Thomas Makes Return To Lineup

FAYETTEVILLE -- In his first game back since Dec. 23, Charles Thomas shot 3 of 4 and led the team in rebounding for the first time this year with five.

Thomas returned from the birth of his daughter, Mariah Thomas, who was born on Tuesday in Jackson, Miss. He returned to the team on Thursday and started Friday's game against Louisiana-Monroe.

The 6-7 freshman got the Razorbacks going early, scoring four quick points, but also committed four fouls in 17 minutes.

Arkansas coach Stan Heath and teammate Ronnie Brewer were both happy to have Thomas back with the team.

"Charles played pretty solid, he fouled a little too much but that was nothing but hustle," Heath said.

"Having Charles in the lineup is always a plus," Brewer said. "He's always going to be solid."


Arkansas coaches know something about at least one player on the ULM roster. Cecil Hood, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior guard, played at Arkansas-Fort Smith last year.

Hood played his high school basketball at Detroit Central for Arkansas assistant coach Oronde Taliaferro. He signed with Taliaferro and Razorbacks coach Stan Heath at Kent State before ending up at UAFS.

"He (Hood) falls in love so quick, I'm going to put some good-looking girls around to distract him," Heath said.

Hood started his first game of the season Friday night. He played 34 minutes, scored 16 points, had 1 blocked shot, but suffered 7 turnovers.


ULM (not Northeast Louisiana) never has beaten Arkansas in Arkansas in Fayetteville, but upset the Razorbacks in Barton Coliseum in Little Rock in the 1992-93 season. Arkansas was 8-0 and ranked No. 9.

In that game, the Indians shot 59 percent from the floor to take an 87-78 victory.


Louisiana-Monroe coach Mike Vining is one win away from No. 400.His career record is 399-288. Vining is No. 4 among all-time Louisiana collegiate coaches. At the top of that list is Fred Hobdy, who coached Grambling State to a 665-573 record from 1967-86).

Vining is ranked sixth nationally among active coaches with the most win at his current school at 24 years.


With unseasonable weather on Friday, officials turned on the air conditioning system in Bud Walton Arena.

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