Weems Back On Track

FAYETTEVILLE -- Now, when shots don't fall, when defenses frustrate him, Sonny Weems pauses. He takes a deep breath and ponders for a few moments.

Earlier in his first season of Division I college basketball, Weems didn't engage in this kind of thought. He just pressed on aimlessly, hoping things would just work out somehow.

He now realizes a proactive approach, recommended by Arkansas coach Stan Heath, works best.

"Coach (Heath) talked to me a little bit about settling down, and that's what I've been doing," Weems said. "Sometimes, I get a little anxious out there. So, the key for me I can see now is I've got to let the game come to me. I can't force it."

Before scoring 13 points Tuesday night in Arkansas' 75-59 victory over Central Michigan, Weems had consecutively posted two of his three lowest scoring games this season. Weems, a versatile scorer, got back on track by channeling the idea floated by Heath. An adjusted outlook seemed necessary because of Weems' production in Arkansas' previous two contests.

In the Hogs' lone loss of the season last Thursday at Missouri, Weems tallied just 11 points. He followed up that effort with the worst showing of his junior season, going scoreless Saturday in just 14 minutes in a Razorbacks victory over Missouri-Kansas City.

But he seemed comfortable once again Tuesday, dribbling the ball strong to the basket, draining mid-range jump shots and sprinting to holes in Central Michigan's defense.

"Sonny was a lot better (Tuesday)," Heath said. "And in fairness to him, he's playing his first eight games of high-level college basketball, so he's probably not going to be right here every single game. I know a few of the things he needs to work at he showed improvement (Tuesday) in them."

Mostly, Heath sees a raw talent needing to learn the tricks of the Division I trade. During his time in Fort Smith, while leading the Lions to a junior college national championship, Weems could get by on pure athleticism. The 6-foot-6 swingman could make up for struggles in some areas by tapping into his leaping ability or quickness.

Against more skilled competition, though, Weems is finding he must use his brain in addition to his muscles. He has caught on in just eight games.

"I've got to get better at adjusting," Weems said. "I'm sure teams might try to take things away from me. So I've just got to do better at recognizing what they're doing against me."

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