Anderson, Neighbors OK with schedule changes

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018
Arkansas women's basketball coach Mike Neighbors gives a thumbs up following the Razorbacks' 73-72 win against Ole Miss on Dec. 31, 2017 in Bud Walton Arena.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas women's basketball coach Mike Neighbors gives a thumbs up following the Razorbacks' 73-72 win against Ole Miss on Dec. 31, 2017 in Bud Walton Arena.

— The NCAA Division I council approved Wednesday a proposal that will move up the official start of the college basketball season beginning this fall. The 2018-19 season will begin Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Arkansas women's basketball coach Mike Neighbors told WholeHogSports on Friday that starting the season three days earlier will not be a big change.

"It’s just kind of how the calendar falls. You kind of have to do that the way the games fall that year," Neighbors said. "It’ll be fine. We’ll make an adjustment. I’m sure we’ll have the same number of practice hours we always do, it’ll just be a couple of different dates in there."

One argument for passing the proposal was to move college basketball openers away from weekends with college football.

"It doesn't matter with us, but I'm sure for some schools moving up gives them that opportunity," Arkansas men's coach Mike Anderson said Friday. "We start practice earlier now anyway so I guess they said, 'Let's start the games earlier,' so it's no big deal."

On Friday, autonomy conferences voted to adopt a mandatory three-day break for men's teams during the university's winter vacation. An exception will be made once every four years to allow teams to play in multi-day holiday tournaments or events.

"On the holiday break, I think a lot of coaches do that already, so that's nothing new there," Anderson said.

Arkansas had eight days off between its games against Oral Roberts on Dec. 19 and California State Bakersfield on Dec. 27. It is not clear whether the team had three consecutive non-practicing days.

Another rule change this week was to allow women's teams two additional days to conduct preseason practice, from 40 to 42 prior to the season.

"For us, it’s not going to be a major departure from anything we’ve been doing," Neighbors said.

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