FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Mike Anderson wouldn’t predict the winner of tonight’s Red-White Game after the teams were selected Monday afternoon.
But Anderson could promise one thing: the scrimmage should be competitive.
“Our practices have been real competitive,” Anderson said. “I’ve done that. I’ve put different teams, different combinations. Our guys are competing, getting after it and obviously in the Red-White scrimmage they want to audition in front of me.”
Anderson’s team, which has much more depth than last season, will show off some of its competitiveness after two weeks of practice during the scrimmage at 7 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena. Media members who will serve as honorary coaches selected the teams Monday. It’s a tradition Anderson began at Alabama-Birmingham in 2002.
Each team will have eight players. The White includes Marshawn Powell, Mardracus Wade, Rickey Scott, Coty Clarke, JaCorey Williams, Kikko Haydar, Fred Gulley and Davion Spivey. The Red consists of B.J. Young, Anthlon Bell, Rashad Madden, Alandise Harris, Hunter Mickelson, Dee Wagner, Michael Qualls and Charlie Henderson.
Anderson said it will be a good chance to check on the progress of his team since its last scrimmage in Bud Walton Arena during the “Primetime at the Palace” event.
“They’re more into game-like mode versus what we did at ‘Primetime at the Palace,’” Anderson said. “We’ve had 18 to 20 practices. So hopefully we’re a little bit sharper. But I want it to be fun for them as well because the exhibition starts Friday and we’re just getting closer and closer to getting started.”
The Red-White scrimmage opens a week of games in Bud Walton Arena. The Razorbacks tips off the exhibition season against Southwest Baptist on Friday night, then plays LeMoyne-Owen next Monday.
Arkansas opens the 2012-13 season against Sam Houston State on Nov. 9.
“We are a more athletic team and we can showcase that in the open floor and our defense can really start learning how to rotate and get places and guard people,” Anderson said about tonight’s Red-White scrimmage and its two exhibition games.
“I will be anxious to see how these guys hold up in a 40-minute game.”