Friday marks the official start of the 2012-13 Razorback Basketball season. Dubbed “Primetime at the Palace,” the event is free to the public and will begin at 9 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena.
With the beginning of practice, Coach Mike Anderson and team will look to improve upon last year’s 18-14 overall record and 6-10 SEC finish. Gone from last year’s team are: Michael Sanchez, Marvell Waithe, Julysses Nobles and Devonta Abron.
[singlepic id=819 w=240 h=180 float=right]Newcomers joining the team include:
- Coty Clarke – Forward, 6-7, 225, Junior (transfer)
- Anthlon Bell – Guard, 6-3, 190, Freshman
- Alandise Harris – Forward, 6-6, 230, Junior (transfer)
- Fred Gulley – Guard, 6-2, 177, Junior (transfer)
- Michael Qualls – Guard, 6-5, 205, Freshman
- DeQuavious Wagner – Guard, 5-10, 176, Freshman
- Jacorey Williams – Forward, 6-8, 204, Freshman
Junior college transfer Coty Clarke appears ready to play a significant role while freshmen Qualls, Bell, and Wagner will compete for minutes off the bench. Oklahoma State transfer (and Fayetteville native) Fred Gulley figures to be another weapon once he becomes eligible after the first semester.
The status of Houston transfer forward Alandise Harris, who averaged 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year as a sophomore, is still in question. The Little Rock native returns to his home state, but seems likely to sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules unless he is granted a waiver to play immediately.
The newcomers will be a welcome addition to the returning Razorback squad, which includes: Hunter Mickelson, Mardracus Wade, Rickey Scott, Rashad Madden, B.J. Young, Kikko Haydar, Davion Spivey (RS), Charlie Henderson (RS) and Marshawn Powell, who returns after sitting out last season recovering from a knee injury.
The Hogs went a perfect 4-0 this past summer playing overseas in Italy. However, the biggest challenge in Coach Anderson’s second season looks to be the Razorbacks’ non-conference schedule.
With Syracuse and Oklahoma at home, and Michigan, Arizona State and Wisconsin or Creighton on the road, Razorback fans will not only be treated to great matchups, they will also see how this team stacks up against some of the better teams in the country. By the way, ESPN has the Hogs’ non-conference schedule ranked as a 6 out of 10 in toughness.
A pair of exhibition games kickoff the season on November 2nd with Southwest Baptist followed by LeMoyne-Owen on November 5th. Just three short weeks before basketball returns again to Bud Walton Arena.