FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior Ronnie Brewer picked up another major preseason honor on Thursday by being named the preseason Southeastern Conference player of the year in media voting at SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Ala.
Brewer edged LSU sophomore forward Glen Davis by one vote with Alabama forward Chuck Davis finishing third.
Brewer is also a member of the preseason first team, along with Glen and Chuck Davis, and Alabama’s Ronald Steele and Kentucky’s Rajon Rondo.
The Razorbacks are picked third in the SEC’s Western Division behind Alabama and LSU, and ahead of Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Auburn.
Kentucky is tabbed to win the Eastern Division, followed by Florida, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
The preseason honor is the latest in a long line for Brewer, who earlier this fall was selected the league’s preseason player of the year by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, CBSSportsline.com and The Sporting News.
Brewer is the top returning scorer (16.2) and field goal percentage leader (.475) in the SEC this year. The 6-7 guard also led the team in rebounding (4.8), was eighth in the league in scoring, second in steals (2.53) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.66) while also averaging 3.4 assists per game.
So far this year, he has been named to the preseason watch list for the Wooden Award, which goes to the top collegiate player in the nation; a third-team All-American by Athlon Sports, CBSSportsline.com and The Sporting News, and a fourth-team All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook; the third-best slasher in the nation by Athlon, the fourth-best shooting guard by Lindy’s Basketball and the fourth-best wing/small forward by The Sporting News; first-team All-SEC by Athlon, Blue Ribbon, CBSSportsline.com, Lindy’s, Street & Smith’s, The Sporting News, the league’s coaches and now the media; and the SEC’s most versatile by Lindy’s and The Sporting News, the SEC’s best athlete by Street & Smith’s and the league’s top NBA prospect by Lindy’s.
Last year, Brewer scored 20 or more points eight times, had five or more rebounds 13 times, four or more assists 11 times, three or more steals 15 times, led the team in scoring 15 times, led the team in rebounding eight times and led the team in assists seven times.
Brewer has received the most attention, but he’s not the only Razorback earning preseason recognition.
Senior guard Jonathon Modica and sophomore forward Darian Townes were named to the preseason All-SEC second team selected by the league’s coaches.
Modica, who was also named to All-SEC teams selected by Athlon and Lindy’s, averaged 9.6 points and 2.8 rebounds as a junior. Last year, his field goal percentage improved from 46 percent as a sophomore to .520, which led the team, and his three-point percentage jumped from .325 to .429, which is the fourth-best among all SEC returnees.
Modica became the 28th Razorback to score 1,000 career points last year and he enters the season 24th on UA’s all-time list with 1,074 points.
Townes was second on the team in five categories last year – scoring (10.2), rebounding (4.6), shooting (.519), free throw percentage (.698) and blocked shots (1.6). His 17 double-figure scoring games are the fourth-most for a Razorback post player since 1995 and the most since Derek Hood reached double-digits 26 times in 1999.
An honorable mention freshman All-American and a member of the SEC’s All-Freshman squad, he led the team in scoring seven times, also second-best on the club. In SEC play, his averages improved to 11.4 points and 5.1 rebounds while his numbers over the final 12 games of the year were even better – 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Townes earlier earned preseason all-conference honors from CBSSportsline.com and Athlon, and was listed by The Sporting News as an SEC player on the rise.
The Razorbacks take the court for the first time Saturday for the Red-White Game at 4:05 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or through the UA Ticket Office. The first 10,000 fans receive schedule posters and players will be available to sign autographs at tables throughout the concourse from 1-3 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Activities previously associated with Midnight Madness are also scheduled prior to the game and at halftime. Drop boxes will also be set up for anyone wanting to donate non-perishable food items to the Salvation Army and Cooperative Emergency Outreach Food Bank.
Season tickets are also available. They can be purchased online at www.hogwired.com, or by calling the UA Ticket Office at 800-982-4647 or 575-5151.
2006 SEC BASKETBALL MEDIA DAYS VOTING
Champion – Kentucky (28), Alabama (6), LSU (1)
Kentucky (33) 207
Florida (1) 146
Vanderbilt (1) 144
South Carolina 114
Alabama (25) 199
LSU (7) 173
Arkansas (3) 151
Mississippi State 93
Ole Miss 68
Chuck Davis, Alabama 32
Glen Davis, LSU 32
Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas 30
Rajon Rondo, Kentucky 27
Ronald Steele, Alabama 16
Corey Brewer, Florida 8
Al Horford, Florida 5
Mario Moore, Vanderbilt 4
C.J. Watson, Tennessee 4
Jermareo Davidson, Alabama 3
Player of the Year
Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas 12
Glen Davis, LSU 11
Rajon Rondo, Kentucky 5
Chuck Davis, Alabama 6
Mario Moore, Vanderbilt 1