VIDEO: What Mike Anderson said at Arkansas' media day

By: Jimmy Carter
Published: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson encourages his players during practice Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson encourages his players during practice Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.

— Follow along as Mike Anderson previews the upcoming season at basketball media day.

Mike Anderson

— Oct. 15 used to signal when practice got started. Now, you've adjusted to it starting earlier. Even last week, nerves start going and you start waking up at 4 a.m. Had 3 workouts in 2 days. A lot of teaching in the morning sessions. Had a really good workout this morning.

— "I may not be saying that in a few months, but I like this team right now." Veteran guys are locked in. Want to take the next step.

— "Year seven, let's improve upon what we've done." Thought the team got better as the season went along. Thought the team was a good defensive team. Not every team can extend the defense and create turnovers. Last year, team played multiple defenses and was at his best in the halfcourt. Wants this team to get more defensive than they have been.

— Have had more guys who've been through the wars. Most wins he's had as a head coach has been 31. Anton Beard has been a part of 2 of his other best teams.

— Leadership is going to be really big. Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon are 2 guys who were really big. Trey Thompson has to be a staple. Anton Beard has had some adversity, but it's going to be a great story when he finishes. There was some pivotal moments in his life where he stepped up. He's probably lost about 15 pounds, looks like he's quicker now. "When he was a stocky little dude, I was quicker than him."

— "Dustin Thomas has to be able to help our basketball team." Now he gets a chance to hopefully really impact the team.

— Guard play is a strength. C.J. Jones needs to step up. Adrio Bailey played a lot last year.

— "Daniel is not the savior for our program. I said this about Bobby when he got here." Can go at his own pace. If summer is any indication, he will impact our team. He's a sponge. Amazing for a guy to be that size who jumps out the gym.

— Darious Hall will be a glue guy. Gabe Osabuohien is really coming on. Jalen Harris excites him for next year. Pushing Barford and Macon in practice.

— "I'm really super excited about this basketball team."

— Can't speak on Khalil Garland, but the doctors are optimistic he'll be back. Doing some things, but can't do full contact.

— Arlando Cook is still suspended. "We're going to let the law take it's course and we'll go from there."

— Wants to win a championship every year. "We're knocking on the door." This is a dynamite schedule.

— Thinks the culture is set for winning. "You can sense it." ... "It just feels right." Kids are saying the right thing, doing the right thing. Had 18 guys, including older players, graduate the last 4 years. Going to miss what Lee Mayberry stood for. Corey Beck wasn't a highly touted kid and helped them win a title. Moses Kingsley was looked at as a project and was one of the most productive bigs in school history. Dusty Hannahs averaged 7 points at Texas Tech and was great here.

— Guard play is great, now the forwards have to step up.

— Always been in compliance with the NCAA. "We're going to do things the right way." Going to recruit kids and talk to people who are influential with kids, do it the right way. What's happened is "kind of stunning." It's "not a good look for college basketball." ... "I'm hearing what you guys are hearing." FBI will get to the bottom of it and it could be far-reaching. Likes who he's surrounded himself with. "We may not get some kids because of that, but I can go to sleep at night."

— "I don't see the evidence of it, so I can't answer that question."

— Says "it's serious" if the FBI is involved.

— Garland has done some conditioning. He's at practice every day. Involved in everything they're doing. Early on, wasn't able to do a whole lot. Was running the clock. Brought him in to impact the team. He's dealing with it so far. "I really believe it gets back to the culture." Barford has such a bubbly personality. He reaches out to people.

— On Beard trimming up: "There's some competition going on." Lost some starters, but had 4-5 others who started at some point in the year. Wants his senior year to be his best year. Has that pit bull mentality, but he's a little quicker now. He and Trey have been on winning teams in college and in high school.

— Thinks there are guys who can shoot to replace some of what Dusty Hannahs did. C.J. Jones will help. Even someone like Dustin Thomas will step out some.

— C.J. Jones' confidence has soared. He used to be a timid guy last year handling the ball, but he isn't that nay more. He's fighting back now. A lot of guys who have that fighter's mentality now.

— Excited about going to the PK-80. Not looking ahead to playing UNC, excited to play Oklahoma.

— Gafford's strengths are rebounding, running the floor. He can make post moves. He's a pretty good passer. Has to get better at the line because he's going to get fouled a lot. Will be a really good rim protector. Has to learn to play longer. Not going to be Bobby Portis, doesn't want him to be Moses Kingsley. Wants him to be Daniel Gafford. Finally getting acclimated to playing with guys who are his size. Putting pressure on Trey Thompson to keep up with him.

— Barford is in much better shape than he was last year. Daryl Macon has added strength and gotten physical.

— Being a little short-handed gives everyone more reps. Have to have strategy for how they work out and get proper subs.

— Thinks Darious Hall and Adrio Bailey can do a lot of things.

— Thinks Barford was out of control early last year, but then it became instinct. Darious has a lot of ability. Same with Daniel. Even with Gabe, he's gotten a lot better since he got here.

— We can be as big as he wants or as small as he wants. Has a lot of options. Could go with a three-guard lineup. Small lineups bring a concern with rebounding, but you have good rebounding guards.

— Adrio Bailey is cleaning the glass right now.


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