Beverley, Ervin Pained By One-Game Suspension

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas guard Patrick Beverley hurt last Friday night, one of those deep in the pit-of-your-stomach pains.

His teammates were at Bud Walton Arena, scrimmaging each other in front of nearly 6,000 fans. But the sophomore, senior guard Gary Ervin and sophomore forward Michael Washington weren't playing; they weren't even in the building.

The three had been suspended due to their lack of commitment off the court. And Beverley continued to learn a hard lesson he first encountered when he showed up late for the bus that took Arkansas on its trip to Cancun.

"I took all of it very hard," Beverley said before Wednesday's practice. "Me not playing with my team was a big deal to me. I love basketball so much. I would say that (it was a wake up call). Everybody learns from their mistakes.

"Like I said before, I understand that no one is bigger than the program. If I do something bad, it reflects on the whole team. I'm just trying to keep it cool now, keep it day-by-day. My focus is the classroom and Friday."

Ervin had similar sentiments.

He acknowledged that this type of suspension likely wouldn't have happened last season. Ervin said accountability and discipline has been "turned up a notch" under first-year coach John Pelphrey.

"It's all about respecting what our coaching staff wants for us, and that's the best thing we have going for us," Ervin said. "They want to help us. They're trying to make us better as human beings and as basketball players. We have to take that into consideration and have the same respect and the same pride that they have."



Four Hogs Net Honors

The Southeastern Conference released its preseason all-conference teams Wednesday. Arkansas, picked by SEC media to win the Western Division, landed a league-high four players on the squads -- the eight-man first team and the 10-man second team.

Beverley, the SEC's Freshman and Newcomer of the Year last season, made the first team. Beverley was not a unanimous pick, but these players were: Vanderbilt's Shan Foster, Mississippi State's Jamont Gordon, Alabama's Richard Hendrix, Tennessee's Chris Lofton and LSU's Tasmin Mitchell.

Razorback seniors Steven Hill, Charles Thomas and Sonny Weems all earned second-team recognition.

Pelphrey addressed the honors like any seasoned college basketball coach would.

"There are a couple of ways to look at it," Pelphrey said. "No. 1, it shows respect for what these young men have done in the past. No. 2, it doesn't mean a whole lot because it's based on performance (during the year). I'm not too concerned with individual awards in a team game.

"I'm more concerned with winning. ... I would be really excited if they got some of those awards at the end of the year."



Washington Progressing

Pelphrey has been pleased with Washington, the 6-foot-10 sophomore whose "two-game personal improvement punishment" has ended. Washington has added muscle in the offseason but is still a slim, athletic threat inside and out.

"He's been really good in practice," Pelphrey said. "He's had only one bad day that I can remember. He can play and score around the basket and step outside.

"But sometimes he gets too amped up. Sometimes when he comes into Bud Walton Arena, he's open."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories