Henry Expected To Play, McDonald Won't

FAYETTEVILLE — One of Arkansas' two suspended basketball players has the chance to play Wednesday night. The other doesn't.

Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said Monday he expected freshman guard/forward Jason Henry to suit up against Texas Southern. The situation seems far more serious for junior guard/forward Montrell McDonald, who was still not practicing with the Razorbacks as of Monday, Pelphrey said.

"(Jason's) going to have the opportunity to play if he can get through Monday and Tuesday," Pelphrey said. "And I'd say the best comment to make (about Montrell) is that he is still suspended indefinitely. I won't comment too much more (about him). I'm not ready to make those comments yet."

With both Henry and McDonald suspended on Saturday — for violations of team rules that Pelphrey has declined to specify — Arkansas had only nine players in uniform.

The Razorbacks rallied for an 86-61 victory over Florida A&M, but the lack of depth was glaring.

"Next thing you know, you've got the golfer out there," Pelphrey said, noting the four minutes of playing time by junior Stephen Cox, a former UA golfer. "It is what it is."

Henry, who has shown he can play three different positions, will immediately help the Hogs, freshman guard Rotnei Clarke said. Henry scored two points in 23 minutes of the Razorbacks' first two games before being suspended for the last three.

"Jason's done a really good job of working hard," Clarke said. "He's gotten better every day. I'm sure he'll be ready to play this week."

Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, McDonald doesn't look anywhere close to returning to team activities. McDonald was expected to earn plenty of immediate minutes considering his experience and athleticism. But he hasn't practiced with the team since scoring four points in 13 minutes last Wednesday at South Alabama.

Pelphrey hasn't appeared eager to discuss his situation, and this isn't the first time McDonald has dealt with disciplinary issues, either. McDonald was suspended indefinitely after 22 games of his first season at George Washington, where coach Karl Hobbs played him 13 minutes per game, more than any other freshman.

Still, junior guard Stefan Welsh said the Razorbacks respect the suspensions Pelphrey has handed down this season.

"That's real important," Welsh said. "We have a lot of newcomers, and coach had to make an example out of them.

"Coach just has standards. He has team policies that he believes in and that he wants us to believe in. That's all I'm going to say about that."

Pelphrey, who declined to say what McDonald needed to do to get reinstated, voiced frustrations but also pointed out that dealing with situations like this isn't unexpected.

"Now it'd be nice to have everybody do the right things and everybody show up all the time, but by the same token there's an expectancy level of the right way of doing things," Pelphrey said. "I think Arkansas deserves that. Certainly, the coaching staff believes there's a right way and a wrong way of doing things."


Class: Freshman

Position: Guard/Forward

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 189 pounds

Hometown: West Memphis

High School: West Memphis

Prep School: Harmony Prep (Cincinnati, Ohio)


Class: Junior

Position: Guard/Forward

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 215 pounds

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas

High School: O.D. Wyatt High

Prep School: Bridgton Academy (Maine)

Others Colleges: George Washington University in 2006, Cowley College (Kan.) in 2007

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