Heath, Hogs preparing to face Anderson's Mizzou

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 8:25 pm
By: News On 6

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Stan Heath is downplaying the coaching subplot in Arkansas' next game.

``I look at this game as Missouri against Arkansas,'' the Razorbacks' basketball coach said Tuesday. ``Neither one of the coaches will be on the floor.''

Missouri is now coached by Mike Anderson, an assistant at Arkansas under Nolan Richardson. The Tigers host the Razorbacks on Thursday night.

Arkansas (5-0) is coming off a three-game sweep at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Florida. But as Heath pointed out, those were neutral-site games, and Thursday night's will be anything but.

``We'll be on the road for the first time,'' Heath said. ``We will be tested, we'll have to deal with the crowd and we'll have to deal with stopping their runs and manufacturing our own.''

Heath is encouraged by his team's recent free throw shooting. The Razorbacks shot 81 percent from the line in Orlando.

``Free throws can be contagious and right now they are contagious in a good way,'' Heath said.

Missouri is off to a 7-0 start. Arkansas won the 2005-06 matchup 66-63 after blowing a 14-point 2nd-half lead. Missouri went 9-18 from 3-point range.

Heath expects Anderson's Tigers to apply plenty of pressure.

``We don't know what kind of pressure it will be. It's not the same press,'' Heath said. ``It could be man, trap man, a 2-3 zone, a 1-3-1, a 2-2-1 press or they could run and jump. We will have some turnovers, but our players are used to pressure.''

And Heath says the Razorbacks will also be tenacious on defense.

``There will be pressure from Arkansas, too. There's a building-respect factor for our defense going on,'' he said. ``We've talked about that since day one. Defense needs to be our identity, and it needs to be consistent at home, at neutral sites and on the road.''