Pelphrey hopes low expectations can be a blessing Print
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Tuesday, 09 December 2008 10:03
NCAAB Headline News


 NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -John Pelphrey hopes his team will embrace low expectations.
``Think about this,'' the Arkansas basketball coach said. ``Maybe more than any other time in Razorback history, this basketball team's got a chance to overachieve and have more affection shown toward it than any other team to have played there - outside the national championship team.''
Pelphrey spoke at the Downtown Tip Off Club on Monday during his team's weeklong break between games. The Razorbacks lost their top five scorers from last season, but they're off to a 5-1 start behind freshmen Courtney Fortson and Rotnei Clarke. Returning players Michael Washington and Stefan Welsh also are contributing.
M.
am,'' Pelphrey said. ``You've certainly got to have parameters and guidelines.''
Pelphrey is in his second season as the Razorbacks' coach. A former player at Kentucky, he's plenty familiar with Arkansas' tradition. He talked at length about his respect for former athletic director Frank Broyles and former basketball coach Nolan Richardson.
``At a place like Arkansas, there's no limit to how big we can win,'' Pelphrey said.
Last season, the Razorbacks reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. Arkansas also advanced to the championship game of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Pelphrey talked about the Hogs' win over Tennessee in the SEC semifinals. Arkansas trailed by one in the final seconds, and Gary Ervin slipped a bit with the ball.
``He fell down right in front of me. Can't possibly get worse than that, right?'' Pelphrey said. ``He's on the floor in front of me. Then he throws it to Steven Hill.''
That memory drew a chuckle from the audience at the club. The 7-foot Hill wasn't an offensive force by any means and hadn't made a basket the entire game, but he was able to sink a turnaround jumper with 5.3 seconds remaining to beat Tennessee.
nobody cared who's going to be on the front page of the newspaper the next day. They just cared that we had 40 more minutes of life.''
M game, when only nine players suited up.
``We had a couple guys ... studying,'' he said, referring to his suspended duo. ``We had two freshmen - Andre (Clark) and Brandon (Moore) - on the bench. And Marcus Britt. And the golfer.''
Junior guard Stephen Cox has also been a member of the Arkansas golf team.
Help could be on the way soon. Pelphrey said former Arkansas football player Marcus Monk is expected to join the basketball team soon.
``If you're going to walk on to a basketball team, now's the time to do it at Arkansas,'' Pelphrey said. ``It won't always be like this, I promise.''
 

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