Mike Anderson had a productive summer with his Razorback basketball team. He stopped by the Razorback Nation studios to discuss more about his squad, including, Nolan Richardson's induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame.
Chris Frye: "Let's discuss summer workouts. We're at the end of the summer, really. School starting here in a couple of weeks. Your assessment of your team during the summer workout program."
Mike Anderson: "We were able to bring all of our kids in...which is a tremendous...."
Chris Frye: "New kids as well."
Mike Anderson: "New players as well... so we had eight weeks of working out at two hours a week of individual development. I didn't want to practice this early, because it could become a grind and so we did a lot of individual workouts. And we did a lot of shooting so, giving the young guys an opportunity to get acclomated to what takes place here at this level."
Chris Frye: "I want to talk about Keaton Miles. Because he's been here for a year, but it seems like he's been the forgotten man because he's been here for so long, but he hasn't played...until now."
Mike Anderson: "Well, when we're talking about Keaton, we're talking about a guy that sat out this past year from West Virginia. I tell you what. We're going to need his energy. He's one of those slashing forwards. Very athletic. He can give us a lot of things that Coty gave us, so it's going to big for him to really step in there and be a big plus for our basketball team."
Chris Frye: "What's been the growth of maturity this offseason from your players, in developing that championship, that winning mentality."
Mike Anderson: "I think it's been a working mentality. I mean, it's been a quiet summer. Sometimes that's good for coaches when it's a quiet summer in the offseason, that's good. But it's been a working mentality and it's been a 'We' mentality. The bonding that has taken place with this team..has been incredible. I mean...this team bowls every Wednesday. I'm just finding out some of the things that they do. They go and have dinner together. It's kind of like, 'I am My Brother's Keeper'. And so, we're getting more guys with that 'We' mentality...and I think it's going to be an exciting team."
Chris Frye: "Switching gears for a moment, as we talk about Nolan Richardson. He will be inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in Springfield, Mass this upcoming week. Obviously, he's been a big influence in your life and your career. Just talk about this opportunity. You're going to go up and see the ceremony first hand. Talk about...as a guy that's worked along side Nolan, how proud of a moment it is for you personally to see this happening."
Mike Anderson: "You know Chris, this is the crowning moment in a coaches career. This is the pinacle in coaching when you're talking about the Hall Of Fame. We work to make a difference in kids lives. And so, now you get a chance to be recognized by the best of the best in the business. And so, to have one of our own from here at Arkansas. Someone who was a coach, a mentor, a father figure to me. Um...I tell you what, I'm speechless in terms of describing how I feel about it and I'm sure he will be as well. It couldn't have happened to a better guy. He's very deserving of it. Not many people...no coach, has done what he's done. And the beauty of it is that he done it his way. And so, he's someone that I admire and respect. I always says, people who look at my teams and say, 'Man, those look like Coach Richardson teams of the 90's and all of that.' All that means is that we had tremendous success, we played an exciting brand of basketball and we won a lot of basketball."
Chris Frye: "And you won a lot of basketball games in one of your members of the staff in Scotty Thurman, now who's expanding his role now as a Color Analyst for basketball games throughout the season. Just talk about Scotty and what he's meant to you and your staff and this new opportunity in getting in front of the camera."
Mike Anderson: "I've always said from day one, he's a guy that had more insight. He was ahead of his time and he continues to do those things. Being in the Color Analyst position, gives people a tremendous insight to what the Fastest 40 Minutes or 40 Minutes of Hell basketball is all about, because he can give them a view-by-view, bit-by-bit of what's taking place. And he'll do it his way and he'll craft it where it will be his way."