BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Coming off back-to-back 20-point games to closeout a 3-0 week for No. 18 Arkansas men’s basketball, junior Michael Qualls earned his first career SEC Player of the Week honor, announced by the league office on Monday.
Qualls’ pair of 20-point games marked the first time this season that Arkansas has been led in scoring in back-to-back games by the same player, while the 6-0 start is the program’s best since 1997-98.
Over the three-game week, Qualls put together averages of 18.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 9-of-18 from three-point land. The Shreveport, La. native opened the week with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists during Arkansas’ 14th straight win at former Southwest Conference rival SMU.
Qualls showed no signs of being sluggish after the Thanksgiving holiday, going for a career-high 22 points with nine rebounds against North Texas and 20 points and nine boards in Sunday’s win over MAAC favorite Iona. After reaching the 20-point plateau once over his first 55 career games, Qualls has done so five times in his last 15 contests.
Through the opening two weeks of the season, Qualls leads the Razorbacks and ranks seventh in the SEC in scoring at 15.3 points per game while also averaging 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Known for his highlight-reel dunks, Qualls is shooting 51 percent (32-63) from the floor and 46 percent (12-26) from three while leading the team with eight dunks.
After playing six games over a 15-day span, No. 18 Arkansas will now head to No. 20 Iowa State (4-1) on Thursday. The game is part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge and will be televised on ESPN2 starting at 8 p.m. CT.