While I understand you thought process I doubt Gafford comes back. We haven’t fared well in the dance with Portis and now with Gafford. But you can’t put it all on one player.
Our shortcomings this season have been poor free throw shooting and horrible rebounding. We lack scoring threats on the court at 2 position no matter what lineup is on the floor. This team hasn’t valued the ball and at this point in the season still don’t know what a good shot is!
Outside of Joe and sometimes Jones outside shooting has been simply bad. Inside it’s been Gafford dealing with getting double teamed all year long. Chaney is the best option at the 4 and he has been up and down. He needs more playing time to prepare for next season.
The whole team need to the experience of the NIT to get more games together. The off season work they put in along with the incoming recruiting class will be key to what we see next season. I thing the hogs will be better next year.
We have to improve to the point we have players on the floor they are scoring threats from all 5 positions. We won’t win and compete with the top teams in the SEC without improving at the free throw line. There have been about 6 or 7 games this season we have lost due to bricking free throws. That has got to change.
I give it a less than 25% chance that Gafford comes back. I think he will talk to Portis and get feedback from the NBA and make his decision. CMA will be back so that will also help!
One thing that might increase the % of him coming back is where his draft projection is. I saw something the other day that had him basically at the end of the first and some have speculated 2nd round. He has fallen down the boards as the season has gone on. Selfishly I want him back but understand if he goes. I do feel he has a lot to work on but he may feel as if he can get the development he needs in the NBA. If he is a late late 1st round or even 2nd round projection he might be back to improve on it and prove folks wrong. Who knows though.
Well, if Gafford does leave, it will improve our free throw percentage automatically. He is the primary contributor for our last place FT shooting percentage. Here are the stats for the team
We are shooting at 66% as a team. Without Gafford it us 70%.
So if Gafford leaves and other guys improve just a bit (and they will), it could get up to a respectable mid 70s. There have not been that many years from the Sutton era to now that we have shot free throws at better than mid-70s.
One problem with all this outlook is that it is expected that we will have 3 to 4 new players and we don’t know how well they shoot free throws.
NBA guys will fix Gafford’s bad shooting mechanics very quickly and he will be fine (just like they did with Portis). They’ll get Gafford a little cheaper than they should because of this, IMO. Why we don’t fix this while they’re at AR is beyond me - take all that flinging and extra motion out of these guys’ shots…
Scotty Thurman was a great Razorback and a great shooter but his mechanics weren’t great and most guys who shoot with his mechanics struggle. I hope he isn’t teaching shooting, because it’s a disservice if he is.
I think there’s a 0 percent chance CMA is gone from everything I’ve been hearing. Even guys I know that want CMA gone that claim they know something are mad because everything they are hearing is he’ll be back. Mike Anderson Jr. on his radio show today gave a message to “haters” that CMA will be the coach here next year and told them to deal with it and stop talking about him not being here because it ain’t happening.
As far as Gafford, we’ll learn a lot if he hires an agent or not. Which we should learn pretty quickly after the season ends. If he goes to the combine without hiring an agent I think we have a 50/50 shot at getting him back at that point, because I honestly think feedback he’ll get is he can use another year to polish up on some things. The thing about Gafford he still has a whole lot he can improve on to make him look better to NBA scouts.
And I personally don’t think you leave early to be a late first/early second rounder which where most boards have him at this point. I gave the example of Willy Cauley-Stein a week ago, he was a guy that was project late first/early second his first couple years, came back for a junior year, improved everything, and ended up going #6. And he has a bright future in the NBA ahead of him. It’s tough going late first round, a lot of those guys typically end up in G-League or end of the bench on a good team.
I doubt he stays but his bad free throw shooting is minor compared to what he brings to this team. His defensive presence will be greatly missed and SEC big men will eat us alive next fall unless a miracle happens on the recruiting front. We are a bad rebounding team with him, I can’t imagine what it will be like next year with him gone.
No doubt Gafford’s FT shooting troubles are minor or even less than minor compared to all the positives he brings in,
As far as what would happen without Gafford next yeay, it is too early to be concerned about that. We don’t know yet if it will be Chaney or someone else taking on that role. It also depends on who plays the 4. And just like you pointed out about Gafford, it is very possible that the next guy will have some skills that Gafford does not have like a mid range jump shot. If it is Chaney, I believe he does have that midrange jump shot. Too early to panic, in my opinion.
One thing for sure, we will be a different team next year with experienced guards and I am betting on Isaiah being able to take his guy off the dribble and Keyshawn showing why he was Oklahoma Player of the Year as a junior. I think Keyshawn’s injury in the preseason has really held him back this year.
College game is all about guards, three point shooting, 6-8 or 6-9 big men who can rebound and hit midrange jump shots.
One thing for sure, next year we all will not be yelling “feed it to him, give it to him” at BWA or at the TV.
It’s funny a couple weeks when we were playing like crap several of the die hard supporters were saying maybe it was time to make a change and maybe the naysayers were right but now that we played Kentucky tough and won a squeaker at home the die Garda are back to calling the naysayers “haters”,unbelievable if you ask me. WPS
Barry Booker made a good point on TV Saturday. You don’t even need to watch Dan’s FTs approach the basket to know if he’s going to make it. If he doesn’t come up on his toes at release, it’s not going in. I’ve noticed some variations in Gafford’s form but I hadn’t pinned it down with that detail. Back in the day I was a pretty decent foul shooter (won my school championship twice) and I noticed that if I didn’t come up on my toes at release it wasn’t going in either.
I was probably one of those, I got emotional during Auburn game I was done with the whole team at that point LOL, but came back that morning and said I completely overreacted. I think a few of us got like that during that losing streak.
But, there are some that have been like that for 8 years, I think that’s a bit different.
Garda was a typo, never been a hater as you call people which is petty, but make no mistake I believe we will not get to the level we want to get to with MA, I did say it would take at least two years to get out of this position we find ourselves in now. I’ve gave MA credit for bringing the program back to where we are but I’ve never called him names or bashed him like some of his supporters do other fans with a different opinion than theirs. So calling people names is not belittling me it’s belittling yourself. WPS