Balanced Scoring Pleases Pelphrey

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas doesn't have any players ranked in the top 10 in scoring in the Southeastern Conference. But through six games, the lack of a dominant scorer hasn't frustrated coach John Pelphrey

In fact, the Razorbacks' balanced attack has delighted him. Freshman Courtney Fortson leads the Hogs in scoring with 14.7 points per game, closely followed by freshman Rotnei Clarke (14.2) and junior Michael Washington.

"I like balance, as opposed to having one guy getting 25 a night," Pelphrey said at his Monday news conference. "Having four or five, hopefully in the future six guys that could go for 20, 25 points a game makes you deadly. Then you have to choose what to take away."

Assistant coach Rob Evans echoed Pelphrey's feelings as he sat in his office Monday and watched film of North Carolina Central, Arkansas' opponent Wednesday night.

"It makes scouting for another team so much harder when they're balanced," Evans said. "So that's what we're going for. I like that we have a lot of guys who can score."

Hogs Not Cocky

North Carolina Central hasn't won a game this season. Still, Pelphrey realizes the Razorbacks have no room to overlook any foe — even the Eagles, who are in just their second year of Division I basketball.

Pelphrey also knows every contest allows his young team to progress, no matter the competition.

"With our team, every time we step on the court we're going to learn something," Pelphrey said. "(Against) Florida A&M, we were down one with 11 (minutes) to go, so let's not get carried away here with where we are. We're not ranked. We're not picked to win the league. We just need to get a better understanding of who we are."

McDonald Still Out

Junior forward Montrell McDonald remains suspended indefinitely because of an undisclosed violation of team rules, Pelphrey said, and hasn't returned to any team-related activities. McDonald hasn't played in Arkansas' last two games and hasn't practiced since the Razorbacks returned from their trip to South Alabama.

Nice Crowd

North Carolina Central played Sunday against Texas-Pan American in a neutral-site game in Des Moines, Iowa. The Eagles blew a seven-point halftime lead and lost 56-50 in front of a whopping crowd of 132 at the Knapp Center.

It'll be interesting to see if more people show up at Bud Walton Arena to watch Austin Peay and Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 19. Those schools meet in a Jim Thorpe Classic contest, and admission is free.


• Pelphrey said former Arkansas wide receiver Marcus Monk would likely begin practicing with the team after final exams finish next Wednesday, barring something "coming out of the blue." Monk, who played basketball his freshman season and has exhausted his football eligibility, becomes eligible at the end of the first semester.

• Through six games, the Razorbacks rank third in the SEC in rebounding margin, grabbing 10.2 more per game than their opponents. Washington ranks second in the league with 10.2 per contest. Freshman Michael Sanchez ranks eighth at 7.8.

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