What Gafford's return means for next season

Dove into this a bit since the news broke. Got back from baseball availability, pulled into my apartment complex and got the notification. Been a wild afternoon.

http://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2018 … -arkansas/

You don’t mention Chaney in the group of forwards. Is he a defensive liability in your opinion?

Good stuff. Scottie. I’m excited about the potential of Gafford and Henderson down low. Both attack the rim and look to dunk everything they can.

With added strength those 2 could provide some matchup problems down low and provide solid scoring on putbacks, dives to the rim, etc. I expect we will be better at finishing in the paint. Those 2 are very long and athletic.

I don’t believe him to be. It was more of a lapse on my part in not mentioning him. I suppose because I wrote about his offensive potential last week I didn’t immediately think of his defense for this story - more on who is returning. But yeah, add a guy of his caliber to the group I mentioned and the defense definitely improves.

I’m looking forward to them playing together as well. That length is incredible to imagine right now. I’m all for guys who try to dunk everything, too. Bring it.

Such a wonderful well informed response. Dunk everything. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I am also looking forward to Gafford working next to a physical scoring 4 like Chaney. None of Thomas, Cook and Bailey were that physical or the primary scoring options. Chaney seems to have college ready body and scoring skills based on scouting reports from RD and DD plus what a guy like Bill Ingram has been saying.

Of course Chaney will only be a freshman and so will be the guards. Given that I doubt if we can make a deep run next year. And of course Gafford will be gone following next year. We still can’t seem to hit that combination of experience and high talent.

On the plus side, this talented group of incoming freshmen plus Hall, Gabe, Harris and hopefully Garland should be together for three solid years. Three years after next have big time potential.

Great write up Scottie.

I’m actually starting to get excited about our team for next year. And I’m really looking forward to seeing how this off-season is going to play out for other SEC teams as well. We pretty much know what we are getting/bringing back, but there’s a lot of what ifs in the the SEC going on right now with other teams.

I want to the defense to improve as much as anybody and more than most, but t wouldn’t go as far as to say the defense definitely improves but I would say it definitely has the opportunity. There’s no doubt we are bringing in what looks to be better defensive players but they have to learn the system and step up against much better talent. To improve this teams defense overnight only takes two things and that’s keep Hall & Gafford on the floor for more minutes every game. I’m hoping these two guys set the tone for the rest of the team and hold the rest of the players accountable for their defensive effort. WPS

Comments: Bailey isn’t a four, especially in the new improved super sized athletic SEC, his size and weight speaks for itself. He is a three at best, which means he has got to improve his ability to score not necessarily from the 3pts line but inside the 3pts line within a range 12’ on in to the basket. Otherwise the only playing time he will get is when Mike is playing small ball, or on defense as a stopper. Bailey will be junior this upcoming season, the same as Qualls when he made his jump to the next level, when Mike signed Bailey he was described as another Qualls, except taller and more athletic

Bailey is a major asset on defense. He may not look like a power forward, but he blocks shots like one. A lot of high end forwards in the SEC had lower block rates. Bailey provides rim protection but is also able to switch onto perimeter players. He could do more in steals with his tools. I think his offensive game is progressing, and he finishes well at the rim. It won’t surprise me if CMA turns up the aggression next year with a roster full of interchangeable parts. That should suit Bailey.

Bailey may not look like a true 4, but that is where he is going to get time just as he did this year.

In truth, there are not a lot of true 4s these days in terms of percentage in college basketball.

Certainly not enough to go around.

There aren’t a lot of true 5’s. This year, Purdue and Kansas have some, but most folks are like us and Texas A&M, Kentucky, and everyone else in the SEC, they have power forward type players as their centers. I don’t think Gafford will play with his back to the basket in the NBA. He will end up like Portis, if he can develop his outside shot, as a 3-4.

Because of our personnel at that time, Qualls was able to get immediate consistent playing time. Bailey just needs to get consistent minutes. I could see him improve quite a bit from his freshman year.

Gafford’s return opens the door to Chaney being used as a 4 instead of a 5 if DG went pro. This is such a blessing to Chaney. Gafford will be able to step out and play the 4 himself some if Chaney can play some 5 at times.

Good point.

Will Henderson be able to play the 4 and 5?

I see Henderson as a 5, at least the first two years.

Comments: I’m hearing Henderson at some point will play both the 4 & 5 positions, he definitely have the skills sets we’ll see if he kicks it into gear as did Gafford his freshman season, both were rated high 4*s as seniors

My opinion, and I’m not trying to blow smoke, but I mentioned a “big” lineup the other day. I think we will see a lineup consisting of PG Garland (6’5), SG Hall (6’6), SF Phillips (6’7), PF Henderson (6’9), and Gafford (6’11). I could see Henderson absolutely playing the 4. I also know he will spell Gafford at times.