Players Honored at Basketball Banquet

Mike Anderson

Fans got to see players' personalities at the third annual Arkansas basketball banquet Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Five seniors were honored and the entire team received its NIT watches at the Arkansas basketball banquet Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

Each senior won at least one team award and they combined to win seven.

"You can see a lot of things that are starting to take place here," coach Mike Anderson said. "These guys had a good year and it's nice to see them rewarded for it."



The team's most outstanding player award was split between senior Coty Clarke and freshman Bobby Portis.

Clarke also won the Razorback Hog award, as the team's best all-around statistical player. He led the team in steals and was second in assists and rebounds.

"Clarke was a guy that I thought tied everything together," Anderson said. "He was the glue guy."

Fan-favorite Kikko Haydar earned the academic and service awards. The senior will graduate in May with a 3.88 GPA and was named to the SEC Community Service team the last two seasons.

Rickey Scott and Mardracus Wade split the heart of a Razorback award, while Fred Gulley III won the coach's award for toughness to round out Arkansas' seniors.

The event also gave fans an opportunity to see the personality of the players that isn't usually seen by the public.

"It's great for our guys to be themselves," Anderson said. "More importantly, [it's great] for the fans to see some of that. These guys are hilarious."

Portis won the team rebounding award for hauling in a UA freshman record 230 rebounds and joked that Anderson would always complain about how many rebounds he got after every game, even if he had eight or nine.

He also joked that he believed he was the best defensive player on the team and could guard any player when he won the Razorback rim protector award as the team's leading shot blocker.

The final award given out at the banquet was the apple turnover award, given to the four players that committed the most turnovers during the season. Sophomores Jacorey Williams and Michael Qualls and juniors Alandise Harris and Rashad Madden received the award, which came with an apple turnover.

When Harris accepted his award, he jokingly passed the blame to his teammates.

"I want to thank my teammates for putting me in bad positions," Harris said.

All 15 players attended the banquet, including sophomore DeQuavious Wagner, who announced he would transfer at the end of the semester.

The only coach that wasn't there was associate head coach Melvin Watkins. He had to miss the event to be with his daughter, who gave birth to Watkins' second grandchild earlier in the day.

Other awards went to Madden for free throw accuracy and assists, freshman Moses Kingsley for his work in the weight room and as the most improved player and Qualls, who split the most improved player award with Kingsley.

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