Arkansas Basketball: Banquet awards recap

The Arkansas basketball team had their end of the year banquet Wednesday in Bud Walton Arena.

Various honors and awards were handed out to the players throughout the night. The banquet started off with a video of the 11 Sportscenter Top 10 plays from the season, a cool addition to the banquet.

Coty Clarke and Bobby Portis were named the team’s most outstanding players. Clarke was a very important tool for the Razorbacks this season. He finished fourth in scoring with 9.4 points per game, second in rebounds and assists with 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists and first in steals with 1.5 steals. Clarke is the most versatile player Arkansas has seen in awhile. This team will miss his leadership next season. Clarke also received the HAWG award, which goes to the player who fills up the box score and he did just that all season.

Portis led the Hogs in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots with 12.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. The good thing about Portis is he can do nothing but improve and get better this offseason. He is going to be a handful for teams to deal with next season.

Michael Qualls and Moses Kingsley both earned the most improved player award. Qualls had a tremendous season. He showed the world what he is capable of and his athletic ability is through the roof. Qualls is one of the most athletic players in college basketball right now. Watch out because he might posterize you at anytime.

Kingsley is well deserving of the most improved player award, as well. Before the season and the first few games, Kingsley probably wasn’t going to see much playing time. He was a raw player but had a lot to improve on. Then, the Hogs went to Maui and he had his coming out game in a win over Minnesota. He looked like a whole new player and that is the Moses Kingsley we saw play the rest of the season. Like Portis, Kingsley can do nothing but improve this offseason. He’s going to be important to this teams success next season.

Kikko Haydar was presented the Razorback Service Award. Haydar is one of those players that prove that basketball is much more than a game. It’s an opportunity to give back to the community and that’s what Haydar did. He excels on and off the court and puts passion into everything he does. His work both on and off the court is very commendable.

Fred Gulley was presented the Coaches Award. This award was presented to Gulley for his hard work and toughness on the court. Gulley is a go-getter and does whatever it takes to get the job done. He works hard every time he steps on the court for every possession he’s on the court.

Mardracus Wade and Rickey Scott were presented the Heart of a Razorback award. These two were initially recruited by John Pelphrey out of high school but stuck around when Mike Anderson took over the program. Things haven’t always been easy for these two. They both have seen good spurts of playing time one game and then DNP’s the next. But, they never quit on the team.

The Apple Turnover Award was handed out to Rashad Madden and Alandise Harris because they finished first and second, respectively, in turnovers this season.