Christmas Wish

Because of recent success during a three-game winning streak, Arkansas players aren't as happy as one would think about a week-long Christmas break between games.

Normally a basketball team is happy to be getting a few days off, but that was not the case for Arkansas after its last pre-Christmas game.

In fact, Razorback players Marshawn Powell and Jacorey Williams both talked about how they wished they could get going after downing Alabama A&M 95-68 Saturday in North Little Rock's Verizon Arena.

"I've got some real ball players," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "That's how their mindset is. If you watched our team tonight, you saw they were having fun. They're doing the things I ask them to do and they're getting better, but they're having fun, too."

Arkansas redshirt junior Marshawn Powell had a team-high 20 points in the win while becoming the 35th player to top 1,000 points in school history for the Razorbacks (7-4).

"I feel that anybody that plays basketball wants to be on the basketball court," Powell said. "You don't like to take days off… I feel like we could come back with a little lag. We have to kick it back up once we get back."

Freshman JaCorey Williams, who had 10 points, shared some of the same sentiments.

"I'm pretty excited to see my family, but I'm not too excited to be away from the team and take some days off," Williams said. "because I know I'll be winded on that first day back… It's a must to get to the gym (while home)."

Anderson plans to get the players heads back on immediately once they get back on Christmas night in advance of Saturday's game with Northwestern (LA) State (5-3).

The Demons are the nation's second-leading scoring team with over 85 points per game.

"We'll return to practice the 25th at 9 p.m.," Anderson said. ""With that idle time, we're going to introduce them to two-a-days."

Anderson's team has won three straight after a brutal early nonconference slate and will have two more non-conference games before starting SEC play Jan. 9 at Texas A&M, who was upset by Southern University 53-51 at home on Saturday night.

"We're not where we are going to be," Anderson said. "We had a tough schedule and we were tested. Some of those tests we took, we didn't pass, but we're going to have more tests along the way.

"As we hit this break, we're going to get ready for Northwestern State who is a very good basketball team, a dangerous team," Anderson added. "I think we're going in the right direction, but I'll find out more when we get back."


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