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Clarke, Johnson, Britt honored by SEC

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Clarke, Johnson, Britt honored by SEC

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Three Razorback men’s basketball players have been recognized by the Southeastern Conference for their hard work on the court and in the community this year as the conference office released its coaches’ postseason awards.

Junior Rotnei Clarke was named second-team All-SEC, senior Delvon Johnson was named to the All-Defensive team and senior Marcus Britt was a member of the Community Service team released last week.

"These honors are a credit to the hours of hard work that these young men have put in over the summer, late at night and at every available opportunity," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "As far as the coaches awards go, I have said this several times this year, Rotnei continues to improve as a player before our eyes and can no longer be considered just a shooter, but as a bonafide scorer. Delvon’s improvement has caused teams to game plan around his inside presence and made us a much stronger team defensively."

Clarke earns his first all-conference honor with the second-team appointment and becomes the 15th Razorback to be named to one of the All-SEC teams as designated by the league coaches. This season, Clarke is leading the Razorbacks in scoring at 15.1 points per game and has 10 games in which he has scored 20 or more points making him the first person to have that many 20-plus scoring efforts since Sonny Weems had 10 during the 2008-09 season.

Clarke has the SEC’s best individual scoring effort of the season at 36 points in leading the Razorbacks to an upset victory over No. 19 Vanderbilt on the road, a game in which he shot 12-of-16 from the floor, 6-of-8 from three and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Moving up the all-time scoring and three-point charts, Clarke’s 1,288 career points rank 21st on the Razorbacks’ all-time scoring list and his 271 three-point baskets place him No. 2 all-time.

Johnson was Pelphrey’s choice to represent the Razorbacks at SEC Media Day this fall and the senior backed up that choice with one of the greatest turnarounds in Arkansas history. After averaging just 2.6 points and 2.4 rebounds in spot minutes as a junior, Johnson has started all 30 games for the Razorbacks this season and upped his scoring and rebounding to 9.4 and 7.2, respectively. He ranks 13th in the nation in blocks per game and is among the league leaders in five statistical categories. This season, Johnson has four games in which he has swatted away at least seven shots, including an eight block game against Seton Hall in early December. Prior to 2010-11, there had only been 13 efforts of seven or more blocks in Arkansas history.

Johnson’s 90 blocks in 2010-11 rank fourth on Arkansas’ single-season list and his 106 career rejections are seventh on the all-time charts. He is two blocks shy of reaching No. 3 on the single season list one just one behind former Razorback Mike Washington for sixth on the career chart.

Britt was named to the Community Service team for his efforts in the community during his four-year career as well as his service over the past year. The Madison, Ark., native has been a part of a pair of trips to the Juvenile Detention Center to serve Thanksgiving dinner, been an active participant in visits to the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club and played with kids at a local gaming center around the Christmas holiday just to name a few of his projects. On the court, Britt has played some of his best basketball of late with perhaps his best moment coming with 16 seconds on the clock in Arkansas’ upset of No. 22 Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena when sank the game-winning layup.



Sports Category : Basketball (M)