"It might be 30 Minutes of Hell and 10 minutes of what the hell are we doing," noted Anderson, who had split that phrase 20 and 20 about last year's team. "I think we are progressing. I can see it every day. Guys are grasping what we are asking of them.
"I like instinctive players and I think we are getting those guys inside our program," Anderson added. "Not only that, but they are a lot older now and have a year up under their belts. Now they know how to take the coaching aspect, what I am demanding from our players."
Anderson made the comments Thursday morning at the SEC Basketball Media Day, which featured the league's 28 men's and women's coaches and no players.
"I think there are two things have really got to take place for this team to truly evolve," Anderson said. "Leadership has got to take place and they have got to take ownership. I think when those things took place at the places I have been (UAB and Missouri)…then certainly we've excelled. I think it is going to take place here, it just takes time."
Arkansas was picked fifth in the SEC Media's preseason poll behind defending national champion Kentucky, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee and would have been the SEC West favorite had the league still had divisions.
"There are no divisions so it is a one-tier standing, but I always say that is report card of what took place last year," Anderson said. "In our case, I think we have also added some more players to our basketball team. I think last year was our initial year of doing things. We did some good things and some not so good things."
The Razorbacks started 16-6 last season before a short-handed squad ran out of gas and lost eight of its last 10 games.
They have a first-team All-SEC guard in sophomore B.J. Young and are celebrating the return of second-team pick Marshawn Powell, a junior forward who only played two games last season before suffering a campaign-ending injury.
"I think having a guy back like Marshawn Powell (helps) and I think all that is (preseason rankings) is based on potential," Anderson said. "Obviously we have to do a lot of things in putting the pieces together – the guys that played last year and the new guys coming in.
"That is going to be the challenge – can we put those guys together in a timely fashion?" Anderson added. "To put a team out there that is going to contend and hopefully contend for an SEC championship, but more than just evolve and develop throughout the non-conference schedule."
The Arkansas head coach sees a hunger in Powell, who had a sparking scrimmage during the Razorbacks' Prime Time at the Palace event that officially opened practice.
"I think when you sit there and have been hurt, I think reality sets in and the things you take for granted you learn can be taken away at any point in time," Anderson said. "I see a guy that is focused on trying to be a better player, be a better teammate and hopefully that can evolve into leadership."
He sees that leadership coming in practice now from Powell, Young and junior guard Mardracus Wade, who was arguably the Razorbacks' best player in Italy.
"I think Mardracus could be one of the best defensive players in our league," Anderson said. "He has great lateral quickness, has that toughness, has that want to and so I want him to be one of those guys that can become a terror on defense.
"Offensively, he worked extremely hard in terms of his shot and handling the basketball," Anderson added. "But I just want him to continue to mature as a player, be a better teammate, play the game the right way. He has done those things. He has really worked hard to be a better basketball player."
Young, who likely would have been drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft NBA draft had he not taken his name out, is a legitimate candidate for SEC player of the year.
"I see a guy who is finishing a lot better at the basket," Anderson said. "Defensively, he certainly has got to get better at that – on the ball and off the ball. He has to be more engaged in that department. I think BJ should be one of our better rebounding guards. I think if you look at some of our great guards, especially that size, with the athletic ability he has, he could rebound the ball. It would make our fast break even more effective because then you are really pushing the ball."
Anderson acknowledges that having eight new players available – five signees, Oklahoma State transfer and former Fayetteville High star Fred Gulley and two better than average walk ons in Davion Spivey and Charlie Henderson – will allow him to better play his up-tempo style.
"The guys coming in, I think they fit what we are doing," Anderson said. "They are going to provide energy, they are going to provide depth, we are going to be a better athletic team and be able to do some more things."
Anderson made it clear at the end of last season what he expected of each player.
"I told our guys at the end of the year that I want to see us improve 15 to 20 percent – each guy – and that means that (sophomore center) Hunter Mickelson has got to be a better basketball player, BJ Young has got to be more well-rounded," Anderson said. "He (Young) had a tremendous freshmen year, but this year maybe we can do some other things. Maybe he can become a better rebounder, a better defender. He is going to have a target some time and so he is going to have to be a guy that distributes the basketball."
"I thought Mardracus Wade made a tremendous jump from his freshman year to last year as well as Rickey Scott," Anderson added. "…Ky Madden has a chance to step up for us this year. He looked like a typical freshman last year. Let's see if we can make the jump."
The August practices and the four-game exhibition tour of Italy – a trek on which the Razorbacks went unbeaten – gave Anderson a preview of coming attractions.
"We got a chance to get a little sneak preview over Italy and I liked some of the things I saw," Anderson said. "Some of the things that we can build on and have been building on."
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Anderson also talked about Houston transfer Alandise Harris, being denied in his request for immediate eligibility.
Harris, whose mother passed in 2010, transferred home to be closer to his family and was hoping to play this season. Instead he will be able to play in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.
"Alandise was not given the waiver," Anderson said. "First and foremost, he is at the University of Arkansas. He'll sit out this year and he'll redshirt and we will certainly use him in our practices to help our guys get better. He will get a chance to concentrate academically and really get set academically. So at least, we have got that question answered – he will not eligible this year. He'll use this year sitting out for residency and be ready to go next year."
Anderson said Arkansas was not given a specific reason for the denial.
"He is a good player, but coming in, you knew that was a chance of that taking place," Anderson said. "It was just the request was denied."