Cranford To Redshirt in 2004-05

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas coach Stan Heath announced Thursday that sophomore guard Preston Cranford of Heber Springs will redshirt during the 2004-05 season. =

Heath already has problems distributing minutes among his perimeter rotation of Ronnie Brewer, Jonathon Modica, Olu Famutimi, Eric Ferguson and Dontell Jefferson and while the 6-foot-7, 195-pound Cranford is a good shooter, he is not strong or quick enough yet to help the Razorbacks this year.

"He has a very good shot, and lately was struggling a little bit," Heath said. "Some of that was defensive pressure and trying to get his shot without hurrying it or being off balance. That's the speed of the game.

"More than anything, he has to get stronger and get used to playing against athletic players, quicker players and finding a way to move without the ball. Just different parts of the game he'll have time to work on and get better at."

Cranford, who walked on last year and was given a scholarship this year, had the final say on redshirting and believes it will be best in the long run.

"I hope to gain advantages in the weight room," Cranford said. "That's the biggest thing that's keeping me from contributing.

(Being stronger) is going to help me get open for my shot. I can get free from the defense. The more I can improve, the extra year can do nothing but help me."

Arkansas sophomore forward Vincent Hunter, 6-10, 214, is having reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder today and will also redshirt this year.

Arkansas opens its exhibition season Saturday against Texas A&M Commerce at 7:05 p.m. in Bud Walton Arena.

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