Danny Johnston, Associated Press
In this photo taken Oct. 8, 2011, Arkansas basketball coach Mike Anderson leads a cheer during the university's NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. Arkansas will have a very different look on the court this season.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Mike Anderson has enjoyed a homecoming of sorts at Arkansas throughout the offseason.

Now the first-year Razorbacks basketball coach is ready to return to the court, with practices set to begin Friday.

Anderson left Missouri in March to return to where he helped lead Arkansas to the 1994 national championship as an assistant coach under Nolan Richardson. An estimated 5,000 fans greeted Anderson during his introduction as former coach John Plephrey's replacement.

Arkansas missed the NCAA tournament for the third straight time last season, finishing 18-13. It enters this season without seven players from that team, three who transferred following Anderson's hiring.

That includes scoring leader Rotnei Clarke, who transferred to Butler after averaging 15.2 points per game.

Anderson is counting on junior forward Marshawn Powell to lead the Razorbacks, as well as four highly recruited freshmen.