shot) clock that were probably challenged, but then also got some very good looks as well," Pelphrey said. "Sonny has made tough shots this year."

On The Townes

Arkansas forward/center Darian Townes has shown over the past two games that he could be a scoring threat, as well as a starter.

Townes has scored 13 and 18 points in his two starts this season, giving the Razorbacks a third scoring option to go along with Weems and guard Patrick Beverley.

"Yeah, I'm the third option," Townes said. "Well, I think I'm the first option."

Townes ranks third on the team in scoring (11.4 points per game) despite the fact that he spent the first 27 games of the season as a backup.

"You're adrenaline is higher when you start than coming off the bench. So it's a big difference," Townes said. "I'm still playing the same way; I don't see anything that's different."

No Changes — Yet

Some college basketball coaches have been known to switch up their lineups so their seniors could start their final home game.

But Pelphrey said he hasn't set his starting lineup for Saturday's game against Auburn, which will also be Senior Night for six of Arkansas' players.

Even if Pelphrey decided to have a starting lineup made up entirely of seniors, at least one upperclassmen would have to begin the game on the bench because there are not enough starting spots to accommodate all of them.

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