State of the Hogs: All In

Mike Anderson went from his introduction at Bud Walton Arena to the Arkansas baseball game. Some old hoopsters were right with him. They say Anderson is a home run.

Mike Anderson has some of the legends of Arkansas basketball on board. You got that feeling at his introduction Saturday morning at Bud Walton Arena.

Nothing changed by the time he got to Baum Stadium to throw out the first pitch at the Arkansas-Vanderbilt baseball game. All you had to do was listen to Todd Day and Lee Mayberry, legendary former Hog cagers who know Anderson well.

Both Day and Mayberry were at the morning introduction. They zipped down to Baum to watch Anderson don a baseball jersey and toe the rubber for the first pitch -- to the roar of the baseball crowd. Anderson had plenty of zip on the mound, just like he did at the microphone earlier in the day. They think Anderson is a home run.

Day and Mayberry didn't mind sharing their thoughts during the baseball game about what they think of the Anderson hire at their alma mater.

"Get ready to see a lot of former players in the building for our games," Mayberry said. "It's going to change pretty fast. I'm talking about all of the former players and from our era and before."

Mayberry, as an NBA scout assigned to this area, has been to many Missouri games coached by Anderson both in Columbia and in Oklahoma. He is extremely impressed with Anderson's coaching ability and style. He said there are similarities with the way they played under Nolan Richardson, but that Mayberry has his own twists to things.

"It's his own style," Mayberry said. "They don't get it up as fast as we did here, but it's pretty fast. Of course, with Todd Day, you made one pass to him and the ball was going up. The idea that we had was, get up a shot, go play defense and work hard so we could get it back and then put up another shot.

"Now Mike's teams, they are going to handle it a little. Several guys are going to get touches. It's going inside. It's coming back out. They do pass it. We didn't."

Todd Day said, "No question about it, we played a lot faster. It was about getting shots up. At least it was with me! We didn't dribble it at all. Our rule was that the only one who could dribble it was Lee Mayberry. When I got to the NBA, some were surprised I knew how to dribble it. I told them Nolan (Richardson) only let Lee dribble it."

Mike Anderson acknowledges the cheers at Baum Stadium.

Mike Anderson fires the first pitch Saturday.

Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated

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