Marshawn Powell has suffered foot and knee injuries during his time at Arkansas.
However, it remains to be seen if Powell will be able play when the Razorbacks head to Italy on Aug. 10 for four games.
“We’re going to ease him in,” Anderson said Monday during a press conference that preceded the first of 10 practices leading up to the trip. “We’re going to ease into it. He’s doing some contact. He’s been working in some of the contact situations that we had. But we’ll just kind of evaluate it as we go and kind of ease him into it.”
Powell, a preseason second-team All-SEC pick last season, tore two ligaments in his right knee in November, having season-ending surgery.
“He’s doing well," Anderson said. "He’s going the full length of practices. We may hold him out a period here or there. But I know he’s excited to have a chance to get back on the court.”
Anderson said he’s going to keep an eye on Powell to make sure he’s physically OK, and that the two will sit down later to discuss whether Powell should play in the Hogs’ games in Italy.
“We’ll see what takes place in the next few days,” Anderson said. “But he’s been involved. When we do our individual workouts, he’s been doing a good job. He’s doing everything he can to get back and be an impact with this basketball team.”
Fourteen on the floor
Three of the 17 players listed on Arkansas’ roster weren’t expected on the court Monday for practice. One is definitely out until after football season. The other two are out until Anderson learns if they are eligible to participate.
Alandise Harris, a Little Rock native, announced in April that he would be transferring from Houston to Arkansas.
Brandon Mitchell, a quarterback/receiver for the Hogs’ football team, is listed on the roster after coming out for basketball following the Cotton Bowl victory. But he’s in football mode right now.
Alandise Harris, a junior forward who transferred from Houston this summer, and Fred Gulley, a junior who transferred from Oklahoma State in December, will sit out until Anderson has determined their eligibility.
"Right now my answer would be saying they won’t be practicing right now,” Anderson said. “But that could change by the time I go out on the floor.”
Harris, whose mother died in November 2010, has filed a hardship waiver with the NCAA, asking to be immediately eligible for the coming season instead of having to sit out a year.
“Hadn’t heard anything on Alandise,” Anderson said. “We’re still in a waiting mode on him. But the waiver has been filed. … He won’t be practicing. As of right now, we’re going to hold him out.”
As for Gulley, Anderson said he’s “just looking at the rule: would he be eligible to go on this trip. That’s what I’m looking at right now.”
Harris and Gulley were able to go through workouts earlier this summer.
More on Mitchell
Brandon Mitchell proved to be an athletic option at small forward last season.
Anderson said Mitchell stopped by Bud Walton Arena this summer to catch up, and from the sound of it, Mitchell is hoping to play basketball again.
“He came by this summer and just talked about it as an opportunity. I can. I would like to,” Anderson said. “So we’ll see. He’s got to take care (of football responsibilities). That’s what I want him to focus in on. Not basketball.”
Mitchell played in 10 games last season, averaging 11.6 minutes, 3.5 points and 2.3 rebounds. He also played in 2009-2010, appearing in four games and scoring five points in a total of 34 minutes.
The plan for point guard
Arkansas lost its most experienced point guard from last season when junior Julysses Nobles elected to transfer. What’s the plan for 2012-2013?
Anderson sees several options.
“We’ll get a chance to see in these next few days as we get ready to go,” Anderson said. “I think we’ve got some candidates. I think just given the opportunity to have a little more understanding of what we’re trying to do and get everybody on similar pages in terms of what we’re going to do and get everybody ready to play.”
Anderson said the top candidates at point guard are: junior Rickey Scott, true freshman Dee Wagner and Gulley. But he also said junior Mardracus Wade, sophomore B.J. Young and sophomore Rashad Madden can see action there.
“We’ve got more pieces than we had last year,” Anderson said. “So therefore I’m looking forward to looking at options. When you’ve got options, you can make sure guys are doing what they’re supposed to do. If Option 1 is not working, hey we’ve got Option 2 and Option 3. We didn’t have that luxury last year.”
Quote of the day
“Italiano? No, I don’t knjow much about that.” – Anderson when asked if he had brushed up on Italian in preparation for the Razorbacks’ trip
Touting JUCO transfer
Coty Clarke, a 6-7 forward who signed with Arkansas this year out of Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Ala., has been really impressive during workouts, Anderson said.
“He’s a guy who has very good basketball IQ,” Anderson said. “Just has a nose for the basketball. I mean, I can see why he had so many rebounds in junior college. He just has a great feel for the game, a nose for the basketball.”
Clarke, a Birmingham native, averaged 14.5 points and 13.0 rebounds as a sophomore last season for Lawson State.
Anderson also weighed in on other signees. Here’s what he said:
Freshman shooting guard Anthlon Bell – “I think once he really finds that groove, he’s going to be a guy who can knock down shots for us.”
Freshman forward Michael Qualls – “I think Michael Qualls is one of those energy guys. He’s superathletic. He’s kind of like a highlight waiting to happen. So I’m sure he’s going to compete to be out on that floor.”
Freshman point guard Dee Wagner – “Good basketball IQ. One of those guys that can run the show for you.”
Freshman forward Jacorey Willliams – “I think JaCorey Williams, 6-8, quick forward, is going to help our basketball team.”