Help On The Way

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson writes about what Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson believes he has coming in with 2013-2014 additions Alandise Harris (6-6, 230), Bobby Portis (6-10, 230) and Moses Kingsley (6-10, 220) and what he might be looking for in the spring signing period.

You can debate all day exactly what the Arkansas basketball program needs to add in the April 17-May 15 spring signing period, but Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson knows he certainly added a few much-needed things back in the early signing period.

  That would be height, rebounding, talent, a winning mentality and toughness.

  That's especially when you add in former Little Rock Central star and Houston transfer Alandise Harris (6-6, 230) – who has redshirted this season - to top 50 nationally ranked early signees Bobby Portis (6-10, 220) of Little Rock Hall and Moses Kingsley (6-10, 220) of Huntington (WV) Prep.

Right now there are not any scholarships numerically available – and hence no Senior Day for Arkansas when it hosts Texas A&M on Saturday at 1 p.m. - but there is speculation that both sophomore B.J. Young and redshirt junior Marshawn Powell are planning to play professionally next year in the NBA or overseas.

"I don't want to speculate," Anderson said. "I don't get into all that. But I will say that having two kids that we have already signed, having Alandise – who I think is going to be a very good player – hopefully that is going to address some of our size issues, some of our toughness issues and getting some better talent. That is the key.

"As I told our coaches, we will continue to recruit and recruit for all the different positions," Anderson added. "But I think the guys that are coming in, the guys that are here will be better."

  Portis, a McDonald's All-American averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks this season, will be trying to win his third state title in as many years on Saturday.

  Hall – going for its fourth state title in as many years – plays Jonesboro at 4:15 p.m. inside Little Rock's Barton Coliseum.

  Kingsley, whose team is 30-3 this season, is averaging 8.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.2 blocks this season while playing about 20 minutes a game for a Huntington Prep team loaded a dozen Division I signees or prospects.

  In his most recent game, Kingsley had 14 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.

  "They are winning," Anderson said. "You want to bring in guys that are winners. They are used to winning because they are going to come in and do the things that it takes to win. They are going to buy in what you are all about and obviously we recruited those guys to play and fit what we are doing.

  "It's not just basketball but the type of people they are," Anderson added. "And hopefully their size and development will be very, very impactful for our program.  Those guys are guys we targeted but they are going to be freshmen and there will be a learning curve so it's important for the guys that are here as we finish out this season to continue to gain, develop and get valuable experience."

  Harris averaged 13.3 points and 6.4 boards – which would be leading the Razorbacks in rebounding this season – as a sophomore at Houston before deciding to transfer to Arkansas, where he has practiced with the Razorbacks while redshirting this season.

  The 22-year-old will certainly add toughness to the equation.

  "I think he's adding going to add the toughness that we talk about, the toughness that you've got to have not only at home, but especially on the road," Anderson said. He's a guy that has experienced some success in Conference USA, and he wants to be here, and he wants to be a player.

  "I just think he's going to provide some toughness," Anderson added. "He's man to me. He's a man. He doesn't talk like a young boy. He talks like a man, and a guy that's here with a purpose and has a passion. I'm really looking forward to having him don a Razorback uniform."

The Razorback coach expects improvement next season in his program – something that happened when he was at Missouri as the team went from 16-16 in year two to 31-7 and a Big 12 championship in year three under Anderson.

"I just want number one to see the understanding, number two the execution, I want to see the toughness, I want to see the want to," Anderson said. "I am one of these guys that has always been associated with winning and I know winning is habit and losing is a habit. Obviously you have to to recruit kids that are used to winning and want to win. We have some guys here who haven't had that success. They have got to aspire. Don't just settle for anything.

"As we move forward, the guys just have got to continue to develop and develop so that we can have that identity that when you play against the Razorbacks, they are going to bring it for 40 minutes whether we play here or play on the road or play at neutral sites," Anderson said. "We have got to have guys with that mindset – part of it being aggressive and part of it being mental toughness."

Anderson was here as an assistant for the most recent glory days of Arkansas basketball and has plans to be here when that happens again.

"A lot of things are going to come at you because you do wear that Arkansas uniform and that is what some kids don't understand," Anderson said. "There is tradition here. It might have been awhile since it took place, but a lot of people remember it.

"I was talking with a recruit the other night and that was what he was talking about," Anderson said. "He said 'I just saw the documentary 40 Minutes of Hell and man, you guys were really good.' That tells me that Arkansas basketball still means a lot to a whole lot of people. We want to make sure we get it up to that ultimate level where it should be."

Alandise Harris

Bobby Portis

Moses Kingsley

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