The Razorbacks – 18-14 this season - would be able to take all of their new signees plus what should be a healthy Marshawn Powell along for a likely three or four-game slate against club teams.
"I think it will be big on all accounts for our whole basketball team," Anderson said. "It is going to be another new basketball team when you add the other pieces we are talking about.
"We have had some guys now that have had a year up under their belt and know how we want to play and how hard they are going to have to play," Anderson added "Defensively we have got to get a whole lot better. To me it gives me an opportunity to get our guys to understand that early."
"It will give our guys an opportunity to practice 10 days before we go out and play four to five games over in…" Anderson said. "I think that's going to be big for a young basketball team, so they can get an idea of what it's like to play college basketball, for our new guys as well as the guys that are remaining there."
Anderson did this with an earlier team at Missouri.
"We're going to have such a new basketball team, so many new players coming in, and I think even with the players that are coming back, it gives you an opportunity to get some practice time in, and not only that, have a chance to go play some games," Anderson said.
" I did this with my team over at Missouri," Anderson added. "We went to Ontario durng the Labor Day weekend, and we played three games, and I think that was the best experience for those guys, because that's the group that went to the Elite Eight.
".. We had some freshmen coming in, five, six new freshmen, and we had some seniors and we needed some seasoning," Anderson continued. "I thought it was very beneficial. The bonding that took place was unbelievable, and I thought it really parlayed into the season. Those guys became a little closer, and I learned a lot about those guys, even though we had only practiced 10 days. That's why I think this can be really beneficial for us."
It certainly would be beneficial for Powell, the 6-7, 220-pound junior forward who was lost just two games into the season due to a knee injury.
Powell, who averaged 19.5 points and 6 rebounds in those first two games, had surgery on Jan. 9th and is doing well in his rehab according to Anderson.
"I have been pleased with Marshawn in terms of his mindset," Anderson said of a guy that has been hurt three times in as many years. "Sometimes you worry about guys who have been hurt multiple times. It can get to the point where you say that it is just not meant to be.
"But Marshawn – I tell you what – his attitude has been great up until this point," Anderson added. "He is hitting his books and getting them in line. I am sure he is getting prepared to get into the summer months where he will really be able to go out and play."
He should be able to play full-speed pick-up basketball in June according to Anderson.
"For right now the rehab is going at a good place," Anderson continued. "Everyday he is there doing what he is supposed to do. Hopefully that recovery will be a lot quicker than even he anticipates."
Powel, who averaged 15 points as a freshman and 10 as a sophomore, would have really helped this season's team according to his head coach.
"I tell you when we start the season off – and you guys have been here and had a chance to see Marshawn his freshman year, his sophomore year - and just in those two games, you saw an excitement in a player," Anderson said. "That excitement was displayed on the floor. This guy was averaging almost 20 points, almost getting double figures in rebounding, running the floor and in the best shape he could possibly be in."
Anderson thinks Powell is a perfect fit for his system.
"I just think he is tailor-made for what we do," Anderson said. "He has that toughness that he can go inside and score for you. He has the versatility that he can step out on the floor. He is a rebounding machine when he wants to be and not only that, he is an older guy now. By all rights, he sit out and now would be a senior. Hopefully some of the experience can kick in and he has had a chance to sit and watch this guys and watch some of these guys develop."
He should also add in something that was missing last season per Anderson.
"One of the things we didn't have enough of on this team was leadership," Anderson said. "Hopefully he can be a guy that can provide that. He is a guy that can be an all-conference type of player, but he has some work to do to get to that point and hopefully he will."
The Razorbacks' three early signees would be able to play on the tour as well as any spring signees.
Anderson was in Hutchinson, Kan., recruiting at the National Junior College Tournament, on Wednesday and was set to hit the road again as soon as the press conference ended.
"Right now you are talking about spring break and I think I have been worrying my wife to death because I don't know what to do," Anderson said. "I am used to being in postseason play at this time of year. Hopefully this (being wrapped up) won't be the case next year.
