FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas women’s basketball players C’eira Ricketts and Sarah Watkins were selected to the 2011 All-Southeastern Conference Second-Team, league officials announced today.
Ricketts, a junior from Louisville, Ky., and Watkins, a sophomore from Germantown, Tenn., lead Arkansas in scoring and rank among the SEC leaders in several categories.
"We are excited for both Sarah and C’eira," Arkansas head coach Tom Collen said. "They certainly deserve this recognition and we appreciate the coaches recognizing their talents. While I am excited for these two, I am as equally disappointed for Lindsay Harris. This young lady has worked as hard as any player I have had in my four years at Arkansas. I know she will continue to work hard and be a difference maker again next season. We are one of two teams to have two players who return next season named to the all-conference team and that’s a positive statement for Arkansas women’s basketball."
Ricketts is no stranger to SEC honors. She was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year in 2009 and to the SEC Second-Team after tying a league record with five player of the week honors. Ricketts was named to the preseason SEC Second-Team by the league’s media and to the preseason first-team by the coaches in 2010 and 2011.
Ricketts became the 25th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-point career milestone. She enters the SEC Tournament with 1,039 career points, 466 rebounds, 331 assists and a .402 shooting percentage. She is ranked second in the SEC in conference-only games averaging 14.8 points-per-game and is fourth in scoring in all games with a 14.0 ppg mark.
In addition, Ricketts is sixth in the SEC in field goal percentage at 38.1 percent, seventh with 3.7 assists-per-game and free throw percentage with a 68.8 mark. She ranks tied for 11th in defensive rebounding averaging 3.9 defensive boards-per-game and is eighth averaging 34.1 minutes played-per-game.
"C’eira has improved immensely from last season and has played especially well down the stretch for us," Collen said. "She has turned the corner in terms of her desire to be a great player and a better leader. I expect her to have a great senior season."
Watkins was solid for Arkansas last year but has become a focal point for the opposition in their scouting reports. Watkins earned SEC Player of the Week honors Jan. 10, this year and has more than doubled her scoring from a year ago.
As a sophomore, Watkins averages 13.2 ppg ranking seventh in the SEC in scoring for all games. She betters her numbers to 13.8 ppg and is fifth in SEC-only games. In conference games, Watkins is 19th with 5.7 rpg, fifth in free throw shooting percentage at 71.2 percent and second in the league in blocks-per-game with 1.8 per game.
Watkins enters the week with 89 career blocked shots ranking eighth all-time in program history.
"We all knew Sarah was going to become a good basketball player for us," Collen said. "To be one of only three sophomores to make the team after having not made the all-freshman team last year is a significant statement. It tells you how hard she worked during the off season and just how determined this young lady is going to be in the future."
The duo lead the Razorbacks into SEC Tournament action this week. The Razorbacks (18-10) open play against Florida (17-13) at noon Thursday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The game is scheduled to be televised by FSN South. Check local listings for availability.