Townes At Practice

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas forward Darian Townes attended practice Wednesday, about 18 hours after playing just three minutes and being sent to the locker room during Arkansas' victory over Tulsa.

Townes didn't return to the bench area after storming to the locker room in the early minutes of a 68-59 win Tuesday night.

During a timeout with 11:53 left in the first half, Arkansas coach Stan Heath and Townes could be seen exchanging fiery remarks.

After the confrontation persisted, Heath said he told Townes that he should "just go in the locker room," and that they'd talk later in the night.

Following the Hogs' 11th win of the season, Heath said Townes was still part of the team. The 6-foot-10 junior departed quickly from the arena and was not available for comment.

How exactly the two ended up in the spat is unknown. So is Townes' status for Arkansas' Southeastern Conference opener against No. 8 Alabama at 1:05 p.m. Saturday in Bud Walton Arena. Heath didn't return a phone call Wednesday to discuss the situation.

As for possible punishments to Townes, Heath said through Arkansas' sports information department that he'd "address it" at his 1:30 p.m. news conference today.

But the scene before Wednesday's practice began revealed that Townes at least hadn't quit the team.

Townes was dressed in his warm-up gear before the start of practice, ready to go. Arkansas' practice was closed Wednesday so it is unknown how much Townes actually participated.

When the Alexandria, Va. native entered Tuesday's game, Arkansas led 7-0 with 15:34 left in the first half. The Razorbacks didn't score in the three minutes, 41 seconds Townes played, and he missed badly on his two shot attempts.

Tulsa cut the lead to three, and Heath brought freshman Michael Washington in for Townes. That's when the heated exchange took place.

During his two-plus seasons in Fayetteville, Townes has earned a reputation for inconsistent play and sometimes erratic behavior. He entered Tuesday's game averaging 8.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 17.7 minutes per game.

The coaches of the SEC respected his talent, and potential, enough to vote Townes in the preseason as a second-team all-SEC pick. But Townes has been unable to steadily play with the intensity Heath demands. Often, outside factors seem to get in the way.

"Sometimes that's D," Heath said. "He's an emotional guy."

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