Fresh off a 30-point win over ACC foe Wake Forest, Arkansas will jump right back into action on Friday night with visiting Delaware State.
That's just fine with Razorback senior guard Rashad Madden, whose 11 points led six players in double figures in the 83-53 humbling of the Demon Deacons Wednesday night before 9,173 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
“This is basketball, this is what we do,” Madden said. “I would rather play a game than practice because that's fun.”
Arkansas (2-0) will host Delaware State (2-1), who lost at North Texas 62-55 on Wednesday night as the Hornets started a six-game road swing, in a game that tips off at 7.
Delaware State is led by guard DeAndre Haywood and his 19.7 points per game while senior center Kendall Gray (6-10, 240), who has blocked a school-record 222 shots, had 12 points and 13 rebounds against North Texas.
Larry Haley (6-3) is averaging 17 points while 6-7, 215-pound senior small forward Tyshawn Bell, is also in double figures at 13.3 for Hornets, who Pennsylvania 77-75 in overtime and Baptist Bible 104-63 in their first two games.
“I know it is team that is going to come in here with nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Anderson said. “So we saw that from the Alabama State, that every game is going to be a big game for this team.
“It is a Delaware team that we are not going to take for granted,” Anderson said. “We are trying to get better. We got better from the first game to the second game. What I mean by that is we paid attention to details.”
Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning, a former star player and assistant at Kansas, was asked if Arkansas looks like a top 25 team to him.
“When they play like they did tonight – absolutely,” Manning said.
Manning thinks that Anderson – whose team has a road game Tuesday at No. 22 SMU - has finally got his system installed and the right players to execute it.
“I think they play hard, I think Mike has been here long enough now to understand the system, understand what they need to do to make the system work and to me this is probably the best team he has had since he has been here,” Manning said.
The Razorbacks got over half their points from the bench with seven players tossing in 45 points.
“Their defense, their mindset, the energy that they bring - it gets contagious,” Anderson said. “To me it is an advantage for us, something that we are going to continue to use. It is our strongest component – our guys coming off the bench.
“It is not necessarily the big things they are doing, but the little things,” Anderson added. “Those little things are adding up to make big things take place.”
Freshman guard Anton Beard of North Little Rock had 10 of those points.
“I feel great,” Beard said. “To be able to win a game like that with your teammates and your coaches that have been working so hard all summer and preseason to get to this point. We want out there and proved it tonight.”
Anderson was thrilled with the havoc his team forced on defense while causing 20 turnovers.
“Before the game I told our guys that I wanted 40 deflections,” Anderson said. “We had 24 at halftime. We ended up with 44. Deflections are big in what we do because it means we are active and we are touch balls. As we start to touch balls, our guys are starting to recognize and we are picking off some of those passes and getting some things in transition.”
Madden said he was not surprised about the size of Wednesday's win over an ACC foe.
“I'm not surprised because this is what we prepared for,” Madden said.
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