What Mike Anderson, players said previewing Mississippi State

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2019
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson, left, argues a call with a referee during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 79-78. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson, left, argues a call with a referee during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Missouri Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 79-78. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Daniel Gafford and Isaiah Joe

DG: I feel good physically. I got some treatment yesterday and feel good. I got my game back, but I could have done more to help us get the win, but it is what it is.

IJ: It’s a big honor to break a record. I would have rather gotten the win and not broken the record, but you don’t know how the game is going to go, but it’s a great honor.

DG: The record is a well-deserved thing for Isaiah. I’m just happy for him because he gets in the gym and works hard on his shot every day and it shows in the game.

DG: I’ve seen Reggie Perry play, but not at Mississippi State, but I heard he’s doing some good things. We have to be ready for him when he comes into Bud Walton.

IJ: I played AAU ball with him for a while. It was an unexpected change when he had a change of mind, but I'm happy for him and I wish the best for him. Going into the game there's probably going to be a lot of emotions in the air, so you've just got to play hard.

DG: I’m not going to knock him on his head for not coming here. I’ve met him once and he’s a real good kid. I guess he just didn’t feel this program and I can’t blame him for that.

DG: Quinndary Weatherspoon is the table setter for them. He can do everything. He can come in and rebound and we have to pay attention to the little things he does and make sure he doesn’t do those things here.

IJ: I feel good about the remaining schedule. We went on one run and we can go on another one. Hopefully at the end of the season we can be in a position to get in the tournament.

DG: We have to have the mindset that we need to start coming out and playing like men. We can't just come out and have those bad starts we've had in those games we've lost. We just have to come out and play basketball every one of those games. We can't come out playing soft and playing slow. We have to play the Fastest 40. We have to be ready for any and every matchup for each of those teams because they're going to be tough teams down this last stretch that we have. We want to make noise with this program, so we have to come out and play basketball.

DG: Our execution could be way better down the stretch. We have to be crisp because the only time we’ve lost games is because we don’t do the right things at the right time. We have to be together in those moments down the stretch. … It’s real frustrating but coming out of those games, it teaches us lessons. Not being able to execute to get us wins or go to OT, it tells us we have to be crisp. We have to play with level heads and not in a rush because if we do that we’ll give it back to the other team.

DG: We just have to keep the same mindset we had coming out to start the game. If we keep the same mindset we win the game at South Carolina and Missouri. We settled at South Carolina in the second half, gambled and it hurt us. … We were just satisfied with that lead and let it get away.

IJ: We have to run them off the line and not let them get comfortable. We have to be aggressive, play passing lanes and grab the long rebounds.

Mike Anderson

– Mississippi State just came off a big conference win. It’s a big game for us and a chance to protect the home court against a team that was in the top 15 at one time. Great size. The Weatherspoon brothers (are good) and Lamar Peters is another talented guard. We want to find the consistency to play at a high level. The most important game is the Mississippi State game.

– I thought for the first 28 minutes we played good defense at South Carolina. Missouri, we came out a little sluggish and didn’t have the energy. Don’t know if it was the quick turnaround. We have to do it for 40 minutes, not 25-28 minutes. Sometimes it goes hand in hand with scoring. Give Missouri credit, they came out and made some shots.

– Reggie Perry is a skilled forward who can score and passes the ball well. He’s playing well right now. He’s at Mississippi State. He’s a good basketball player.

– On Quinndary Weatherspoon: He can score inside and outside and it seems like he’s playing some of his best basketball at the right time. He’s been around a while.

– We work on late-game situations in practice each and every day. You have to learn it in games. If you persevere and learn from it, it’ll turn in your favor. We’re going to be in more games like that this year. Guys are putting themselves in position to win, but it’s about players making plays. It’s not always an offensive deal. It can be on defense, too, a hustle play, switching at the wrong time. Those things adds up. If you nullify some of those things, the execution you’re talking about will happen.

– Isaiah coming in, you thought he was going to add on to what we already had. For a young guy coming from high school, and he weighs a generous 165, he’s done a really good job doing what we’re asking him to do. He takes charges, defends and his future his really, really bright here.

– Good to see Keyshawn playing with confidence. He’s starting to come into his own and you’ve seen some of the explosion offensively and he’s shown flashes defensively. It’s real critical for him to continue to come on. The secret to this team is they control their own destiny if they play consistently.

– We’ve had a tough schedule all year long, so every game has been significant and it continues. Now we’re going to be playing teams that had good nonconference schedules and are playing well in league. It’s a good opportunity for us.

– I was glad to see Dan bounce back. He’s very capable of doing it. He’s a big part of what we do, and we talk about things going through him. He may be the guy making the pass. He’s got to be consistent in what he brings, too.

– 3-point shooting is going to be big Saturday. We have to be with those guys who can shoot the ball. Aric Holman can step out and shoot it from deep, too. Reggie can as well. They have multiple guys who can shoot. Our defense is going to have to be everywhere. South Carolina had wide open shots where the assignment and execution broke down. We can’t let them just have wide open shots. Most guys are going to make those shots.

– Bobby Portis is the ultimate ambassador and one of the favorite sons of this state. What a great honor for him, who is nothing but class. Thinking about what he did here, he exploded onto the scene. The headband, the smile, all of that. I’m happy for him that he’s being recognized by his high school.

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