Arkansas will open its basketball season tonight with a Red-White game starting at 7 at Bud Walton Arena.
Sophomore B.J. Young will try to lead the Red team a victory in tonight's game at Bud Walton Arena.
Mike Anderson begins his second year with much more depth than he had last season when some players left the program following his hire. At that point, it was too late for Anderson to fill the voids with quality replacements so he waited until this past year's recruiting class and stockpiled some talent and depth.
“Basketball season is here,” Anderson said. “We're certainly looking forward to getting prepared for year two and sort of build on some of the things we did in year one.”
Arkansas was 18-14 in Anderson's first year. A quick look at the Red-White rosters though details one large difference in last year and this season. Last year in this game, each team had six players. This year they have eight player's each.
“We wanted to make sure we get some depth,” Anderson said. “Bringing those guys in this last class is going to give us some more pieces to the puzzle. In recruiting, you want to get pieces to the puzzle and now our job as coaches is to put that puzzle together and make it work.”
Another area where the Razorbacks will benefit from the depth is during practice.
“There's competition in practice,” Anderson said. “The young guys bring a certain level of energy and certain grit that I like that. We've got more gritty guys this year. They've got motors.”
The others on the Red team are junior Alandise Harris, sophomore Charlie Henderson and true freshmen Michael Qualls, Anthlon Bell and Dee Wagner. The remainder of the White team is true freshman Jacorey Williams, junior's Fred Gulley and Kikko Hayder as well as sophomore Davion Spivey.
The addition is free tonight. Anderson has things and areas Anderson wants his team to improve in tonight and this season.
“What we've really been working on is trying to push the tempo,” Anderson said. “We're a more athletic team, and we can showcase that in the open floor and with our defense.”
Tonight's game will be the last chance to see Harris play this season. Harris is a forward from Little Rock Central who played his first two years at Houston. Harris was denied a waiver to play immediately thus will have to redshirt this season. Gulley transferred to Arkansas in January from Oklahoma State. He will be eligible to play for the Razorbacks in December after the first semester ends.
Arkansas will face Southwest Baptist on Friday night in its first exhibition game. It also starts at 7 at Bud Walton Arena.