Razorbacks Rest Up, Regroup For Indiana

FAYETTEVILLE — The sun did come up Monday, just like Arkansas coach John Pelphrey promised Sunday, moments after his Razorbacks lost out on a chance to win a Southeastern Conference championship.

And though the sting of their loss to Georgia isn't gone, the Razorbacks can't dwell on the past any longer, Pelphrey said.

"That's what we've got to do here," Pelphrey said on Monday's SEC teleconference. "We have to get to the next (game).

"(Sunday) was a little bit of a bizarre day in terms of being disappointed, not being able to win the championship, and then literally minutes later, understanding we made the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, that was a huge goal for us at the start of the season. We have several days now or preparation and practice and we have a chance to play Indiana."

So, as Pelphrey stated, on to the future. The Razorbacks, the ninth seed in the East Regional, take on the Hoosiers at about 8:40 p.m. Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.

Both, Arkansas (22-11) and Indiana (25-7), which has lost three of its last four games, face the challenge of putting recent failure out of memory. Otherwise, the teams spent Monday in different ways.

Indiana practiced and its players spoke with the media; Arkansas took a mandated day off.

"We'll go (two practices) on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then leave some time Wednesday," Pelphrey said.

Indiana's sudden demise, which included a first-round loss in the Big Ten Tournament, ensured Arkansas would have to prepare for a high-quality foe for a No. 8 seed. The Hoosiers, once ranked in the Top 10 this season, had the full attention of Pelphrey and his assistants Monday.

Pelphrey said he had seen Indiana "a little bit, not extensively," as of Monday morning.

"Not as much as I will have by this time (Tuesday)," Pelphrey said.

When the Hogs do get back to practice Tuesday, they won't immediately jump into Indiana prep. Scouting is important to Pelphrey. But, more importantly, he said, "This time of year, you just have to do fundamental things well."

Pelphrey mentioned defending and rebounding without fouling as keys. Making sure the right players are shooting and not turning the ball over, as well.

Indiana interim coach Dan Dakich, who took over six games ago for former coach Kelvin Sampson, possesses the same approach. But that didn't keep his players from revealing their own scouting reports on the Razorbacks.

Eric Gordon, a 6-foot-4 freshman guard and a projected top-five NBA draft pick, watched said by phone Monday that he watched the Hogs' game Sunday.

"They have very quick guards, and they play a fast tempo," said Gordon, the Big Ten's freshman of the year.

But he gives Indiana a great shot to win over Arkansas' "well-rounded type team" if the Hoosiers dictate the pace of the game.

"They're a team that scores in the — I don't know — 80s, 90s and we're a team that will slow them down," Gordon said. "We should be able to (limit Arkansas' scoring) by our style of play."



NCAA EAST REGIONAL TICKET

NO. 8 INDIANA VS. NO. 9 ARKANSAS

WHEN: 8:40 p.m., Friday TV: CBS (Cox Ch. 5)

WHERE: RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C.

RECORDS: Indiana 25-7, Arkansas 22-11

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: Indiana, Dan Dakich (3-3, 1st season; 159-143, 11 seasons), Arkansas, John Pelphrey (22-11, 1st season; 102-78, 6 seasons)

SERIES: Indiana leads 1-0

LAST MEETING: Indiana beat Arkansas 75-50 in the 1949-50 season

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