I’m starting really think Gafford may need to come back for another year. Not just from a skills standpoint, but also from a maturity stand point as well. He just doesn’t give off the vibe of a kid that’s about to go to the NBA if that makes sense, I can’t really explain it. He just doesn’t have that alpha dog mentality like what you see from Portis, Qualls, Barford, Macon and all those guys.
I know people say you gotta start your NBA clock and you gotta go if you’re a first round pick, I don’t believe you just go to go, especially if there’s plenty of room for you to grow and get better in college. There’s a whole lot of areas Gafford can improve on, and college is honestly like a safety net, because you can develop and work on your game without the pressure of having to perform immediately when you go into the NBA. If Gafford was to leave after this year, it’s looking like he’s going to be a late first rounder and could even possibly slip to the second round if draftexpress is accurate that scouts see him around the 29th pick right now. Guys usually taken in this range are often G-League bound if they aren’t ready to contribute immediately. And I don’t think Gafford at this point would be, even defensively he still makes a lot of silly fouls, that’s not going to fly in the NBA.
I tried to think of a situation like Gaffords, where a guy decided to stay after sophomore year and came back much better junior year and improved his stock. Willy Cauley-Stein comes to mind. He was a guy that could have went one and done, but ended up staying 3 years and it worked out great for him. He improved a little bit more each year and ended up being an absolute beast on the defensive end by the end of his junior year and that got him drafted as #6. I think it could be a similar path for Gafford. Because I really think he needs to come back, add some weight, work on his post game, work on his conditioning, work on his shot, and improve defensively and learn to play smarter. If he does that, there’s no reason he’s not a lottery pick, I don’t care if he a sophomore or junior. I’m really hoping he takes advantage of not signing with an agent and just goes through the whole process and gets feedback first, because I think he’ll get told a lot of what I posted above.
After listening to Gafford comments in the post game last night I doubt he comes back. He is tired of playing with this team that fails to bring any effort on defense.
He may need to develop and add some low post moves. Work on the 3 point shot and the mid range game. Gain some confidence at the free throw line.
My thought is why come back and play when he can get paid in the G league when you won’t have enough players to compete at a high level in the SEC! Just my opinion. The refs have allowed teams to beat on him pretty bad the last 2 weeks also without calling the fouls both ways.
Blu your spot on but I still don’t see him coming back. It would benefit him too return! I wish the draft worked in basketball just like baseball for all sports.
If he thinks it’s rough here, G-League is rougher. There’s a reason why there’s no top recruits are willing to go to the G-League even for 6 figure contracts and they’d rather go the college route.
G-League you’re flying coach, there’s no private planes and all that good stuff you have at top college.
You’re playing in front of hundreds… maybe the low thousands at a typical G-League game and playing on the facebook app, rather than playing in front of 10K plus on national TV every week, like you do in college.
Once you’re a G-Leaguer, it’s hard to get out of it, you have guys putting up monster numbers in the G-league and still not getting any call ups. Even the guys that are 2nd rounders and 2-way contract guys have a hard time getting called up, and if they do they rarely see any meaningful NBA minutes.
This is just my opinion, and what I would do… If I’m Gafford, I enter draft w/o an agent and get feedback, if that feedback I get tells me I’m late first rounder/early second rounder, I’m coming back and working on my game. I’m not leaving that safety net of college basketball when I still have eligibility to potentially be in the G-League for a few seasons then end up overseas. You get one shot to make an impression when you go to the NBA, it’s cutthroat, if you’re not ready they don’t give you time to figure it out, I don’t know why people keep that perception out there like they give you a couple years to figure it out, they don’t. There’s #1 picks like Anthony Bennet that were not ready, they sent him to the G-League to never be heard from again. People’s jobs are on the line out there every day, if you’re not ready they find somebody who is plain and simple.
If CMA is gone, oh yea, I think he’s gone for sure then. In a different system I think it would actually hurt him. Our play style is actually what got him on the radar, because scouts noticed how fast he was running and all the put back dunks and all that stuff, that’s what everyone feel in love with. What’s going on now is, he’s the vocal point of the offense and we’re trying to turn him into a post player, and now everybody realizing he’s not so great at doing that and shooting the ball.
You are right! He needs to return but I don’t see it happening. He has a decision to make and I’m hoping he makes the best decision for him!
I hope he makes it in the NBA if it after this season or next season. I’d CMA is still here there may be a chance he comes back but without him I think he’s done for sure.
Blu, I think one thing you forgot was his stamina. Last night he went to the FT line at like 16:03 left in the 1st half. He was sucking wind pretty hard. He turned and motioned for the coaches to give him a break. That was less than four minutes into the game. One of the things I always see the scouts say is “high motor.” He was the opposite of that last night. Needs to work on his conditioning
I first posed this issue “Gafford and NBA” on Nov10, 2018.
Pretty much pointed out the exact same reasons about his NBA readiness, physical strength and at what point to take the money or not.
I stated that if he was a lottery pick which some felt he was at the time then he should take the lottery check and go, but if as this season played out and he started to fall down the draft boards then he and his family would need to do their due diligence because he will only get one shot at being drafted so they better make the correct business decision.
That slide down the draft boards has taken place to the point that he is definetely not mentioned as a lottery pick and now according to several draft sites an end of first round possibility or not a first round pick at all.
Some posters on here have said it doesn’t matter if the player is NBA ready and that most aren’t, but I wonder if it would be beneficial to the players prospects of having a longer NBA career.
Lots to think about before the Gaffords ultimately make this Lottery type decision.
NBA game is open floor, better spacing and shooting all around. He would never see the floor. No handles, no shot, no go to move tells me no playing time. I think he needs to come back and work on his game. If he could make a roster then he has coaches around to help him improve on a daily basis. G league or Europe may be his future. Wish him well whatever his decision.
I think Gafford needs to cone at least another year, if not two.
Without Macon and Barford, the defensive focus has been on him and he has not responded well. I am really concerned about his balance and staying on his feet. He is also not catching the ball when on a post feed. There is a tendency to blame the guards for not feeding him the ball, but there is a lot Gafford can do to make that pass easier.
Cauley-Stein had loads of talent around him every year inside & outside. Playing for a potential NC every year.
It may not look like Dan isnt doing a lot & he is getting gassed for a reason but he quietly scores 23 pts & hauls down 13 RB’s in the process while nobody else on the team is working for RB’s, opponents mostly work on blocking him out only and he still gets his. He has to work for everything. He does need to work on a jump shot in the paint and further out, how much he will get to do that in college minimal compared to how much he could with more better coaching at the next level.
I do think Dan needs to see where his draft stock rates 1st without signing with an agent just for some assurance.
With all of this fan uproar dogging the coach & players & uncertainty of the HC’s job status and who knows what is going on in the locker room & who may transfer.
I think he probably wants out of this drama fest.
Potential is what will make him millions and NBA drafts on potential a lot. I agree that he won’t be back. All Hog fans should and will wish him well. No one can blame him for following his dream but selfishly we want him back to help our dream of basketball relevance.
I think he has a lot to work on as well Blu and really feel like you at times in that I am not sure he is anywhere near ready like Portis was. I don’t think he does come back but really don’t think he is ready either. I feel like he continues to slide to late first round, very late first round. I wish him the best either way and thank you tremendously for all he has done as an Arkansas Razorback!
He is nowhere near ready to play in the NBA has no real post moves,cant shoot past 5-8 feet and is being pushed around by these college guys he would get hurt by those grown men in the league but the sad reality part of it is they don’t care if you’re ready all they see is a big tall guy who can run fast and maybe block a few shots.I think he’s gone but he has a LONG way to go to be an offensive factor in the NBA.
Gafford is going to get paid for rim protection, being able to switch out on the perimeter on defense, rolling to the basket on pick-and-rolls, and offensive rebounding. The question is whether NBA scouts think he can do that well enough now with future potential for improvement to warrant a high draft pick.
Gafford not getting the ball isn’t just his fault or the fault of the guards. We have trouble putting a lineup on the court in which the defense has to respect more than three players away from the circle. That leaves two players that can shade towards Gafford and to our two reliable perimeter scorers. It’s a fatal flaw and why we aren’t a great offensive team. It doesn’t help that Gafford has to be at the circle to score himself. The defense knows where he is going to be. Likewise, they know Joe mainly catches and shoots at the arc. The lack of versatility in our few reliable scorers means the defense knows where to look for them. It’s difficult to create shots for Gafford or anyone else with all those limitations. If just one of Gafford could step out or Harris could make a credible number of threes or Joe could create off the dribble or we had forward with a perimeter game, everybody would look a lot better.
I kind of knew what to expect from Gafford and Joe. Gafford based on last year and what I had seen of Joe in HS. But I am totally surprised by Harris’s play. Not what I expected of him after all the preseason hype. Not just making threes, but I have not seen him control the tempo of the game, finish on dribble penetration if pass is not available and just being mentally tough.
I have hopes Hill can take over that spot next year. For the rest of the season, it may be worth experimenting with starting Sills, although he is not a true PG when it comes to the handle. But Sills has a good enough handle and better overall game than Harris that could provide a net gain. Sills does finish better than Harris.
PG position again is the primary need for this team.
Totally agree. One of my biggest disappointments in Mike this season is how he has continued to give Harris all his minutes in SEC play when it is so clear that he’s hurting the team with his shooting. I think a case could be made that if Harris had not taken a 3 point shot all season, we probably would have 3 or 4 more wins in our many close losses. A desperation 3 by Joe, Jones, Sills or Embery-Simpson would be a better shot than a wide-open 3 from Harris.
There cannot be another player in the country that is getting 30+ minutes a game while shooting 13% from behind the arc. We harp on his 3 point shooting, but the rest of his game has really eroded in SEC play while the 3-point shooting has been at this pathetic level all year. His assist to turnover ratio is more than 2 times worse in SEC play than it was in non-conf play - 4.8 to 2.1 So, yes I agree, Desi needs to start and take at least 10 minutes a game away from Harris for these last 4 games.
Harris has to play because this is CMAs worst ballhandling team by far. I like a lot of what Sills does, but he turns the ball over more than our forwards, which isn’t a high bar. His A/TO is barely 1 in SEC play, and he isn’t a good enough scorer to tolerate that at the point with our forwards already gushing TOs. When we aren’t scoring, I would play Jones at the four more and insert Embery-Simpson or Sills into the lineup. If either makes shots, we can tolerate Harris’ lack of a perimeter game in a four-guard lineup. Harris would be fine if the D couldn’t already play off our power forward. The D would suffer some, but, damn, you can’t have 10-minute stretches where you don’t score.