BIRMINGHAM, AL (arkansasrazorbacks.com) –Coming off his second career 30-point game that closed out a 2-0 opening week of SEC play for No. 23 Arkansas, sophomore forward Bobby Portis earned his first career SEC Player of the Week award and was named the CBS Sports National Player of the Week on Monday.
Highlighted by becoming the first Razorback to go for 30 points and 10 rebounds in an SEC game, Portis averaged 26.5 points and eight rebounds while shooting 66 percent (21-32) from the floor over the two games. Though the SEC Player of the Week honor is the first for Portis, he did earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors three times last year, equaling Patrick Beverley's program record.
Portis' dominating week started in the first half at Georgia on ESPN Super Tuesday, as the preseason Wooden Award Watch List member scored 15 of his game-high 21 points over the opening 20 minutes of Arkansas' 79-75 win over the Bulldogs.
Looking to start 2-0 in SEC action for the first time since 2007-08, Arkansas turned to Portis against Vanderbilt and he delivered 32 points, 11 rebounds and four steals in the 82-70 win. Portis' 32 points, which included 21 in the second half, is the most by an SEC player this season while his 11 rebounds included nine on the offensive end. Two of his four steals led to dunks, as his five slams brought his season total to a team-best 20.
On Another Level Currently the only player in the SEC in the top 5 in scoring (18.1/1st), rebounding (7.8/5th), offensive rebounds (3.4/2nd) and field goal percentage (.582/1st), Portis became the first player in program history with 30 points and 10 rebounds in an SEC game against Vanderbilt with 32 points and 11 boards. Earlier in the year, Portis became the first player in program history to go for 18+ points and 7+ rebounds in six straight games since Corliss Williamson did during his sophomore season in 1994.
BP Quick Hits • Leads the SEC in scoring at 18.1 points per game. • Ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in five different categories. • One of three high-major players averaging at least 18 points and 7.5 rebounds. • Put together back-to-back 20-point games for the first time in his career to start SEC play. • Six 20 point games after one all of 2013-14. • Reached double figures in 18 of the last 19 games, including a career-best 10 straight. • Reached double figures in 13 halves alone (first half – 7, second half – 6). • Has led Arkansas in scoring eight times, rebounding in 11 games and both in the contest on six occasions. • Team leader with three double-doubles, which have come over the last five games. • Missed four more double-doubles by one rebound.
One-Two Punch Portis is the second Razorback to win SEC Player of the Week honors this season, joining the other half of the SEC's top scoring tandem in junior Michael Qualls. Together, Portis and Qualls average a league-best 33.9 points per game, combining for 51 points in Arkansas' win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. Either Portis or Qualls has led the Razorbacks in scoring 13 of 15 games and on the glass 13 times. The duo has combined for 30+ points 10 times (9-1).
Up Next Winner of four of its last six SEC road games, Arkansas will head to Knoxville, Tenn., on Tuesday to take on Tennessee. The Razorbacks were victorious in their SEC road opener this past Tuesday at Georgia and will look for their first win at Tennessee since 2006. Tip is slated for 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU.