FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas forward Bobby Portis played a big role in helping the Razorbacks start conference play 2-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas forward Bobby Portis played a big role in helping the Razorbacks start conference play 2-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season.


He was rewarded for his efforts with a couple of honors Monday.


Portis was named the national player of the week by CBS Sports and SEC player of the week after averaging 26.5 points, 8 rebounds and 2.5 steals in Arkansas’ wins against Georgia and Vanderbilt.


"What I like about Bobby is that he’s totally focused on being the best player that he can be and the best teammate that he can be," Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said Monday. "What happens after that, happens after that. It’s good to see guys rewarded for the hard work that they are putting in and is it paying off."


The 6-foot-11 Portis was particularly impressive against the Commodores, scoring 32 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead Arkansas to an 82-70 win.


The 32-point effort was the most scored by an SEC player this season and fell short of his career high of 35, which Portis set in a win against Alabama last February.


"He’s a very complete player," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said last Saturday. "A very, very good player. He’ll play for a long time."


Portis enters the second week of SEC play leading the conference in scoring (18.1 points a game) and field goal percentage (58.2). He’s also fifth in rebounds (7.8).


Portis will try to lead Arkansas (13-2, 2-0 in SEC) to its first 3-0 start in conference play since 1998 when the Razorbacks play at Tennessee (9-5, 1-1) on Tuesday night.


"I think it shows you the growth and the maturity as we jump into SEC play," Anderson said about Portis’ performance during the first week of the conference season. "The intensity turns up many notches, the spotlight is even more on you if you’re going to be a marquee player in our league - and he wants to be one of the better ones in the country. So he has something that drives him to come out and work extremely hard and it’s good to see him perform on the big stage as well."


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau