College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 5, 2014
It's February, so it's not too early to start talking about bubble teams for the NCAA tournament, and there may not be a more puffed up squad around than the 14-8 Arkansas Razorbacks, who will have to improve on their conference record, and certainly started the process with a 65-58 win over Alabama, Wednesday night.
Whether or not the Razorbacks make it to the Big Dance is still an open question, but one thing's for certain: 6'10" freshman, Bobby Portis, can ball. Portis, who's gradually been getting more playing time as the season wears on, put up a career-high 35 points against the Crimson Tide invaders, going 14-for-17 from the field, including the Razorbacks' only three-pointer, and was 6-for-6 from the foul line to boot.
While Portis was tearing up Alabama in the paint, he was not slouching on the defensive end, grabbing nine boards and blocking six shots, all while committing just one foul in 31 minutes.
The Razorbacks trailed by two at the break, as Portis scored the final six points of the first half for Arkansas, and took a two-point lead coming out of the break when Portis scored 11 straight to start the second half.
The lead changed hands a couple of times, but Portis gave Arkansas a four-point advantage with under five minutes left and the Tide never got closer than three after that.
The win snapped a two-game Arkansas losing streak, but the Razorbacks are on the verge, having already beaten Kentucky and falling to both Florida and Georgia in overtime games. Arkansas plays at Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Commodores are 5-4 in the SEC.