Arkansas coach Mike Anderson met with the media to discuss the start of his team's 10 practices in preparation for next month's trip to Italy on Monday.

Anderson said the trip is a nice head start for Arkansas and its 2012-13 season. One which will include plenty of new faces on the roster with just six scholarship players returning (one of those being forward Marshawn Powell, who missed nearly the entire season after suffering a knee injury).

Here are a few noteworthy items from the media opportunity:

• It's not clear whether Powell will be available for action when the team plays four games in Italy. Powell is doing well in his recovery from the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He practiced with the team Monday and looked pretty good up and down the floor. But Anderson said they're going to ease Powell back into things this month - "We’ll just kind of evaluate it as we go."

• Two players aren't practicing - forward Alandise Harris and guard Fred Gulley. Those two aren't expected to travel with the team to Italy because they're transfers. Gulley (who transferred from Oklahoma State) won't be available to play until the fall semester ends and Harris (who transferred from Houston) is still awaiting word from the NCAA on his appeal for immediate eligibility.

• Arkansas has 17 players listed on its roster. Interestingly, one of them is football quarterback Brandon Mitchell. He played with the team the second half of the 2011-12 season and seems to be holding onto a roster spot for now. His obvious focus right now is football, though. Anderson said "we'll see" regarding the hoops season.

Much more on Arkansas' preparation for the Italy tour in tomorrow's papers.

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau