Bob Holt is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy, Biletnikoff Award and AP Top 25 basketball poll. Holt was awarded Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year in 2000 and 2015.
UA’s Portis earns 2nd honor
Arkansas forward Bobby Portis smiles during the second half of play Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas forward Bobby Portis is on a roll going into Wednesday night’s SEC opener at Texas A&M.
On Monday, Portis was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season after having 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, 3 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes during the Razorbacks’ 104-71 victory over Texas-San Antonio last Saturday night.
Portis, a 6-10 McDonald’s All-American from Little Rock Hall, is 27 of 34 from the field in the past four games.
“That’s exceptional,” Arkansas senior guard Fred Gulley said. “That means he’s taking quality shots. He’s getting good looks. He’s not forcing anything.
“We need a force down low, and he’s bringing that for us.”
Portis, who is averaging 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, is the first Razorback to be named SEC Freshman of the Week multiple times since Patrick Beverley did it three times during the 2006-2007 season.
“He puts the time in in the gym each and every day and I think it’s paying off for him,” Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said. “He continues to be that sponge and just absorb what it takes to play at this level and to play consistently.
“As a coach, you look forward to guys that have that desire. He has a big-time motor and we’ve seen that. I think we’re even just scratching the surface with him.”
Gulley said he’s been impressed by how quickly Portis has adjusted to the college game.
“He’s still learning, and he’ll learn even more when we get into conference play, because it goes up another level,” Gulley said. “But one thing about Bobby, he’s been making subtle adjustments all year.”
Sports, Pages 21 on 01/07/2014