UA's Modica, Brewer Named All-SEC

FAYETTEVILLE -- Ten years have passed since Arkansas put two players on any kind of preseason All-Southeastern Conference team.

Scotty Thurman and Corliss Williamson made consecutive appearances on the 1993-94 and 1994-95 preseason teams voted on by writers before the Razorbacks' national title and runner-up seasons.

In the first preseason vote ever by conference coaches, Razorbacks junior Jonathon Modica of Smackover and sophomore Ronnie Brewer of Fayetteville were named to the 2004-05 second team released Thursday by the SEC office.

Modica and Brewer are Arkansas' recently elected captains and top-two returning scorers. Modica was named second-team All-SEC after last season and Brewer made two freshman All-American teams and the SEC All-Freshman team.

"It's an honor for them to be recognized by the coaches," said Arkansas coach Stan Heath in a statement released by the university. "This means there are expectations they will have to work hard to live up to and surpass, but they are both very deserving. They are two of our leaders and will play a key role in the amount of success we have this season."

Modica has the highest returning scoring average (16.5 ppg) of any Razorback since Williamson came back for the 1994-95 season, and Brewer, who averaged 12.2 points, is the Razorbacks' returning leader in rebounding (5.5), assists (3.4) and steals (2.0).

Florida placed three on the first team, led by unanimous selection guard Anthony Roberson. Forward David Lee and swingman Matt Walsh were the other Gators.

Mississippi State forward Lawrence Roberts, the 2003-04 SEC Player of the Year, was the other unanimous selection to the first team.

Alabama forward Kennedy Winston, Kentucky forward Chuck Hayes, Tennessee guard Scooter McFadgon and LSU forward Brandon Bass round out the first team.

Alabama, Florida and Tennessee led all schools with three selections to the first and second teams. Arkansas and Kentucky were next with two each.

The last time Arkansas had any type of preseason SEC honors was before the 2000-01 season when sophomore Joe Johnson was named Player of the Year.

Heath has been rebuilding the Arkansas program the last two years since taking over in 2002 and consecutive highly-rated recruiting classes should finally give the Razorbacks a nice blend of size, skill, youth and experience.

Having star players like Modica and Brewer is another difference between Heath's third season and his first.

Coaches aren't allowed to vote for their own players, but Heath unknowingly predicted the recognition of Brewer and Modica by his peers in an August interview.

"It's the first year we've gone a season where there's definitely two guys who are marquee players looked upon in our league as returning all-conference type players with Ronnie and Jonathon," he said.

The Razorbacks return to the court today after getting Thursday off following their first five practices.

Arkansas will go today through Tuesday before another off day next Wednesday.

The Hogs will play their Red-White game Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.

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