Portis claims second Freshman of Week honor


FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas forward Bobby Portis was named the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week Monday.

Portis earned the honor — which was his second this season — after leading the Razorbacks with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 104-71 win against Texas-San Antonio on Saturday. Portis went 8 for 8 from the field in the win, adding three assists and three blocks during Arkansas’ seventh straight victory.

“He continues to be that sponge and just absorb what it takes to play at this level and to play consistently,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said Monday afternoon. “It’s like he had the game where he was 8 for 8 the other night, three blocked shots, three assists, whatever, 10 rebounds. Well guess what? He wants to play better than that. How can you play any better? That’s just his makeup.

“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.”

Portis has scored in double figures for nine straight games, has led Arkansas offensively in the past four and is second on the team in scoring (12.8 points). He also leads the Razorbacks in rebounding (6.2 a game) and is second in the SEC in field goal percentage (59.1 percent) entering conference play.

Portis is 21 of 24 from the field in the past three games. The three misses have come from behind the three-point line. Portis is 20 for 20 inside the arc during the stretch.

The Little Rock native became the second Arkansas player to win the SEC’s Freshman of the Week honor multiple times, joining former Razorback Patrick Beverley. The Houston Rockets guard earned the honor three times in 2006-07 en route to earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

“I think he has established himself as an impact player,” Anderson said. “I think he will find out even more as we get into conference play because all of a sudden now you become a target. Can you be a guy that when it comes to you, you may be a decoy at times. Do you have the basketball IQ to understand that? I think he does.”