3 coaches eval of D Gafford for draft

came from the athletic in a write up of potential first rounders:

https://theathletic.com/833480/2019/02/ … -rounders/

as usual they do a great writing and I will take a few blurbs, consensus of all three is that AR did not use Gafford well… at least 2 played us and verbalized as such. I know the great soliloquist GH thinks I don’t like Mike which is not true but I do not think he is a good court strategist or manager and he is responsible for whom he has to make his methodology work. Buck stops with MA and I think he did a poor job of putting winning combos of players on the floor, maybe it was that the players did not make the plays but these 3 coaches have a common opinion that DG was poorly used and our offensive style is not impressive.

First Coach
“When you watch highlights of him, you’re like ‘Oooh.’…He doesn’t have a great feel for how to play. But he has tremendous upside because of that. If he’s a great kid and he’s a worker …he’ll turn from highlights into a real player.

“He’s not learning a lot there. The way they play, you don’t learn a lot of offensive concepts. He’s a guy you want to get in ball-screen situations and get him on single-side step ups …But they don’t utilize him that way.” (blocked all the ways to teach DG and use his skill)

Second Coach
“I think he is emotional. He gets tired really easily. I don’t know where he fits positionally at the next level…“I get the intrigue because of his size and ability to change ends. They don’t run anything on offense. They didn’t call a play against us, so I don’t know if that’s really helping his stock. How would he look in a place that ran some pick-and-roll for him or were able to highlight his game more?

“I question his toughness …I just have a lot of questions on his durability…Some of that, I think is how he’s utilized…They are severely under-talented. A lot of those kids just aren’t good enough.”

Third Coach
“I thought he was okay. We weren’t real worried about him from a scoring standpoint. That length was the thing. We tried to protect the glass, don’t let him get offensive rebounds. Double him hard and heavy in the post. They need to move him into areas where he can do something with it. They need to move him into areas where he can catch and do something with it. Tip it in, move it in close. He’s not a power, low-block guy.”

This was taken from an article looking at upperclassmen and the draft. Isaiah Joe fared much better in eval for underclassmen and draft potential in a separate article. About 10 upperclassmen evaled and DG was mid pack, seems to have been hurt by our scheme and utilization this year in the opinion of these 3 coaches. Get the redacted and you will see just how clear that is stated and how strongly believed. My redactions made it more gentle than Mueller and his report.

There is a summary by the lead writer which is similar but he remains higher on Daniel than the coaches above although he is harder on our sue of DG this year:

Gafford is similar positionally to Fernando, but there are some stylistic differences here. Whereas Fernando has turned into something of a playmaker, Gafford is your classic, athletic, low-usage, rim-protecting center. Much like the coaches above, I think Gafford is misused. Arguably the best rim-runner in college basketball, Gafford has only finished 27 possessions in pick-and-roll this season, or approximately one per game. However, despite possessing less-than-average strength for establishing position, the Arkansas center has finished 194 post-up possessions this season (any time he posts up ending in a shot, pass, or turnover), or about seven per game. Part of this is because of substandard lead guard play at Arkansas, but ultimately this is just not the role Gafford will be utilized in at the NBA level. And honestly, it’s not how Arkansas should play. On the other end, it does say a lot that Arkansas’ defense is solid with Gafford on the floor, and it falls apart with him off of it. So far this season, Arkansas has given up 0.97 points per possession with Gafford on the floor, versus a ridiculous 1.10 with him off of it (the difference is equally as stark in SEC play). Overall, I buy into Gafford as a first round pick, even if there are some real questions about his mobility on the perimeter. He wants to be an elite defender, he cares about that side of the floor. Mix that with his offense, and I’m higher on him than the coaches that have played Arkansas.

Weird. Most folks i know that i respect think Gafford improved greatly this year. To each his own. Guess these are anonymous SEC coaches? Great recruiting tactic.

So, I wonder why coaches 1, 2 and 3 double and triple teamed him the whole game when we played them. Sounds like a recruiting pitch against the Hawgs to me. Imagine either 3 in some big man living room dribbling this nonsense. I take no stock in what our opponents have to say about our program.