Arkansas’ Tuesday night basketball game with Division II Delta State may be classified as an exhibition, but Razorback head coach Mike Anderson is going all Cheryl Lynn on it.
Lynn had a number one hit on the Billboard charts back in 1978 with the disco song ‘It’s Got To Be Real.”
“That’s what it is, our second exhibition game, our last free game, but as I told our guys there are no free games for our basketball team,” Anderson said.
“With a team as inexperienced as our guys, every game is truly a real game for them. I want to see us get better in some areas - shooting free throws number 1 because we are an attacking team both defensively and offensively.”
The Razorbacks hit 9-of-11 free throws in the first half of last Thursday night’s 103-58 win over Division II Southwestern Oklahoma State University, but only 7-of-18 after intermission.
“If we are going to get to the free throw line, we have got to cash in,” Anderson said.
Delta State - ranked No. 11 nationally in the Division II poll and the Gulf South Conference favorite - downed Bethel 66-54 in its opening exhibition game.
Junior guard Devin Schmidt (64, 210) — the preseason Gulf Conference Player of the year - had a game-high 22 points while sophomore forward D.J. Davis (6-6, 210) had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.
“It’s a team that can shoot the basketball,” Anderson said. “We have got to be in position to guard those guys and make it a 94-foot game.”
The Razorbacks will open the regular season Friday night by hosting Southern.
“I’m anxious to see how the season unfolds,” Anderson said. “I am sure there will be some ups and downs and adversity.”
Anderson would like to go into that contest with two exhibition wins and his team gaining confidence in itself.
“We are work in progress,” Anderson said. “The competition is certainly going to get much, much stiffer, but at the same time confidence is certainly something that you want to have going into the season.”
Delta State's mascot is the Fighting Okra.