A Great Fit

ESPN college basketball analyst and former Razorback Jimmy Dykes assesses the fit Mike Anderson brings to the Arkansas coaching job and how his style of play will bring energy back to Bud Walton Arena.

As far as former Razorback player and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes sees it, the timing is just right for Arkansas and Mike Anderson.

"I'm not sure that if he had been right after Coach (Nolan) Richardson, he would have been ready to take on the challenge of following him and the pressure that would have come with that," Dykes said. "But now time has come and gone, he has become a better coach, is his own man with his own identity and he is the guy now to take the program to the next level."

It doesn't hurt that his hire brings an energy and a buzz back to the program.

"Right now he is in his coaching prime, he is at the place he calls home and has always wanted to lead and he has never been out-worked," Dykes said. "It is really the perfect storm. The fans and former players are excited about the hire, the passion and the energy are going to come back to Bud Walton Arena. It is really the right time and the the right fit."

While it is being called a return to "40 Minutes of Hell", Anderson's style will not be exactly the same as it was back under Richardson.

After all, back in the day you could commit assault and battery in the backcourt and it wouldn't get called. These days you have to be smarter about pressure defense and also better on offense.

"I've had a chance to do some of Missouri's games and see Coach Anderson's growth as a coach," Dykes said. "It can be seen in the way he still bring the pressure defense to the floor, but they do it in a way where they are not getting themselves in foul trouble because of the way the game is called these days.

"Also I have been very impressed with his half-court motion offense," Dykes added. "They routinely pass the ball four or five times to get a great shot. I have been very impressed with that."

Still it will always be about getting as many easy baskets as possible as Missouri did this past season while being in the top 10 in the nation in scoring.

"That is what the pressure is all about, making it easy for your guys to put points on the board and wearing the other team out," Dykes said. "It's a style that kids love to play and certainly one the fans love to watch."

Another reason that Dykes thinks Anderson is the right man at the right place at the right time involves recruiting.

"He will be able to get talent in Arkansas, Memphis, Tulsa and now the Kansas City and St. Louis areas for Arkansas," Dykes said. "When you put all of those cities together and give guys a chance to play his style, it bodes well for talent to be at Arkansas."


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