Gafford Picked Preseason First Team All-SEC; Razorbacks 10th
SEC Official Release/Preseason All-Conference Team: https://bit.ly/2yIHFPy
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Arkansas sophomore Daniel Gafford was named to the SEC Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference team, as selected by a panel of both league and national media members.
Gafford, a consensus top 15 pick in the mock 2019 NBA drafts, was named to the SEC All-Freshman team last season and was the only player to be named SEC Freshman of the Week three times. He averaged 11.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in his rookie campaign while ranking second in the league in blocked shots (76). He also had a school-record 75 dunks last season, which was more than six SEC teams. This past August, Gafford was one of 25 highly-touted college basketball players invited to participate in the prestigious Nike Basketball Academy, an annual developmental camp that allows players the opportunity to learn and train with current and past NBA superstars.
The Razorbacks, one of a league-record eight teams to play in the NCAA Tournament last season, were picked 10th in the preseason poll.
The good news for Razorback fans is that Arkansas has exceeded the preseason polls in each of the last five years. Last year, Arkansas was picked sixth in the preseason poll but finished fourth before advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The previous year, the Razorbacks were tabbed fifth, finished third and nearly upset eventual national champion North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Arkansas may have the youngest team in the nation. The team lost 10 lettermen, including three of its top four scorers (All-SEC picks Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon as well as Anton Beard). Junior Adrio Bailey and Gafford are the only two players on the roster to play significant minuets last season. Gabe Osabuohien averaged 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 20 games and junior walk-on junior Jonathan Holmes, who played in 11 games, is the only player on the roster to have made a 3-pointer in an Arkansas game. Redshirt sophomore Jalen Harris has a year under his belt in the ‘FASTEST40′ system. After playing his freshman season at New Mexico, Harris sat out with the Razorbacks last season sue to NCAA transfer regulations.
The newcomers, which includes junior college transfer Mason Jones, were rated the 24th-best recruiting class in the nation – one of six teams in the SEC to be ranked among the top 25.
Fans can get their first look at the 2018-19 Razorbacks this Friday (Oct. 19) at the annual Red-White Game. Tip-off is set for 7 pm. The players will sign autographs starting at approximately 6 pm on the Bud Walton Arena concourse.