Portis Honored by SEC

Forward Bobby Portis was named second team All-SEC and to the All-Freshman team, the league office announced Tuesday.

Bobby Portis was named to both the All-SEC team and the league's All-Freshman team, as voted by the league coaches, it was announced by the SEC office on Tuesday.

Arkansas (21-10) will sit out the first round of the SEC tournament, awaiting the winner of the Auburn-South Carolina game. The Hogs play at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Atlanta.

Portis is a 6-10 freshman from Little Rock Hall. Heading into the SEC tournament, Portis has averaged 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. He has 20 double figure scoring games and has hit double-doubles in points and rebounds three times. He broke Scotty Thurman's school freshman scoring record with 35 against Alabama. That set up one of three Freshman of the Week honors for Portis.

Portis was the lone freshman on the All-District VII squad, extending Arkansas' streak to 11 straight years with a player honored by the USBWA. Portis and Kentucky's Julius Randle were the only two freshmen from the SEC to make any of the nine All-District teams.

Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said Portis, a McDonald's All-American, didn't try to live up to any expectations. He just let the game come to him.

"I think Bobby's a guy that's come in and, he didn't have the pressure of being the savior, and I think that's the biggest part of it," Anderson said. "He came in and went at his own pace and we can see, this guy, he wants to be a player. He doesn't want to be a good player, he wants to be a great player.

"And I think he made great strides from the first day to where he is right now.

"You look at the Alabama game, he was the one guy who was really out there competing and battling, in a game where we had an uphill battle the whole game." Anderson added. "But he was out there just competing and he's done that throughout the year.

"No question I think he's one of the better ones in our league. He's one of the better ones in the country. So we're certainly glad to have him in a Razorback uniform."

Senior Fred Gulley praised his teammate.

"I think what he's done this year is huge," Gulley said of Portis. "It's really tough for a freshman, regardless of the accolades they come into college with, to be be able to come out here and perform the way he has.

"What's impressed me the most is he never really had a freshman slump. Most freshmen come in and they have a period of time where - it's just different. The length of the season, the pounding on the body, the strength of the players.

"But he's come in and he's adjusted very well. Even when he's had times where things didn't go his way, he's worked his way out of them and he's a guy that puts in the time so he'll always get the results he's trying to get."

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