Dream Realized

Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson talks about a dream coming true - the new Basketball Performance Facility that is set to arrive in the summer of 2015.

Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson knows its still going to be awhile before he can actually walk in the door of the Razorbacks' new $25 million Basketball Performance Center, but at least he has a time period to do so now – the summer of 2015.

"I think it is great," Anderson said at his Wednesday press conference at Bud Walton Arena. "It is something that has been coming and I think is great for our program. It's been 20 years since we opened up this arena. Now we will have a performance center that is going to even enhance it even more so. I am excited about it. It is an opportunity for us to have a facility where our kids will enjoy. It makes the flexibility for class schedules for kids better.

"We will still practice here (some) and play our games here, but just having a facility where guys can call it their own is big and it is big in recruiting," Anderson added.

Anderson added a pair of signees on Wednesday as the week-long November signing period opened as Forrest City big man Trey Thompson and Arlington, Texas, Martin small forward Nick Babb (6-5, 190) both inked a letter-of-intent.

Those two should be joined Thursday when North Little Rock point guard Anton Beard (6-1, 180) when he signs at 4 p.m.

Those three players will be able to work out before their sophomore seasons in what is being called the Basketball Performance Center instead of a basketball practice facility.

It will be located right across from the Razorbacks' current arena.

"You develop and then you go perform," Anderson said. "We'll perform here, but we will develop over there...It is something that was needed and we are excited about it. Really excited about it."

"I think it goes into part of the fact that here at Arkansas we have a great story, a great story to tell," Anderson added. "When I think about 20 years ago, we opened up Bud Walton Arena and boom the same year we won a national championship and go back the next year.

"...That is 20 years removed so now you want to take it to the next level," Anderson continued. "Facilities are big on any college campus – be if football, soccer, baseball. Facilities are big. We want to make sure we have some of the best facilities in the country right here. I think this is another step for us going in that direction."

Once it arrives, Arkansas can no longer be labeled as the only SEC program without one.

"I don't get asked that much, but I am sure my competitors are pointing it out," Anderson said.

It may seem like a long time, but Anderson said his team is thinking totally right now of hosting Louisiana on Friday night at 7 p.m.

"To me, the brick and the mortar are going up and that's the beauty of it," Anderson said. "We have a starting date. That is exciting, but more importantly we are into this season right now."

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