"At the same time, our guys are on spring break and when they get we'll be right back in the gym and really get after it with individual workouts and weights," Anderson added. "The most important thing is going to be our classroom - academics- making sure our guys get done what they need to get done.
"We are in the process of finishing up recruiting," Anderson said. "So that's ongoing as we speak. When I leave here we are going to hit the trail again trying to add some more pieces to the team that we already have here."
Anderson felt like his team hit a wall after starting off 16-6 with a squad that had just nine scholarship players once Powell went down.
"We started off the year nonconference and got off to a pretty decent start," Anderson said. "You lose your best player, Marshawn Powell. And so now the young players, guys like Hunter Mickelson, Devonta Abron, they are really thrown into the fire - B.J. Young - I thought those guys responded in a positive way. But when you lose a guy of All-Conference caliber that puts a lot of pressure on the other guys.
"I thought we had some periods where some guys did some good things for us," Anderson added. " We were 16-6 at one point in time and as we continued the season I thought we kind of hit that wall. And with a young basketball team that's to be expected, not to have the number of bodies that we had and guys going in and out.
"But I think for the most part there was some progress made," Anderson continued. "You talk about changing the culture and that is our guys understanding there is some great tradition here at Arkansas and expectations how are our teams are going to play."
Part of that was having to push his players so hard early.
"Early in the year we had to really push them to get into shape," Anderson said. "At the same time I'm a coach that really wants our guys peaking at the right time. The reason why that took place (the collapse) this year is because of the short number of players we had."
What did Anderson learn this season?
"I learned patience, I do know that," Anderson said. "I learned lot about patience, having more patience, especially with a lot of young guys."
He also learned a couple of other things.
"I thought those guys gave us everything they had," Anderson said. " I thought our fans that came into this arena truly appreciated watching our guys go out and play the game and play it the right way…. We want to make this place one of the toughest places to play at. We've started that process.
"That being said, now we'll field a team that can hopefully go out and do the same thing on the road where we know it's a lot tougher," Anderson added. "That's what our team is going to be made out of: toughness. We want to have guys that have that mentality they can play no matter where they play. Teams are going to contend with a Razorback team they know is going to fight and fight you to the end."
There certainly were some bright spots – winning their 17 games at home among those – but also only winning one game on the road and losing 8 of the last 10 games overall were negatives.
"The run we had here at home, you could see there were glimpses of where we did some good things," Anderson said. " We didn't do as well as we would thought we would do on the road but that's the process that we talk about, learning how to play hard and learning to compete and eventually the winning will take care of itself.
"I can't say enough about these guys," Anderson added. "They gave me everything they had. And even when you talk about the seniors , they weren't guys that were the most experienced guys but even with that being said, you could see their importance to this particular basketball team.
"That being said we will continue to try to get more pieces to go with this basketball team and get better," Anderson continued. "That's where the offseason comes in. We are in the offseason right now."
Arkansas players will jump right into the offseason once they return from spring break.
A team can work out together for up to two hours together until April 16, when workouts can only be four players at a time.
"This off-season is gong to be so important for this basketball team," Anderson said. " This is going to be year two and with that being said, these guys have an idea of what is required, and what is being demanded of our staff and what this program is going to be about. And even as we get into the summer months, we've got to get better, get better."
That will include plenty of work in the weight room.
"The offseason is here and that's when players are made," Anderson said. "We're going to go with the mindset of getting better, get these guys started right now and hopefully it will be something that becomes an individual thing."
Arkansas will have a home game against Oklahoma, a road game at Michigan, will play in the Big East/SEC challenge again and has plans to play in an exempt tournament at the start of the season.
He should have a full roster of 17 – 13 scholarship players and 4 walk ons - for next season.
"Ithink when you've got options that's a good thing," Anderson said. "That's healthy for your practices. I mean, it's, you know, sometimes situations can dictate some guys getting an opportunity because of what you have. So now you get a full roster, now, that's work, there's competition. I just think the competition level will go up another few notches there. To me, that helps us prepare for games. You win games in practice."