Beard, Qualls Earn SEC Postseason Honors
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Arkansas junior Michael Qualls and freshman Anton Beard joined Conference Player of the Year Bobby Portis as Razorbacks earning SEC postseason accolades from the league head coaches on Tuesday. Qualls was named second team All-SEC while Beard earned a spot on the All-Freshman squad.
Portis and Qualls mark the 10th time that at least a pair of Arkansas players have earned All-SEC status in the same season. Beard is the third Razorback in the last four years under head coach Mike Anderson on the SEC All-Freshman team.
Qualls recently became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, which fittingly came on his team-leading 31st dunk of the year on Saturday against LSU. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Qualls is eighth in the SEC in scoring (15.5) and 16th in rebounding (5.6), while teaming with Portis to form the league’s top scoring duo at 33.1 points per game. Qualls has reached double figures in 25 of 31 games, highlighted by nine 20-point outings compared to just three over his first two seasons.
Known for his highlight-reel dunks, Qualls has landed on the #SCtop10 five times this year to bring his career total to a staggering 13. Qualls has proven he is more than a high-riser the last two seasons, hitting 91 three-pointers over that span, highlighted by a career-best 49 this season. After reaching double figures in just three of his first 29 career games, Qualls has done so 51 of his last 66 en route to becoming the 26th Razorback to score 1,000 points in three seasons.
Beard is just two weeks removed from being named SEC Freshman of the Week and closed the regular season by making 11 straight starts (8-3). The 11 starts were the first of Beard’s career, while he reached double figures in SEC play seven times compared to just once in non-conference action. Beard was at his best on the road in SEC play, reaching double figures four times highlighted by a season-best 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting during a win at Ole Miss that included a quartet of three-pointers. Beard is currently averaging 6.0 points and is second on the squad with 31 steals while taking a team-best 14 charges.
As the No. 2 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament, No. 18 Arkansas (24-7, 13-5) will have a bye into Friday night’s quarterfinals where it will play the winner of Thursday’s matchup between the No. 7 seed Vanderbilt and No. 10 seed Tennessee. Friday’s quarterfinal game will tip at 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network.