Brewer, Hunter hoop stars in UA scrimmage

Ronnie Brewer has 21 points and 14 assists, Vincent Hunter 23 points and 12 rebounds as their team rolls to victory Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.

What a difference a day can make.

On Friday, University of Arkansas head coach Stan Heath put a pair of split-up squads through a scrimmage and the sophomore-dominated White squad edged the freshmen-dominated one 46-43.

But Saturday afternoon belonged to a Black-uniformed team featuring four freshmen, two redshirt seniors that didn't play last season and a former walk-on senior who made a statement of his intention to play in the 2003-2004 campaign.

Ronnie Brewer had 21 points, a game-high 14 assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes while fellow freshman Vincent Hunter posted a double-double with game-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Black routed the White 107-72 before 4,113 fans at Bud Walton Arena.

"I thought we scored the ball a lot easier than we did last year, I can tell you that," Heath said. "That was pretty obvious."

Senior Jamar Blackmon, a former walk on, added 17 points and redshirt senior Billy Pharis 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Black team jumped to a 52-39 halftime lead and then just kept pouring it on.

Three consecutive dunks by Hunter (who was 10-of-11 from the field) and Brewer pushed that margin to 75-48 with 12:52 left in the game.

The lead would grow to as much as 39 on three different occasions before the contest was over. "The game just kind of snowballed," Heath said. "The Arkansas (Black) team had a little momentum and kept it going. The White, once they fell behind I think got a little frustrated and didn't make some sound plays."

The performance of Brewer, the son of former UA star Ron Brewer and a star at Fayetteville High last season, was made even more impressive by the fact that he had just one turnover while playing 35 minutes.

"I think Ronnie Brewer kind of set the tempo for that team and made some easy plays for his teammates," Heath said. "He was always pretty aggressive with his scoring."

Sophomore Jonathon "Pookie" Modica led the White team with a game-high 25 points while junior Michael Jones added 14 and sophomores Wenbos Mukubu and Kendrick Davis added 10 points and 9 rebounds each.

Eric Ferguson had just 8 points in the game, but did dish out a team-high 7 assists.

The free throw shooting - a combined 15-of-31 - was a weakness.

"We have been up and down in the area," Heath said. "We've had some days where we have shot it extremely well and had some days where we have lost some focus."

One big difference in the two teams was the fact that the winning black team had a whopping 27 assists to just 8 turnovers while the White had 17 assists and 15 turnovers.

The Black team shot 59.7 percent from the field while the White team knocked down just 44.9 percent of their shots from the floor.

"That (the assist-to-turnover ratio) is a big difference right there," Heath said. "That gave them a lot of opportunities for their team and they really capitalized on them. They really shot the ball well."

Charles Tatum, Blackmon and freshman walk on Preston Cranford all hit three 3-pointers as the victorious team dropped in 11 to the losers' 5.

Heath, who sit with potential point guard recruit Kyle Lowry at the scorer's table during about the winning team after the game.

"Three of the players that played very well for that group were (former or current) walk ons - Billy Pharis, Preston Cranford and Jamar Blackmon," Heath said. "...They all played extremely well."

While it was dubbed the Red-White game, the Red uniforms were nowhere in sight.

"As of yesterday we did not have our White uniforms," Heath said. "adidas had sent us black and red, so we had already made plans to wear the black uniforms. We couldn't make the change at the last minute because Charles Tatum's shorts were so long that they went all way down to his ankle.

"We had them sewned up," Heath said. "If you looked at his shorts, they were sewn up and you couldn't see the Hog on them. They were tucked underneath."

The Razorbacks will continue to wear red on the road.

"We know our school colors are red and white," Heath said. "We have great love for our colors. We are not trying to do anything that is outrageous and we don't mean any disrespect to any of our fans or traditionalists. But I thought it would be good to just test the waters. I'm interested in the fan reaction and what they thought. Obviously it is very appealing to recruits and players. They have an interest in that."

Arkansas will take Sunday off from practice and return to the court Monday with its next game being an exhibition game against Sports Tours next Saturday.

o o o

Black (107) - Vincent Hunter 23, Ronnie Brewer 21, Jamar Blackmon 17, Billy Pharis 15, Charles Tatum 12, Olu Famutimi 10, Preston Cranford 9.

White (72): Jonathon Modica 25, Michael Jones 14, Wenbos Mukubu 10, Kendrick Davis 10, Eric Ferguson 8, Rashard Sullivan 5.

Top Rebounders: Hunter 12, Pharis 10, Sullivan 9, Mukubu 9

Tops in Assists: Brewer 14, Ferguson 7, Modica 4


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