Keeping It Going

Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey looks back at Sunday's win over Georgia and ahead to Wednesday night's home game with Ole Miss.

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey met with the media Monday to preview the Razorbacks' 7:05 p.m., match-up with Ole Miss Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena. The game will not be televised.

The Razorbacks are coming off an 89-67 win over Georgia Sunday at home, capping a weekend full of festitivites honoring the school's 1994 national championship team. Pelphrey said despite the team being a bit fatigued from all that went into the weekend, the excitement of possibly winning two in-a-row overrides it.

"From my focus, we've got one now let's try and get two," Pelphrey said. "It's been a while since we were able to win two games in a row. That needs to be our focus. There's just not a lot of games left, period. There won't be too much of a hangover from (the weekend)."

Arkansas guard Rotnei Clarke scored 19 points in the Razorbacks' win over the weekend. Clarke, who hit 4-of-11 attempts from 3-point range, has now hit at least four treys in six of Arkansas' last seven games. But other parts of Clarke's game have allowed him to play better.

"He's been better going to the basket and getting in the lane, and the others have done a better job finding him," Pelphrey said. "I've always said he's much more than a 3-point shooter. If you're just that, it will be hard to get a 3-point shot. He has to learn to do other things better to make him more of an offensive threat."

Clarke, who shoots 500 shots a day each night, said he has been working on his shot more in practice.

"I could have shot better yesterday," said Clarke, who finished 6-of-15 from the field. "I was happy with the win. I've been trying to do other things when my shot isn't falling."

Clarke said being around the championship team over the weekend helped the current team's mentality, especially in playing well at home. Arkansas is just 2-5 in SEC play at home this season and will record the first losing record in conference in the venue's 16-year history.

"Hopefully we've learned something from those guys that were here about winning and the importance of protecting Bud Walton Arena," Clarke said.

Clarke said part of what made Arkansas so effective against Georgia was the team's ability to create turnovers. The Razorbacks forced a season-high 15 steals in the win.

"I wish we could press more," said Clarke, who acknowledged the team's lack of depth. "Yesterday our defense was our offense. It created several opportunities for us."

Stefan Welsh, who scored 14 off the bench in the win, said the Georgia was the first time he had been 100 percent with a toe injury since Arkansas lost to Tennessee on Feb. 4.

Ole Miss is coming in off back-to-back double-digit losses to Auburn and Alabama.

The Rebels beat Arkansas 74-65 earlier this season in Oxford, a game in which Arkansas trailed by as many as 21 points. That was the second game of the conference season for the Hogs, who started the year 12-1. When asked if the first game was the time he noticed the team might be a little over-hyped, Pelphrey said he never pinpointed a time.

"After we beat Texas I said our greatest challenged lie ahead of us, and I meant that," Pelphrey said. "I understood who our team was in we had to overachieve at a lot of different places and that by having success against one team that was fourth in the country and one team that was seventh in the country, all we did was get our opponents' attention.

"I never thought there was a point where it went all wrong because I've never felt like that. A lot of times we haven't got the rewards of all our hard work - we haven't made the plays that we needed to make."

When speaking of the Rebels, Pelphrey said he has been most impressed by 6-foot-5 freshman guard Terrico White, who is averaging 17.5 points per game in Southeastern Conference play.

"When you look at Ole Miss right now, you think of Terico White," Pelphrey said. "He's playing outstanding basketball and certainly has made a lot of progress this season in a very short period of time. For a first-year player, he has done remarkably well."

White was recruited by Pelphrey out of Memphis Craigmont High School last season and even came to Arkansas on an unofficial visit.

Pelphrey also praised the improvement of forwards Malcolm White and Murhpy Holloway, and big guard Zach Graham for the Rebels, who lost four guards to knee injuries early in the season.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories