Did Gafford hurt himself coming back?

Jonathan Givony who used to run Draft Express is now the ESPN NBA draft insider. His stuff is pretty accurate every year in terms of where guys are slotted. In his latest he has Gafford at 25th. Sure he is still a millionaire, but it’s not lottery money.

This is their scouting report which IMO is spot on:

Pre-Draft Analysis
Strengths

  • Mobile, bouncy center with solid length.
  • Can play above the rim with ease. Threat as a vertical spacer. Good offensive rebounder. Soft hands and overall touch…
  • Protects the rim when fully engaged, posted 3.8 blocks per 40 minutes as a freshman. Flashes of defensive energy.

Improvement areas

  • Motor fluctuates. Doesn’t like physicality on either end of the floor. Allows duck-ins. Doesn’t always find a body on the defensive glass. Blends in at times.
  • Defensive fundamentals are still a work in progress. Not the perimeter defender his tools suggest.
  • Limited to mostly finishes and offensive rebounds to score. Not a reliable playmaker or scorer at this stage.

Mike Schmitz

Who knows? I do know this…he is a better player this year than last year. He is still learning and improving with his footwork, positioning and his shooting. He doesn’t appear to be much bigger or stronger. I have never understood why Mike Anderson does not stress strength training. Being strong as or stronger than your opponent is a huge advantage…basketball, football or most any sport. Tennessee and Rick Barnes are emphatic about strength training and one could see a big difference in the physical play of each team.

With Reggie Chaney being the exception…our guys are not very muscular looking.

Heard through the grapevine that big dan didn’t work hard in the offseason. I didn’t believe it… until now. Not judging too hard. Hard enough for a teenage kid to understand the importance of hard work - especially when everything comes so easy with skills like that. But I think he sees what everyone else sees now. As Sir Charles Barkley told me one day when I was lucky enough to meet him and ask for an autograph, “GET IN THE WEIGHT ROOM KID”

That’s simply not true.

To answer the original question, yes.

You are always best to leave - draft pick number wise, not development wise - to leave as a freshman

But he chose to do so because he loves the state, loves the school and loved his teammates.

Daniel is better than he was last season.

But - in my opinion - the expectations of what many of you think a first-round draft choice should look like, has y’all down on him.

I’ve watched him since the 9th grade and he has gotten better every year - including this year.

I don’t know if there is a way to evaluate whether he hurt himself because he didn’t go through the pre-draft process last year. I don’t think he would have been a lottery pick in 2018 based on the other players in the draft class, particularly the bigs.

I think he can still be a lottery pick. All it takes is for one team to see potential that others don’t. That’s why Kyler Murray was the ninth selection in the MLB Draft last year when most mock drafts had him in the second or third rounds.

Hard to know if he hurt himself coming back this year draftwise. Is he fully NBA ready-No, but it’s all about potentential & upside these days anyway.
He is better this year. Would he have been a lot better now if working year round in the NBA, Yes.
The only thing that may have hurt him is not putting in the work needed that reveals a noticeable body change & movement.
He may have just listened to the hype and took to much for granted.
Wonder if he is in contact with Portis any to get advice?

He went from 223 to 234.

This notion of him not working hard in the off-season is just a fallacy created by those who “think” that because he is not averaging 25 and 15.

He’s a third-team mid-season All-American and some act like he is averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds instead of 17 and 10

Bobby spent a lot of time here this summer and he had Daniel worked out a lot together.

Thanks for clearing that up Dudley. I would assume pro scouts know all of this also. People making draft projections at this point are premature anyway.

Duds, 11 pounds on a 6-11 body is like fifty cents off a new Mercedes…

Appears to me that Gafford’s biggest challenge the remainder of the season will be mental. As this season wears on and we continue to loose games due to erratic play from our young players and, quite frankly, some poor coaching, it will be harder for him to consistently bring his best game. Case in point is today’s game against Ole Miss. Clearly a below average performance from Gafford. At times he appears to be almost disinterested. At the very least he appears to be increasingly frustrated. CMA needs to help him in this regard. Not sure that’s going to happen.

It didn’t hurt Gafford to come back. The pros knew he wouldn’t play this year and would have paid him accordingly. And, even if he ends up making a couple million less, he will still be a multi-millionaire. The difference will not affect his lifestyle one iota. And, this year he is enjoying playing a whole lot more then he would have just watching. That is worth a lot.

This is what I was referring to. That grapevine simply was putting forth inaccurate information.

When I see something that I know is not true - from seeing it with my own eyes - I feel the need to point it out.

If you don’t like his performance, that’s one thing. But to go after his character and work ethic is another.

I wouldn’t say I love everything about him or his game, but just don’t think some things should go unchallenged, especially if they are thrown out there without a source.

As for putting on 11 pounds, it’s nothing for me.

But it was for him. Not a finished product, but still some young in his development from when he they got him out of the band and on to the court in the 9th grade.

Sure he hurt himself. Should have been encouraged to check his draft status, rather than “hotboxed” to stay. Had he left, possibly he spends a year in d league improving his skills. One Q : Who on this staff has responsibility ( skill set and experience) for developing positions 4 & 5 ??

I don’t understand the hotboxed assessment.

Gafford made that decision on his own and he made it quickly after conferring with his family.

The coaching staff certainly did’t try to talk him in or out of it, but were thrilled - and a bit surprised - that he decided to stay.

Melvin Watkins has big man responsibilities.

Why would he stay here.?.. we don’t run an offense that helps him… the progress he has made under our coaches doesn’t impress me. He would learn better in the G League

Dudley, why can’t we run plays for Gafford like Ole Miss does for their big? He hurt us several times today!

Gafford is my favorite player since Joe Johnson, and he is a great athlete, but his fitness level is not great. I will be sad to see him leave. I hope seeing the hogs and big dan not exceed expectations this year is a lesson for all about hard work. I’m not saying big dan didn’t work hard in the offseason. I’m saying he didn’t work hard enough to make the difference between winning and losing against top talent in the final minutes. It’s never easy.

I don’t care if he worked hard in the off-season or not. I agree completely that his fitness level is off. You either have endurance to play the game or you don’t. He doesn’t have it to the level he needs. It’s a simple as that. I’ve seen it multiple times.

Everyone, including Daniel and his family will know the answer to this question when he gets drafted and how many NBA contracts he actually gets for his career.
Everything else is just pure speculation.
Wish him all the best.

Go Hogs!