FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas sophomore guard Rotnei Clarke was named the first Southeastern Conference men’s basketball player of the week for the 2009-10 season it was announced by the league office on Monday.
Clarke had an unbelievable night for the Razorbacks in their season opener when he lit up the Bud Walton Arena nets for a school record 51 points on way to a blow out of Alcorn St., 130-68. Clarke set two Arkansas, one Southeastern Conference and four Bud Walton Arena records in the win. His 51 points eclipsed the 36-year-old school scoring record of Martin Terry (47 in 1973) and his 13 three-point baskets broke Al Dillard’s (12 in 1993) Arkansas and Southeastern Conference 16-year-old records for threes in a game. Clarke’s Walton Arena records included points by a Razorback (Al Dillard, 39, 1993), points by any player (Jodie Meeks, Kentucky, 45, 2009), field goals made (Al Dillard, 12, 1993) and three-point baskets made (Al Dillard, 12, 1993).
"Phenomenal, unbelievable," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey would say after Friday night’s game. "I wasn’t surprised to see him shoot the ball like that. He is capable of making the shots, but his teammates need to get him the ball. They were able to do that and understand where he was going to be. I haven’t seen a better performance than that."
Clarke’s SEC player of the week is his first and the first by a Razorback since Mike Washington was named the player of the week on Jan. 5, 2009. Washington was named SEC Player of the week two times last season with point guard Courtney Fortson earning one honor in 2009. Clarke is now the 11th Razorback men’s basketball player to be named SEC Player of the Week since 1995 and joins the likes of Washington, Fortson, Sonny Weems, Gary Ervin, Jonathan Modica, Jannero Pargo, Kareem Reid, Corliss Williamson, Scotty Thurman and Todd Day.
The Razorback are on the road for their next contest, a Tuesday night affair with No. 17/23 Louisville at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. For more information regarding Razorback men’s basketball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.