Beginning To Hoop

While a new NCAA rule allows you to start basketball practice 42 days ahead of your first regular season game, it still allows you only 30 practices in that time and that is why schools such as Arkansas and Kansas are waiting until the weekend of Oct. 4-5 to begin their workouts.

While the NCAA does allow you to start basketball practice this weekend for the 2013-2104, several schools like Arkansas and Kansas will wait until next weekend to commence practice.

That's because while the new NCAA rule allows you to begin practice 42 days ahead of your regular season opener, you still can only have 30 practices during that time.

"The way (Arkansas head) Coach (Mike) Anderson sees it, he just wants this guys to get into their normal routine of practicing six days a week and taking the one day off that the NCAA mandates," Razorback assistant coach Matt Zimmerman said.

"If you start this weekend – and I know some teams are choosing to do it that way - then you would have to take two days off a week because you can still only have the 30 practices in that time," said Zimmerman, who noted the coaches are allowed two hours with the team right now that involved conditioning, etc.

Kansas will begin its workouts with its Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 4th, but Arkansas has chosen not to have its Prime Time at the Palace this season.

That event has been sparsely attended the past few seasons and Anderson wants to concentrate on his rebuilding of the program this season.

"I'm not sure yet whether we are going to have practice starting that Friday or Saturday yet, but we won't be having Prime Time at the Palace this season," Zimmerman said. "We are just going to get right down to practice and focus from the start on it and having a great season.

"It will be an event we certainly want to have in the future," Zimmerman added.

Arkansas officials confirmed Monday that there was some damage to the Bud Walton Arena floor last week due to heavy rain, but Razorback associate athletic director Kevin Trainor said that was not a factor in the decision when to start practice.

"This past Friday, Bud Walton Arena experienced water infiltration on some portions of the playing floor and areas surrounding the playing floor following heavy rains overnight," Trainor said. "Currently and throughout the remainder of this week the floor will be unavailable while the athletic department works to remove any excess moisture and completes a full assessment of any potential long-term damage to the playing surface."

The Razorbacks will host exhibition games against Missouri Southern (Nov. 1) and Northeastern State (Nov. 5) before officially opening its season on Nov. 8 against visiting SIU-Edwardsville.

Arkansas lost its top two scorers - B.J. Young and Marshawn Powell - from last season's team that went 19-13 overall and 10-8 in SEC action, but have added in a quartet of new additions.

That includes McDonald's All-American Bobby Portis (now 6-10, 240), another top 50 player nationally in Moses Kingsley (6-10, 235), bruising forward Alandise Harris (6-6, 230) and former Fayetteville star Manuale Watkins (6-3, 200).

Bobby Portis

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