The Rise of Kikko Haydar continues.
Arkansas head basketball coach Mike Anderson announced Monday that redshirt junior Marshawn Powell and Haydar, a junior walk on from Fayetteville, have been selected captains for this year's basketball team.
Naming captains is not something Anderson – whose Razorbacks (11-6, 2-2) host Mississippi State (7-9, 2-2) Wednesday at 8 p.m. - says he normally does, but felt the need to do so this season.
""Our younger guys gravitate to them," Anderson said. "That says a lot about those guys. It's all about building trust. … I think those are going to be the guys who will go out and represent us well and be spokesmen for our team."
Powell is averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while Haydar has gone from an afterthought to getting nearly 20 minutes per game.
Anderson lauded what he has seen from Haydar, who had six points, five rebounds, five assists and turnovers in Saturday's 76-64 loss at Ole Miss.
"It's good to see that," Anderson said. " I think he's bringing some toughness we need. When he's on the floor, offensively things flow easily - he had five assists in that game - and defensively, he's always where the ball is, taking charges and deflecting passes."
Haydar – averaging 3.2 points and 12.5 minutes of action per game - has hit 16 of 31 3-pointers this season and has 18 assists to just two turnovers.
"He's a gym rat,"Anderson said. "He's one of the smartest guys on campus and a gym rat. That's a pretty good combination. The reward for his effort is that he's had opportunity to play and I think he's made the most of it. You see some guys following his lead and I think they like having him out on the floor."?
Haydar was honored, but took the news in stride.
"They told us just now," Haydar said. "It comes with a lot of responsibility. "It's surprising but I have always had confidence in myself and hopefully I can help lead this team."
Powell was equally honored by the selection.
"It means a lot to me to be honest that Coach put that belief in us two," Powell said. " I feel like we are the two leaders on this team and can take this team where we need to do."
Powell has great respect for his fellow captain.
" It shows you what he does every day, man," Powell said. "He just comes in and works. He's one of the hardest workers I have ever seen in my whole life and I felt like he deserves it."
It's clear that Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy thinks a great deal of him as well.
" I have great respect for him and I told the young man that after the game," Kennedy said. "I enjoy watching him play because he plays with maximum energy and at the same the time under control. He's got the great equalizer in the ability to make shots. You have to press up on him. On Saturday he showed the ability to dribble into traffic and make good decisions. He is a key addition to Mike."
Kennedy, who has a great guard on his team in SEC Player of the week and league leading scorer Marshall Henderson, was yelling shooter when Haydar got the ball during Saturday game.
"He can extend you out to 22 or 23 feet," Kennedy said. "He shoots with great confidence. Coming into our game, I think he was over 50 percent from three. So anytime you have a guy who can be that efficient from 3-point land it changes the defense much like Marshall does for us. You have to extend out. I thought Arkansas did a good job playing behind him, more spacing is created for his area."
Haydar, Powell Named Captains
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