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Collen, Razorbacks host luncheon

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Collen, Razorbacks host luncheon

FAYETTEVILLE — A crowd of nearly 60 gathered at the Clarion Inn in Fayetteville, Ark., to welcome University of Arkansas head coach Tom Collen and most of the women’s basketball team to the program’s monthly luncheon Monday. Collen, who typically brings two or three players, was able to bring nearly the entire team to today’s luncheon so they could meet fans and season ticket holders. The hour and a half event, featured a Q&A with Arkansas’ defensive coordinator, Nicki Collen, along with questions for Tom Collen, Dominique Robinson and C’eira Ricketts. Nicki Collen talked about the defensive changes from last year and the steps that the Razorbacks continue to take to improve. She highlighted the play of redshirt sophomore Robinson and sophomore Keira Peak as one of the biggest differences from last season. “We were pretty solid a year ago and so we had a good foundation to build on,” Nicki Collen said. “We are good athletically and very mature. The biggest difference from last year is Dominique and Keira. We have asked them to stop the ball and set the tone defensively. They do a great job slowing the ball down and allowing us to set up defensively.” Collectively called “Niq and Peak”, the duo have helped Arkansas to 87 steals and 170 opponent turnovers as they are charged with slowing down and frustrating opponent point guards. Robinson sat last year with an illness and she talked about the challenges she faced. “Last year was harder than I thought it would be,” Robinson said. “It was a learning experience. I’m very excited to be back. I worked hard to do whatever I could to help the team and I wasn’t expecting to start but I was so excited when I found out I would. I’m really enjoying my time out there now.” Ricketts has been a key player for Arkansas since she set foot on the court three seasons ago. “I couldn’t be more proud of C’eira right now,” Tom Collen said. “I have asked a lot of her in handling the ball. Having another ball handler this year lets C’eira go play the two. Her maturity and willingness to step up had made a difference for us.” “I still handle the ball a lot,” Ricketts said, “but the change in my role has been good this year. I like having the ball in my hands when we are down or getting frustrated. I feel like my teammates want me to have the ball then.” Arkansas is off from competition this week while the team takes final exams. The Razorbacks’ return to action Dec. 19, hosting Morgan State at 7 p.m.



Sports Category : Basketball (W)