Last season's Arkansas basketball roster barely had enough players to go five-on-five in the Red-White game.
This season's roster will allow for a "deep" bench of three reserves on each team.
The Razorbacks were drafted Monday by local members of the media for Tuesday's night's 7 p.m. intersquad game.
"I think that the neat thing about it is that our practices have been real competitive," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "I have done that. I have put different teams, different combinations (together). I think when the guys are competing that they are really getting after it.
"Obviously in a Red-White scrimmage, they are auditioning for me," Anderson continued. "…You bring in the officials and you bring in some fans and some wanna-be coaches, too. It is set up for a good atmosphere."
The Red team – which will be coached by former Razorback Pat Bradley and radio sports talk show host Shawn Arnell – took sophomore guard B.J. Young – a preseason All-SEC first-team selection - with the first pick of the draft.
Young will be joined on the Red squad by redshirting junior forward Alandise Harris, freshman shooting guard Anthlon Bell, sophomore center Hunter Mickelson, junior forward Rashad Madden, freshman point guard Dee Wagner and walk on Charlie Henderson.
The White team features junior guards Rickey Scott and Mardracus Wade, junior forwards Marshawn Powell and Coty Clarke, freshman forward Jacorey Williams, junior guard Fred Gulley and walk ons Davion Spivey and Kikko Haydar.
Powell, coming off a season in which he played only two games before suffering a season-ending injury, looks almost fully healthy and prepared to have a big 2012-2013 campaign.
"I think he is progressing good," Anderson said. "I am just anxious to see him in this scrimmage and even as we play against someone other than ourselves. Our guys – for the most part – know he has been through something and so I want to see him play against somebody other than our guys - someone that is really going to challenge him.
"But he hasn't missed out on anything that we have done and so that is a good sign," Anderson said.
Gulley, the former Fayetteville High star who transferred from Oklahoma State, becomes eligible in December.
He and Harris were both able to play in Prime Time at the Palace, which opened practice on Oct. 12, and will be able to go in this Red-White game.
"I want it to be more fun than anything else, but you will see they are more into a game-like mode versus what we did at Prime Time at the Palace," Anderson said. "We have had 18 to 20 practices so hopefully we will be a little bit more sharper in what we do. But I want it to be fun as well because the exhibitions start up on Friday and we are just getting closer and closer to getting started."
Arkansas will play exhibition games against Southwest Baptist on Friday and LeMoyne-Owen next Tuesday before opening the season Nov. 9 with Sam Houston State.
"Our guys are ready to play someone other than themselves," Anderson said. "They did the Italy trip, they had 10 days of practice in August and now in October we have started the grind of getting ready. So it makes sense that now we get a chance to play someone and get a little feedback and see where we are – knowing that we have to improve in a lot of areas, but getting to do it with officials."
With the extra bodies this season, Arkansas will be playing far more up tempo than it did last season.
"Our guys talk about really pushing the tempo and we have really been working on trying to push the tempo," Anderson said. "We are a better, more athletic team and we are going to showcase that in the open floor. We are really starting to learn how to rotate and get places, guard people and I really want to see how we rebound bringing in people, the depth we just talked about and people that should get us eight to 10 rebounds a game.
"I will anxious to see how these guys hold up in a 40-minute game because you have eight guys now so you can substitute and you have your radio timeouts," Anderson said.
Anderson was asked who has stood out so far in the preseason practices.
"It is like a week-to-week (deal)," Anderson said. "Little Dee Wagner has gotten in a little bit better condition and so I think you can start seeing where he is going to have a chance to impact this team.
"Jacorey, things have started slowing down for him when initially everything was hurry up, hurry up for him," Anderson added. "Michael Qualls is a blue-collar kind of guy and he is starting to find his niche. Moreso than anything, I think they are finding each other's niche.
"Coty Clarke, again, a guy that is just always around the basketball," Anderson continued. "And a guy who has been really catching my eye lately is Hunter. He is starting to feel a little bit more comfortable, get in shape and he has lost some of the weight he had picked up. He has really toned it up and is running the floor, got a great pair of hands and is rebounding the basketball."
Anderson's program in its second year is certainly ahead of the pace it was last season.
"We had a chance to expedite some things because of the Italy trip and having a chance to work out," Anderson said. "And we have some guys that are moving in the right direction, but we will have a lot more feedback as we get into games.
"I like where we are going," Anderson added. "I think we have more guys that can contribute so know you want have guys playing all those minutes they had to play last year."
Arkansas raced out to a 16-6 mark last season before its short-handed squad ran out of gas down the stretch and lost eight of its last 10 games.
Anderson doesn't expect that to be a factor at all this season.
"The fatigue factor probably caught us going down the last part of the year," Anderson said, "but hopefully we can use that to our advantage (this season) with the depth that we are going to create or should have."
o o o
RED - coached by Pat Bradley and Shawn Arnell:
• BJ Young
• Alandise Harris
• Anthlon Bell
• Hunter Mickelson
• Michael Qualls
• Rashad "Ky" Madden
• Charlie Henderson
• Dee Wagner
WHITE - coached by Bob Holt, Robbie Neiswanger and Nate Allen:
• Rickey Scott
• Marshawn Powell
• Mardracus Wade
• Coty Clarke
• JaCorey Williams
• Davion Spivey
• Fred Gulley
• Kikko Haydar
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