Anderson excited by energy at UA

By: Jeremy Muck
Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Fayetteville.

If you ask Mike Anderson, now's a good time to be an Arkansas Razorbacks fan.

With the hirings of Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek and football Coach Chad Morris as well as the 7-2 start for his University of Arkansas, Fayetteville men's basketball team, Anderson was excited Friday as he spoke at the Downtown Tip-Off Club's opening meeting of the 2017-2018 season at the Wyndham Riverfront hotel in North Little Rock.

"A lot of things are taking place on the Hill," Anderson said. "There's some energy up on the Hill."

The Razorbacks will play their annual central Arkansas game at 7 tonight at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock against Troy. Tickets are sold out, according to a news release from the Arkansas athletic department. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

"We're excited to be in Little Rock," Anderson said. "What a great way to treat them [the players] with the house full."

Arkansas students have finished their final exams, but Anderson has reminded his players of what the Christmas break actually entails for them.

"They don't realize what is taking place," Anderson said. "Once you finish finals, yeah, you got games. But there's no school, so you're all mine. We may have some two-a-days, some three-a-days. I mean, they're all mine.

"I'll let them go home for a couple of days, then they'll have to get back because we have a game on the 27th [against Cal State Bakersfield at Walton Arena in Fayetteville].

"They'll practice on Christmas Day. Yeah, we got to get ready."

Before Arkansas players get the opportunity to leave the Fayetteville campus for a couple of days, they'll face Oral Roberts at Walton Arena on Tuesday.

But Anderson and the Razorbacks are focused on tonight's game in North Little Rock.

"This game [today] is going to be a big game for us," Anderson said. "Why? Because it's the next game on our schedule. Troy is an outstanding basketball team. We're excited to be here."

Other highlights from Anderson's speech:

• Anderson on his marriage with his wife Marcheita: "She's my point guard, I tell y'all that every year. I call her my point guard -- I'll be good with this here -- because she points out everything I do wrong."

• Anderson on the SEC this season: "We know the SEC right now is projected as being one of the best conferences, in terms of strength of schedule, in the country. You look at the teams that are already ranked. We're on the brink. I want to be there when it's all said and done. It's not where you start."

• Anderson on starting freshman forward Daniel Gafford for the first time this season Dec. 9 against Minnesota: "I became a smart coach the other day. I started him."


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