Secondary "benefit" to outcome of tonight's game with Georgia

Obviously, the primary benefit is a much needed win - on the road. WE HAD to have at least one road win to make up for the home loss to LSU. Of course, it would be nice to get a couple more to give us some breathing room, as we MUST finish 9-9 or better in SEC play, or our RPI won’t matter.

But another part of tonight’s results might be significant after the season.

I love Danial Gafford’s game, and I want nothing but long-term success for the young man. However, selfishly, I’d really like for him to spend one more year at Arkansas before he leaves for the fame and fortune of the NBA. That said, if I believe - in my heart - that a kid is ready for the next level, I never begrudge him the opportunity to move on. Sure, I might like to have him stay for one or even two years. But, if he’s truly ready, I understand and wish him well.

On the other hand, if I really, truly feel he can/needs to improve and season his game a little, while improving his Draft status, then I hope he does come back for another season - for just those purposes.

After watching Gafford’s game tonight, I think it provided a very good argument why he’s not quite ready for the NBA just yet. In other words, as much as he’s shown and with as much undeniable talent as he has, I do feel he can benefit from another year of SEC play. Maten is a very talented college player, but he’s only projected to be a second round NBA pick. If he can shut Daniel down - and he did - then the case is pretty well demonstrated.

Sure - all players have an “off” game from time to time. But getting shut out demonstrates to me that he needs to add a little more consistency. I think this is one game that will be brought up if and when Daniel submits his name to the NBA draft review committee for feedback.

FWIW, I have always thought we had a good chance of getting him back for next season, because of the arrival of so many of his AAU buddies that he played with for so long. I still feel that way. I NEVER wish for him, or any other player, to have a bad game. If he elevates his play the rest of the way to the degree that the NBA projects him as a lottery pick - well, God bless him and off he goes. But, at this point, I’m not seeing that this year. And if the projection remains in the mid to late first round, I think he can improve his stock with one more season in Fayetteville.

The Cavaliers, Clippers, Hawks, Heat, Nets and Wizards all had scouts at the game checking out he and Yante Maten. Daniel definitely had issues with the length and physicality Georgia presented. Maten and Derek Ogbeide are a load and threw him off his game from the jump.

Like you said, he had an off night. Good thing the seniors stepped up. It was strange to see him just not factor into the game at all. Had 3 rebounds and no blocks. I don’t necessarily think one game alters his draft projections too much, but those scouts had to be a bit disappointed.

IMO he’s not even close to being ready from a Low Post Game on offense he can’t use his left hand and doesn’t really have any post moves,yes he is very athletic and can Dunk but really that’s about it.He needs to go to a big man camp or get with somebody that can teach him how to operate in the low post and needs to put on about 20 more muscle LBs and then he will be fine but right now,he is not ready for the NBA at all IMO.

Just FYI. Gafford didn’t play with the guys we’ve signed in AAU. Gafford was a Wing and these kids are Hawks. There’s no doubt that they are friends, though.

We need to send Gafford to the same camp that Kingsley went to that one summer and came into fall much improved! WPS

I agree for the most part and especially the need for 20 lbs of muscle. He is already fairly muscular but he needs more at his height. The low post moves need work. He is an amazing talent that needs maturity of an extra year.

Grown men playing against a kid. End of story. Gafford has very few true basketball skills. Don’t take that wrong. I love the kid and think he has a chance to be great but he has a lot to learn.

The two or three times he got the ball and failed to score on Georgia’s center, a Europe pro league prospect at best, that was on him. He never got the ball after that. In the second half, Maten, although 3 inches shorter, held his ground and defended him well, preventing him from getting the ball easily. But, we don’t have guards who can get him the ball well at all. Macon occasionally drives and dishes for a dunk but he never did last night. Barford and Beard are more into building their resume for the pros than they are his. His zero points were definitely NOT all his fault.

No worries. He will be back.

I don’t agree with those that all he can do is dunk. He has shown the footwork necessary for post moves and has made post moves to get a dunk. If it ends in a dunk, it is still a post move. He can put the ball on the floor and create his own dunk or layup. That is a post move. He has shown more post moves already than Kingsley did in his first two seasons. He has also shown a baby hook.

However, he is behind Kingsley on midrange jump shot. I expect him to get the mid range jump shot going in the next off-season. You can tell that he is itching to shoot it.

My mistake - thanks for the correction. That’s what I get for not taking a few minutes to research/confirm before posting!

I want to be clear on the point that I’m not - and my OP was not meant to imply - of the opinion that DG is a “project” that no way, no how has NBA potential. I don’t claim to be an expert on this subject, but I do, very much, see that potential in Daniel. I just think he needs a little more time at this level to refine/enhance his skills before moving on. Maybe 1 - perhaps even 2 - more years.

And, personally, I think he’s got more (quantity and effectiveness) offensive post moves than anyone we’ve had since Corliss. I have been pleasantly surprised by what he has shown there. I also concur that it is his mid-range jumper (and FT’s) that need the most work. But, I do see potential there as well. I harken back to the days of Andrew Lang, when it was considered a “win” if his shot (a) hit the backboard, and (b) didn’t shatter it. Daniel is light years ahead (offensively) of AL at this stage, and Lang went on to a lengthy NBA career.