Mid-Week Madness

Mardracus Wade

Since Arkansas did not have a mid-week game, Razorback head coach Mike Anderson put together a simulated one one Wednesday for a team that will get star BJ Young back for Sunday's 3 p.m. game with Longwood.

If someone walked into Bud Walton Arena Wednesday afternoon, they might have been thinking that they were at the sparsely attended Arkansas basketball game ever.

But it was only a simulated game for the Razorbacks, who opened the season last Friday and didn't have another game on the schedule until this Sunday's 3 p.m. contest with Longwood.

"Actually when you have that long a period of time and these guys going at each other for quite a while, it can get kind of chippy with guys getting in there and competing," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "They kind of get on each other's nerves."

So Anderson turned on the clock, busted out the music and even put former Arkansas star and current Director of Student-Athlete Development Scotty Thurman on the microphone.

"I put 20 minutes for two halves, we had the scoreboard, we had the music going just like it was a game," Anderson added. "Our announcer was Scotty Thurman. He was (Bud Walton Arena announcer) Johnny George on the mike. When they scored or got fouled, he was on the mike. We had TV timeouts to simulate a game. They probably should have been playing a game in this period of time so we had to simulate a game."

Junior guard Mardracus Wade said Thurman got into his role and the game was a success.

"He was really good," Wade said. "He thought he was a real commentator and announcer guy. But it went really well. We showed some improvement on the defensive end and a little more patience on the offensive end as far as getting more curls and getting guys the ball in the right situations so they could score more easily.

"I think it was really good for us," Wade added. "A lot of guys really got up into it, it got intense and I was kind of proud of that."

Wade noted the game was the veterans among the Razorbacks' newcomers.

"We played good," Wade said. "The young guys played good and showed a little heart in a couple of little spurts. Actually I think they took the lead at one point time in the game, but we kind of got it together and we ended up taking the win."

Arkansas will be getting sophomore guard B.J. Young back for Sunday's game after he finished up a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules.

Young was not available for comment Thursday, but Wade said the return of the first-team All-SEC performer would be huge for the team.

"It means a lot," Wade said. "It is going to help open up the floor for us because guys are going to have to try and double-team him and that is going to open up our outside game. It is also going to help his game out as well because we do have decent shooters this year and he can get in there and when they do double, he can kick out and we have some guys that can knock down the shots."

Longwood was 0-1 going into Thursday night's home game against Norfolk State.

The Lancers opened the season with an 81-47 loss to Marshall last Friday.

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