With nine days since his team's last real game, Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson knows his players are chomping at the bit to play again.
But no one is more hungry to play than Razorback sophomore guard B.J. Young, who has been serving an two-game suspension and not played since exhibition game over two weeks ago.
Young, who led SEC rookies in scoring last season at 15 points a game, will return to the court Sunday when Arkansas (1-0) hosts Longwood (0-2) at 3 p.m.
"He's probably more wound up than even they are," Anderson said. " It will be interesting once the game actually starts and he gets out there and gets a sweat and see what takes place after that… Oh, he's hungry."
Young had a team-high 30 points Wednesday in a simulated game that Anderson put on complete with referees, music and former Razorback star Scotty Thurman doing the public address announcing.
"We feel like we've got some weapons," Anderson said. "Now hopefully we've got a whole arsenal. We just want to put this team together and keep it getting better. And he's a pivotal part of what we do."
Longwood - based in Farmville, Va. and a Division I squad since 2007 - comes into the game off losses to Marshall (81-47) on the road Nov. 9 and at home to Norfolk State (78-66).
Freshman forward Michael Kessens (6-9, 205) of Nyon, Switzerland had a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds while also blocking four shots in the loss to Norfolk, who upset Missouri in last season's NCAA Tournament while advancing to the Sweet 16.
The Lancers also have two other players scoring in double figures in 6-4, 185-pound junior guard Tristan Carey (10.5) and 6-3 freshman guard Nik Brown (10.0), who join 6-4,190-pound junior guard David Robinson and 6-6, 225-pound redshirt sophomore forward Jelayni Dublin (six rebounds a game) in the starting line-up.
Longwood is shooting just 35 percent from the field in its first two games and is just 6-of-36 from 3-point range.
"They've got a couple guys that can shoot the basketball, and they're going to be a team that's going to just get after it," Anderson said. "They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I think it's a team where our guys had better come and play close attention to not necessarily who we're playing, but let's work on the things that we've been working on in terms of getting better."
One of those things is certainly rebounding as the Razorbacks were out-boarded by 13 in their 73-68 season-opening win over Sam Houston State.
"Obviously, there are some things that we didn't do well, especially the rebounding part of it," Anderson said. "Which is the physicality, and the effort part of it. Hopefully, that's something we've shored up and worked on in practice."
Anderson said they went right to work on rebounding after that opening loss.
"Oh, it started the night after the game," Anderson said. "And that's more effort and focus, so we've been getting after it pretty good. I expect to see a drastic improvement in that area, and that's for all our guys out on the floor."
Anderson is not sure whether he will start Young or go with the same starting five he sent out for the exhibitions and season opener – Rickey Scott, Mardracus Wade, Hunter Mickelson, Marshawn Powell and Rashard Madden.
Coty Clarke led the Razorbacks in scoring in the first game with 20 points off the bench.
"I'm anxious to see how we come out and address those things we didn't do well in our first game against Sam Houston," Anderson said, "whether it be first-game nerves or jut not playing with the kind of effort that you've got to play with, there's got to be that sense of urgency in any game that we play."
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