Arkansas will return to the court on Thursday night to play host to Robert Morris in a game that may not be as easy as most feel.
Mardracus Wade is a talented shooter Mike Anderson is hoping to get jumpstarted as the SEC season nears.
Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson showed a lot of respect for the Colonials on Tuesday during a press conference at Bud Walton Arena.
“Robert Morris is a team that is playing well,” Anderson said. “They have won their last four games. They're an explosive team.
“A team that shoots 3-point shots very, very well. They have plenty of players. They have four or five guys who can step out and really shoot the basketball. Their guard play is the strength of their team I believe. They're a very good basketball team. A good team that has been in the NCAA Tournament.”
Robert Morris (7-4) beat Duquesne 91-69 in its last outing. They won 26 games a year ago. They last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and last year advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIT Tournament.
“We've got our work cut out for us,” Anderson said. “When we say don't look at the names of schools, but even with that being said you're talking about a school that has a good name in terms of basketball.
“They're more than dangerous. They're a very good basketball team. They're a very explosive team. It's a big game for us and one I'm sure they have circled too.”
While Anderson respects Robert Morris, he's more worried about how his Arkansas (5-4) team progresses and plays than who the opponent happens to be.
“We're still trying to get clicking on all cylinders on offense and defense,” Anderson said. “They like to play uptempo so it should be a fun game for our fans.”
Classes have ended for the first semester at Arkansas so Anderson has had more free time to practice the team.
“Today, we went once,” Anderson said. “I have got to go do some recruiting. It's that time of year. Our guys don't have school so they have idle time and we want to use that time wisely.
“Like getting them in the gym. The first practice yesterday we just came in and did a lot of shooting and put in some more defensive things we want to do. We came back in the evening and got after it. We will go twice a day so we can get better. We're trying to get a guy like Fred (Gulley) acclimated as well as our young guys.”
Last year, Anderson inherited a short roster from former coach John Pelphrey, but this year he has a full roster. Anderson said he didn't think he had too many players.
“We know we're going to play multiple players,” Anderson said. “To the extreme, it's hard to play everybody.
“I think our guys have got to be patient. When an opportunity presents itself they have to take advantage of it. When they're called they've got to be ready.”