Brewer Steals Show In Red-White Game

FAYETTEVILLE --  Arkansas guard Ronnie Brewer was arguably the best player for the Red team on Saturday in Bud Walton Arena.

And he was arguably the best player for the White team, too.

Confused?

Brewer, a 6-foot-7 junior from Fayetteville, helped both teams during the annual Red-White game in front of 6,733 adoring fans waiting patiently for a breakout year.

At least for one day in history, Brewer broke out and took the rest of his teammates -- in both Red and White jerseys -- with him in this glorified intrasquad practice.

Oh by the way, the Red team won 87-72, if it really matters.

What really mattered is how much Brewer had to do with it.

After leading the Red team to a 47-32 lead at halftime, Brewer and 6-7 redshirt sophomore Preston Cranford switched sides.

In the first half, Brewer had 16 points, by going 5-for-5, including 2-for-2 shooting from the 3-point line and hitting 4 of 5 free-throw attempts. He played 16 minutes.

In the second half, Brewer was 8-for-11, including 4-for-7 on 3-point attempts. He was 2 of 2 from the line. That was good for 22 points in 19 minutes.

Translated, Brewer had 38 points.

"I felt comfortable with the ball," Brewer said. "My teammates were just giving me the ball and I was knocking shots down.

"They were setting good screens and finding me when I was open. I have to just give credit to my teammates."

Brewer, who last Wednesday was named the preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, said his game has improved because he's concentrated and worked harder.

"I've concentrated on keeping my stroke, something I didn't do well last year, especially with my free throws. I think last year I lost confidence in my free throws which led to me missing. Those are easy baskets.

"That's the thing about being a shooter, you have to be consistent. I just concentrated more in the off-season and worked on it.

"I wasn't that consistent last year."



Better Guard That Man

Maybe the biggest surprise Saturday was the outside shooting of Cranford, who seemed like he couldn't miss.

He was 5 of 6 on 3-point attempts and finished with 17 points. He scored 11 points for the Red team, 6 more for the White team.

"I was feeling pretty good," Cranford said. "I think last year, being redshirted helped me a lot.

"I think just the year of experience, the maturity and playing in front of a crowd before was the biggest thing that helped me.

"I worked real hard on my shooting."

Brewer said Cranford could be a secret weapon this season.

"I think he can definitely come in and provide us with some scoring relief," Brewer said. "If a team comes out in a zone, we have someone who can come in and hurt them.

"He can hurt you."



Townes Fouls

Sophomore Darian Townes put up some good numbers, too, but had a little trouble with fouling too much.

Statistically, Townes enjoyed a huge game. He scored 26 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in 40 minutes.

Still ...

Townes got his fourth personal with 6 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first half. He got his fifth personal with 10:47 left in the game.

"I've got to watch on my fouls," Townes said. "I've got to work on that. I was in the wrong place too many times. I don't think I was taking the right angles out there sometimes. I'm going to work on that before we play another team.

"I don't want to get into real trouble."



Welcome Back

Arkansas redshirt forward Vincent Hunter, who missed all of last year with an injured right shoulder, returned to action Saturday.

Hunter scored 12 points and had 7 rebounds.

"I felt real good to be back out there with my team and in front of the fans, it felt real good," Hunter said. "I was happy to be back out there after not playing at all last year.

"I'm looking forward to the season."



Coming Attractions

Arkansas returns to the court at 7:05 p.m. Friday. That's when the Razorbacks play Southwest Baptist (Mo.) College in Bud Walton Arena in the first of two real exhibition games.

On Nov. 12, the Hogs meet LSU-Shreveport in its other exhibition game in Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas opens its regular season against Portland State at 7:05 p.m. Nov. 18, also at home.




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