FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas coach Mike Anderson and seniors Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford preview Friday's NCAA Tournament matchup against Butler:
Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford
DM: Coach always tells us he set our schedule up for this time of the year. The experience is going to play a big part.
JB: We've played a great schedule all year. It's going to be fun, and we're ready to play.
JB: Daryl thinks he's cool. His emotion, love for the game is great to see. He loves his city, his state and the university.
DM: We're going to go out and play our brand of basketball. I don't think the Big East has a team like us that can really turn teams over.
JB: I think we're one of the most difficult teams to prepare for.
DM: I see a little bit of Auburn in Butler. They can shoot the 3 and they're scrappy on defense.
JB: Anything can happen in tournament time. Every minute and second is crucial. You just have to come ready to play.
DM on the 40-game win streak when leading at halftime: When we go in at the half we're confident. Coach Anderson tells us its a 40-minute game. ... Coach has a quick temper behind the scenes that gets us fired up.
JB: Kelan Martin's game reminds me of Admiral Schofield's at Tennessee. We're going to see how he plays Friday.
DM: I had the picture of me sitting on the floor after the UNC game last year as my phone background for a long time after that. That game really motivated me. I sat out the last 3-4 minutes and I don't want that to happen again.
DM: We're a young team as far as our bench. Our bench will play a big part in this tournament, and I think they realize that now.
JB: Our bench was good in the SEC Tournament and they learned a lot. I think they'll be ready and they know what we expect from them.
-Butler is a team that really scores. They like to get up in the 80s. We have a workout today, we'll work out in the morning then head for Detroit.
-We've got to figure out how to close teams out, especially in this tournament. We've had to make plays to finish things off whether it be at the line, a defensive stop. I think that's hopefully the thing they learned from last year.
-Guys have played meaningful minutes throughout the year. Who is going to be the guy to break out for us this year? Darious Hall, C.J. Jones, Trey Thompson can be those guys. The biggest key is just to have a calmness about them.
-At the beginning of the year I said I was more comfortable with what we had. There's a lot of different things you can do to come out of your shell. If you look at Daryl's season, I had to do some juggling to to get him in the right places.
-Kelan Martin (20.8 ppg) is one of the leading scorers in the country, not only in the Big East. I think there's going to be some switching, but the guys are going to have to be mindful about where he is.
-Butler is a team that has multiple guys that can handle the ball. They open up the floor and they're a skilled team. You've got to try to speed them up, but they kind of want to be sped up. We have to make them uncomfortable. Our defense is going to have be at an all-time high. You can't put them on the line.
-I just think the conference tournament helps you when you go into this kind of a tournament for coaches and players. LaVall Jordan is coaching in his 1st NCAA Tournament game while Anderson enters No. 18 on Friday. "It's another big game, and the biggest game on our schedule right now."
-When we've been our best, our bench has played well. Darious had a very good tournament in St. Louis and Gabe gave some good minutes. Trey came out and did the same. He was able to finish the game off in a fine fashion. We've got to identify when guys are tired.
-Butler has been pretty good against pressure defenses. Stats say they only turn the ball over (11) times a game. Kamar Baldwin can go left or right. A couple of guys have 100+ assists. This team is a blue-collar type team, and the guard play is going to be critical.
-As we continue to get to this point, and we want to get beyond this point, I've got to give credit to our coaches for going out and finding kids that want to learn and contribute to the culture change. These guys expect to win, and that's a mindset. Scotty Thurman and that bunch, Oliver Miller and that crew were the same way. These guys are like that. But we're not done yet.
-It all starts in recruting, and guys have to see the vision. There are no quick fixes turning around a program. I don't want a flash in the pan - a 1 year, 2 year deal. Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton set a tremendous standard here, and that keeps me enthused and excited about what we're doing.