Arkansas finishes its exhibition season tonight when it plays host to LeMoyne-Owen at 7 at Bud Walton Arena.
Arkansas freshman guard Anthlon Bell hopes to build off Friday's impressive debut.
LeMoyne-Owen is an NCAA Division II team from Memphis and they like to play the same style of ball as Arkansas does under Mike Anderson. It should be an uptempo game tonight according to Anderson.
“Trust me, it will be uptempo,” Anderson said. “We like that. It gives us another gauge for how our guys will come out and perform. They have players from Memphis so you know they know how to play basketball.”
The Razorbacks opened the season on Friday night when they beat Southwest Baptist 106-78. In that game, Arkansas jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back though they did take their foot off the pedal some in the second half. Anderson wasn't too upset about that however. Arkansas led 50-28 at intermission.
“The second half when we had the lead, it's hard to stay zoned in,” Anderson said. “Those young guys are going to try to impress, and most young guys are going to try impress you with their offense.”
Anthlon Bell, a true freshman guard from Memphis, will be facing many players tonight he has played against in high school and AAU basketball. Bell led the Razorbacks with 17 points on Friday night in his Razorback debut while only playing 14 minutes.
Anderson said these two exhibition games as well as the practices will determine his rotation once the season starts for real on Friday night. Anderson used sophomore guard B.J. Young with the second unit on Friday night.
“I always think you win games in practice, and that's where the competition takes place,” Anderson said. “You've got to be on your game. If not, you may be sitting over there watching. Your minutes can evaporate and go to somebody else.”
In Friday's win, Anderson used 14 players with individual playing time ranking from four to 19 minutes. That's a luxury Anderson didn't have last year and thus he went out and recruited a large class to help provide depth. On Friday most of those in that class showed signs of being ready to help immediately.
Junior forward Alandise Harris won't play this year due to his transfer from Houston. In addition to his 17 points, Bell had two rebounds. Junior forward Coty Clarke, who transferred from a junior college, had 4 points, 2 assists, one rebound and one steal. Freshman forward Jacorey Williams had six points, led the team with seven rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. Freshman point guard Dee Wagner had two points and four assists. Freshman swingman Michael Qualls added 10 points, five rebounds, one assist and one block.
“You saw some different pieces that I've talked about,” Anderson said. “Now we've just got to continue to work and work and put it together.”
On Friday night, Arkansas will face Sam Houston State at 7 at Bud Walton Arena. Earlier on Friday, the Arkansas women will open the season at 11 against Jackson State as part of Elementary Day.