Arkansas Rolls To Easy Win in Italy

Mardracus Wade had 24 points, Coty Clarke 18 points and 8 rebounds and Ky Madden 8 assists as Arkansas routs Amici del Competto Select 129-89 Sunday in the first of four exhibition games in Italy.

CASTELLANZA, Italy – Mardracus Wade had 24 points and newcomer Coty Clarke 18 points and 8 rebounds as Arkansas whipped Amici del Campetto Select 129-89 Sunday in its first of four basketball exhibition games in Italy.

Freshman Michael Qualls added 12 points and several highlight-worthy dunks, sophomore B.J. Young and rookie Anthlon Bell 10 points each and Ky for the Razorbacks.

All 14 of the players on the trip for Arkansas scored in the contest, which was held as Palaborsani Arena.

"They (the Razorbacks) looked very much like a young basketball team," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "They were all eager to get out. We had 10 practices, 9 actually before coming over here so it was good for them to play against somebody other than themselves.

"I thought we did some good things," Anderson added. "I thought the energy level was there. I thought the execution at times was there. One of the things we did was we did score. It is nice to have that luxury. We have still got a long way to go because conditioning has got to come into play and the execution. Guys have got to understand their roles."

The Razorbacks were 58-of-84 from the field, 5-of-14 from 3-point range and 12-of-15 from the free throw line.

"The one thing I did harp on our guys at halftime was our defense," Anderson said. "We gave up 51 points in the first half. We had 71, but you have to limit that…We came out in the third quarter and just gave up eight points and that told me our guys were a little bit more focused on the defensive end."

Wade had 13 of his points in The Opening quarter as Arkansas jumped to a 41-29 lead and was never headed from that point on.

"For the most part, I thought things went really well and we improved on a lot from last year – such as getting out on the break, getting easy lay-ups, converting easy baskets," Wade said. "Another thing was the team chemistry. Everybody looked like they were playing hard for the most part. I saw a lot of guys stepped up today and hopefully we can just build on this."

The Razorbacks started a five that included Wade, Young, Hunter Mickelson (9 points), Rickey Scott (8 points) and Marshawn Powell (6 points), who missed all but two games last season due to injury.

"I felt good," Powell said. "It was good to get out there and just run and test it."

Arkansas liberally substituted five at a time - quite the difference for a program that had just 8 healthy players at times last season.

"You could see that we were subbing in five at a time," Wade said. "We got a lot of guys that can get up and down. A lot of guys that play off the ball and can defend so that gives us a lot of options."

Wade was an excellent 3-point shooter last season, but wanted to add to his arsenal this season.

"For the most part I just wanted to convert easy baskets and try to attack more and not just settle (for jump shots)," Wade said. "I wanted to add to my game."

Clarke was brought in to help on the board and he showed his worth there on Sunday.

"Coty is a guy that eats the glass," Anderson said.

Clarke said he was just doing what he was brought in to do, but he was focused more on how his team did.

"I think we played very good as a team," Clarke said. "Everybody shared the ball and penetrated to the basket. We just had to pick up on the defensive pressure on the ball."

Madden led the sharing of the ball as he had the 8 assists to go along with two points.

"I saw a little bit better basketball player from Ky than he was last year," Anderson said. "I thought he had an impact on the game just from a defensive standpoint. He does so many things – whether it be rebounding, loose balls, deflections, making the assist or that single pass that leads to the assist. I thought he was in command when he was out there."

The Razorbacks return to action Monday night in Florence when they play the Montenegro Kosarkaski Club Zeta at 7 p.m. CST.


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