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March 10, 2006

Ronnie Brewer

Stan Heath

Charles Thomas


THE MODERATOR: We're ready to continue on with Arkansas. We'll ask Coach Heath if he'll give us some opening comments on the game and then we'll go to questions for Ronnie and Charles. Coach.

COACH STAN HEATH: We lost to a very good Florida basketball team and I thought they played well tonight, very well. We had a hard time guarding them and I thought, you know, two things: We were a little bit lax maybe to our attention to Humphreys. He torched us with shot after shot after shot and Tauren and Green really stepped up big. You know, he's had maybe -- he's been terrific all season long but he's had a little bit of a lull in terms of being a high percentage shooter and tonight he found his rhythm and got it going and the three point shooting as well as maybe our against not being at the level it's been at throughout the season were the two things I thought was the difference in the game.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for either Ronnie or Charles if you'll raise your hand. Alright. Start right on the aisle.

Q. Ronnie, what was your injury in the mid game and how did that affect you?
RONNIE BREWER: Well, I came down and I caught a cramp in my thigh and then when I fell I got a cramp in my left thigh as well. I just tried to stretch out when I went out the game and just tried to get back in the game and provide a spark for my team and try to make place to help our team.

THE MODERATOR: Other questions? Go ahead, Bob.

Q. Yes, for Ronnie. Obviously during the winning streak you guys got some a pretty big game from Darian and he didn't get a lot of shots tonight. I know the coach, he's been a little concerned about the inside game. You guys need to do a better job of getting him the ball. Do they need to work hard to get it? Just talk about the inside game.
RONNIE BREWER: I think that can go both ways. I think you can always do something to make your team better so maybe our guards need to try to pay a little more detail to throw the ball inside to the post and maybe he needs to work harder a little bit. You never know.
They played the zone a little bit so it was kind of difficult to try to throw it in the low post so we were trying to throw it to the high post into Charles and make him dump it down inside but we just got to find a way to get those guys going because whenever they're playing well for us, it makes our team a lot better.

THE MODERATOR: Question on the aisle, go ahead.

Q. Both players. Can you describe just the mindset now, does this one already in the rearview mirror, let's go get to the next one next week?

THE MODERATOR: Charles, you're first on that one.

CHARLES THOMAS: What I'm thinking right now, this is behind us right now. We're a very angry group so I think the next game that we're going for right now we're going to kill. Just behind us right now. We have to look forward.


RONNIE BREWER: I just now think that we need to go into practice focused just try to get better and try to move on. This game is behind us. You can't do anything about it. You got to prepare ourselves for whoever we face in the tournament.

THE MODERATOR: Another question in the back, go ahead.

Q. Hey, guys, this is for both of you. Do you think this big game atmosphere in this arena, playing the high level of competition, is this going to help you guys in the NCAA tournament when you're on a neutral court playing who knows?


RONNIE BREWER: I think it's definitely going to help us. A lot of fans came out to support both teams and it's going to be atmosphere like the NCAA tournament. So I think it helped us prepare us and only going to make us better down the stretch.


CHARLES THOMAS: We've been there before in Maui, played on the big stage with great competition. We've been there before, you know. It's just not a walk in the park for us. This right here is really helping us towards the NCAA tournament. Whatever games that we go through is going to help us and make us a better team.

THE MODERATOR: Hands up? Time for one or two more for either Ronnie or Charles? Anyone. Alright. We'll excuse you return to the locker room. Thank you. And we'll continue on with questions for Coach Heath if you have one, please raise your hand.

Q. Stan, I was driving back from Little Rock on Sunday I heard this on the radio, you beat Georgia down there, you said you played real well but you felt like the inside game was a little bit of a concern. Kind of assess that after tournament what did you think you guys need to do for the NCAA tournament?
COACH STAN HEATH: I still think we can get more out of our inside guys but put an asterisk by that because Charles Thomas and has been a yeomen.
He's been outstanding down the stretch and really the last you know five, six, seven games as we've been playing, his scoring has picked up, he's always been a tough defender.
I really think the main guy we're talking about is a guy like Darian Townes. Steven is a guy who I think his offense is going to come and we're working on it. We see a lot of glimpses on it in practice.
Darian averaged about 11, 12 points a game for us as a freshman. We're really not getting the same sort of production from him. I think the answer is correct, it is a two-fold situation. We've got to give him the ball. He's got to recognize some double-teams.
He's got to have some patience down there and go to some moves that are -- that are going to get him a good shot and not rush and hurry things and then we've got to get him more touches so he doesn't get -- you know, so quick with it when he gets it and that's just something we've got to continue to work on.
I think us maybe going to a little bit more motion has maybe taken away from maybe the sets and the isolations we used to look at a little bit more. We've mixed in some things. We didn't probably use as many of them today as we have but if we can get him going, it's an added dimension to our team that can make us better and that's something that I certainly know and am trying to accomplish in the next -- before we get to these next games.
Q. (Inaudible.)
COACH STAN HEATH: In fairness to him, if you're a big guy and maybe you only touch it about three, four times, you're going to be a little bit quick to make something happen and he's still young. He's just a sophomore and he's just got to learn that hey, you know, when I get it, I can still show some patience and playing inside out if I get doubled team or if I throw it back in I can get it back again. I don't need to force it. That's just something that as he matures he'll get better at.

THE MODERATOR: Question in the back.

Q. Stan, looking ahead to the Big Dance next week, you've got a team that has zero experience in this thing but you've got plenty of experience obviously with your days at MSU and what did you at Kent State. What are you going to tell these guys in preparation for this new season?
COACH STAN HEATH: There's still a lot of things, we don't know who we're playing, where we're going, anything like that but I think the main thing that we talked a little bit about in the locker room was you know, we are in a new season and we faced a little bit this weekend of what one-and-done is like and I just put a little pressure on the seniors letting them know that we lose again, that's it you know, that might be the last time you play again.
So the urgency has really got to pick up and I he can code that with every play on the team that you know whether you're the last man on the bench, your role is very important, whether you're waving a towel, whether you're giving encouragement.
All those things are very important to our team so, you know, the biggest thing that we've got to make sure that we do is if there's any, you know egos or agendas or anything like that, that's got to be out the window.
It's all about winning, it's all about team play, it's all about playing with your heart out there on the court and the thing that I'm really proud about our guys tonight was we didn't necessarily have our A game. Part of that may have been Florida, but, you know, we shot poorly. Their defense was pretty good.
We didn't defend as well as we've been defending but we scraped and we hustled and we did everything we could to give ourselves a chance to win and we were within three points and so we did the effort things that I'm pleased about. We could have played a little bit smarter. We could have, you know, maybe done a little bit more better job of knowing who Humphreys was and handling the situation a little bit better. The effort was certainly there and the heart was certainly there.

THE MODERATOR: Other questions? Anyone? Alright. Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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