Arkansas picked to finish third in SEC West by media

Updated: October 27, 2005, 7:46 PM ET
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas' Ronnie Brewer was named Southeastern Conference preseason player of the year Thursday, and the Razorbacks were picked to finish third in the SEC West by league media.

Brewer, a junior guard, was honored at the SEC's media days in Birmingham, Ala. He is the conference's top returning scorer at 16.2 points per game.

"He is one of the premier players in our league and in the country," Arkansas coach Stan Heath said. "The thing about Ronnie is you don't expect it to go to his head. I expect him to continue and hopefully he gets it at the end of the year."

Brewer edged LSU sophomore Glen Davis by one vote.

Arkansas' Red-White Game is Saturday at Bud Walton Arena. Players will be available to sign autographs from 1-3 p.m. The game starts at 4:05.

"Saturday is a great opportunity for fans to come out and get a taste of basketball," Heath said. "A good amount of the things we'll do this season are already in."

Arkansas opens its season against Portland State on Nov. 18. The Razorbacks went 18-12 in 2004-05, failing to make the NCAA tournament, but they return their top three scorers -- Brewer, forward Darian Townes (10.2 ppg) and guard Jonathon Modica (9.6).

"I expect us to be better in December than we are right now, and I expect us to be better in January and then in February and in March," Heath said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press