DANIEL GAFFORD

BIRTHDATE: 10/1/98

POSITION: Power Forward/Center

HEIGHT: 6'11"

WEIGHT: 235 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: Arkansas

CLASS: Sophomore

STRENGTHS

  • Explosive athlete, quick leaper, can make plays above the rim and very agile

  • Measured at 6'11" and reported to have a 7'1 wingspan

  •  Active on offensive and defensive glass

  • Good shot blocking instincts and ability to protect the paint

  • Has a defined role as an energy player and lob catcher

  • Shows flashes of being able to put the ball on the floor and making plays for others

  • Has speed and agility to outrun most bigs and thrive as a rim runner

  • Strong finisher around the basket, looks to dunk everything in close. Shoots high field goal percentage

  • His motor and energy trips to free throw line

WEAKNESSES

  • Must bulk up by adding muscle and weight; may struggle finishing through contact at next level

  • Offensive skill package is still unrefined, must improve overall feel for the game

  • Averaging over 3 fouls per game

  • Lacks shooting range and the ability to space the floor

  • Struggles at foul line

  • Right hand dominant at this point in his career. 

 

Arkansas freshman center Daniel Gafford has been one of the biggest surprises in all of college basketball. Gafford entered the season ranked as a top 70 recruit and could leave Arkansas after one season as a 1st round pick. 

Gafford fits the mode of an athletic lob catcher/ rim runner and shot blocker and reminds me a lot of Brandan Wright coming out of college. His greatest strengths are his athleticism, mobility, rebounding and energy. Offensively he's still raw but shows flashes of having a soft touch around the rim on his jump hook and is a capable passer. He's good at scoring on the move and his energy level and effort on the offensive glass generate a lot of free throw attempts for a player who's not a primary scoring option.

 

On defense he has the ability to be a good switch defender and while providing rim protection. Despite only playing 21 minutes per game, Gafford is averaging 2 blocks per game which is good for 6th best in the SEC.

At this point in his career Gafford is must bulk up to get stronger and it really shows when he tries to finish through contact. While he plays tough and is an impressive finisher in space, he struggles on post up attempts and he must improve as a free throw shooter which could limit his activity late in games. He lacks the shooting range to play the 4, so he'll likely be exclusively played at center where he'll be at a weight disadvantage. Gafford is far from polished offensively but shows promise in his ability to put the ball on the floor vs slower defenders. 

Gafford enters SEC play as one of the top prospects in the conference and time will tell how he fairs now that he's not longer under the radar.

 

 

RAFAEL BARLOWE - JANUARY 8 , 2017

SUMMARY