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What Eric Musselman said after Arkansas’ loss at Georgia

Eric Musselman’s last press conference was short. In both length and and demeanor.

Wednesday, following Arkansas’ loss to Georgia, the Razorbacks’ head coach was calmer, though he didn’t speak long again.

The Razorbacks never led in falling to the Bulldogs in Athens, 76-66. They stayed within single digits for most of the second half, but never came closer than three points.

Arkansas now needs to go 11-3 in SEC play the rest of the way to reach 20 regular-season wins. Twenty is the usual line of demarcation for teams to make the NCAA Tournament.

Teams have made it with fewer. Still, Arkansas has to play much better over the last half of the season than it did in the first half.

Musselman is fully aware. Check out what he had to say in his press conference below.

Difference in halves

Jan 10, 2024; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs center Russel Tchewa (54) works against the defense of Arkansas Razorbacks forward Makhi Mitchell (15) during the first half at Stegeman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2024; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs center Russel Tchewa (54) works against the defense of Arkansas Razorbacks forward Makhi Mitchell (15) during the first half at Stegeman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I thought we had good ball movement. I thought we had good spacing. Ran more middle pick-and-rolls. But the 3 for 21 from 3, if you’re a shooter you’ve got to make open shots. We did a great job on their leading scorere. He made one field goal. It was on a broken play, broken pass. … I thought the difference in the game was some of their shooters making shots. … You look at our 3-point numbers, look at every other statistical category. Both teams shot 22 foul shots. Turnovers (were similar). We took much better care of the basketball. Five second-half turnovers as opposed to the 10 turnovers we had at halftime. Did a really bad job of taking care of the basketball in the first half.

Georgia converted turnovers

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

They played better than us.

Toughness and spirit a bit better?

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

I thought we played hard. Again, we come out of timeouts and have at least three times wide-open looks and miss them. Then they come down and their shooters are making shots and ours are not. We’re obviously not the defensive team that we’ve been over the last four years. We’re not guarding the ball like we have. We’re certainly not guarding the 3-point shot. If your overall team defense is not up to what it’s been in the past, then your offense should be better. We had a bunch of defenders in the past that could go 3 for 21.

Tramon Mark's game

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

We moved him to the point. Middle pick-and-roll, he was phenomenal. We only take 22 foul shots. He takes 10 of the 22. I thought he was super effective. He leads us rebounding. Our two guards did a great job on the glass, Devo and T-Mark. I thought he did a good job attacking the basket. And he had three steals, an area we talked about creating more turnovers and certainly his three steals were what we were looking for.

Keyon Menifield struggles again

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

They were trapping the pick-and-roll but he’s struggled in both SEC games. These guards are strong. They have good size. He’s definitely struggled in conference play.

Florida up next

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Florida is a team that can win the SEC. I don’t know what the results were tonight, which is irrelevant. I know what a good coach Todd Golden is. I’ve known him a long. I actually talked to Todd earlier today. They’re big. They rebound. They have good guard play. They’re well-connected. They’re one of the top-tier teams in the SEC, no question. They’re not just an NCAA Tournament team, they’re a team that can win games in the Tournament, for sure.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire