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Author Topic: Any backup plan for Gafford?  (Read 1701 times)

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MB Hog

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2018, 02:29:01 pm »

Name the last players in Gafford's current position of being projected as a mid first round pick that came back to school and either/both discernibly improved his draft stock and become a college superstar.

I'll wait....
Your wait is over.  OK, maybe not completely because I don't have a direct answer to your specific question nor the time to do the research, BUT... it's pretty safe to say there have been many, many guys who left early as first round picks (taking the money) who flamed out in the NBA because they didn't stay in college and work on their games longer to get their games, bodies, and minds more mature and ready for the NBA level of play.

Yes, on the front end of your scenario the difference in draft position and initial money might typically be minimal, but for those who look at the big picture, staying in school longer can still be a very viable and smart decision.  For every Kevin Durant out there, you'll probably find 5 - 10 first rounders with limited success who would have been better off staying in school.

There are SO MANY more factors that go into being a long-term success in the NBA than just getting drafted in the first place.  These 18 - 19 year-old kids going into the NBA are often not ready for the mental challenges of moving into a man's world.  As with other jobs, college is a great place to prepare for the long-term in the NBA.  Sure, they can leave at the first chance to get an NBA paycheck, but that doesn't always mean it is the best long-term decision.

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Hawg Red

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2018, 02:29:19 pm »

Willie Cauley Stein was projected outside the top 10 in 2014....went 6th in 2015 (personally thought he went too high).

That is the exception to the rule.

I'll allow it. WCS and Jakob Poetl, and Cody Zeller are the only players I can think that had some modicum of success going back to school in the face of an already-good draft projection. I should to be more on the fence about guys staying in school, but I'm a complete convert at this point that if your stock says you're a mid-first round guy, you ought should go pro or you stand great risk of getting over-scouted and picked apart.
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Hawg Red

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2018, 02:35:49 pm »

Your wait is over.  OK, maybe not completely because I don't have a direct answer to your specific question nor the time to do the research, BUT... it's pretty safe to say there have been many, many guys who left early as first round picks (taking the money) who flamed out in the NBA because they didn't stay in college and work on their games longer to get their games, bodies, and minds more mature and ready for the NBA level of play.

Yes, on the front end of your scenario the difference in draft position and initial money might typically be minimal, but for those who look at the big picture, staying in school longer can still be a very viable and smart decision.  For every Kevin Durant out there, you'll probably find 5 - 10 first rounders with limited success who would have been better off staying in school.

There are SO MANY more factors that go into being a long-term success in the NBA than just getting drafted in the first place.  These 18 - 19 year-old kids going into the NBA are often not ready for the mental challenges of moving into a man's world.  As with other jobs, college is a great place to prepare for the long-term in the NBA.  Sure, they can leave at the first chance to get an NBA paycheck, but that doesn't always mean it is the best long-term decision.

What about all of the college juniors and seniors that flame out? You're making an entirely different argument than I am. My point is that, once you reach that level of being a clear-cut NBA draft prospect (meaning you're definitely in the early-to-mid portion of the first round), you can going to be evaluated on a completely different level once you return to school. The bar is higher for you than it is for a player who they haven't deemed a clear NBA prospect because those players can more easily get their attention. It's harder to impress those NBA scouts once they've already seen you and you go back. That expectation level is that much higher. It's not enough to even marginally improve.

As for the flameouts, it's really hard to say how or why a player flames out of the NBA. It's not always because they should have stayed in school. Because they can and should work on their games after they've left school, and they theoretically have better resources to do so. I don't think it's fair to paint with that broad of a brush to say that many of the players that flame that went pro early did so because they should have stayed in school. It's a position that is very hard to quantify. My position is not hard to quantify at all.
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MB Hog

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2018, 03:08:50 pm »

What about all of the college juniors and seniors that flame out? You're making an entirely different argument than I am. My point is that, once you reach that level of being a clear-cut NBA draft prospect (meaning you're definitely in the early-to-mid portion of the first round), you can going to be evaluated on a completely different level once you return to school. The bar is higher for you than it is for a player who they haven't deemed a clear NBA prospect because those players can more easily get their attention. It's harder to impress those NBA scouts once they've already seen you and you go back. That expectation level is that much higher. It's not enough to even marginally improve.

As for the flameouts, it's really hard to say how or why a player flames out of the NBA. It's not always because they should have stayed in school. Because they can and should work on their games after they've left school, and they theoretically have better resources to do so. I don't think it's fair to paint with that broad of a brush to say that many of the players that flame that went pro early did so because they should have stayed in school. It's a position that is very hard to quantify. My position is not hard to quantify at all.
True... and because your logic is strictly about quantifying the decision, it's an easy argument.  But it also takes out the human element of the decision.  In stocks, you buy low and sell high... very quantifiable.  But it's those who know what low and high ARE who make the money.  And it is their ability to take all of the factors into account (the human element) that makes them rich.

For athletes trying to make the best long-term decision for themselves, they can certainly choose to strike while the iron is hot and guarantee themselves a very nice paycheck for at least 2 or 3 years... and 1st rounders usually get at least 4 years "somewhere" to make it work.  But surely someone as logical as you are can see that sometimes it would work out better (long term) for some of these athletes to turn down the money and stay another year, right?

That said, based on what I've seen from Gafford this year... his strengths, weaknesses, and potential for a break-out year next year, it is simply my opinion that he is one of those players who could likely benefit, long-term, by sticking around another year.
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razorback1829

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2018, 03:13:49 pm »

I'll allow it. WCS and Jakob Poetl, and Cody Zeller are the only players I can think that had some modicum of success going back to school in the face of an already-good draft projection. I should to be more on the fence about guys staying in school, but I'm a complete convert at this point that if your stock says you're a mid-first round guy, you ought should go pro or you stand great risk of getting over-scouted and picked apart.

Blake Griffin is another guy from the one and done era that came back, got better, became a college star, and went number 2 overall in the draft. It can happen. Daniel is a much better scorer than WCS already in this point of his career.
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Hawg Red

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2018, 03:26:37 pm »

True... and because your logic is strictly about quantifying the decision, it's an easy argument.  But it also takes out the human element of the decision.  In stocks, you buy low and sell high... very quantifiable.  But it's those who know what low and high ARE who make the money.  And it is their ability to take all of the factors into account (the human element) that makes them rich.

For athletes trying to make the best long-term decision for themselves, they can certainly choose to strike while the iron is hot and guarantee themselves a very nice paycheck for at least 2 or 3 years... and 1st rounders usually get at least 4 years "somewhere" to make it work.  But surely someone as logical as you are can see that sometimes it would work out better (long term) for some of these athletes to turn down the money and stay another year, right?

That said, based on what I've seen from Gafford this year... his strengths, weaknesses, and potential for a break-out year next year, it is simply my opinion that he is one of those players who could likely benefit, long-term, by sticking around another year.

I think the only players who should return to school are players whose draft stock is not relevant. So these are players that are not projected to be first-round picks or drafted at all. Not all players projected to be first-round picks will be, but they will almost always be drafted early in the second-round and receive a contract with money and guarantees similar to a late first-round pick. Basketball is a gain that really does negate experience in many ways unlike sports like football or baseball. It's the only major sport where we have seen players come straight in from high school and be All-Stars or clear starting-caliber players. Basketball is a sport for creatives and I think that benefits youthful players. Obviously players have to learn and develop, but I don't think it's needed for anyone who has reached the level of clear first-round pick to return to school because the risk will outweigh the potential reward.

Daniel Gafford doesn't need to work on his body too much, really. The NBA doesn't want 260 lb. bigs. He's a poor FT shooter. Coming back to school won't give him any road to development there that he won't also have in the professional ranks. But he is much, much more likely to play with real PGs as a pro, and that is going to really help him. That cannot be understated. I'm just generally not a big fan of players as good as Gafford, who are unique in comparison to their teammates and opposition (even if they aren't dominating that opposition), going back to school and not entering themselves into a situation where they are facing more like-skilled or like-potentialed players. I'm sure Daniel Gafford would obliterate the SEC next season (A&M fans might have said the same about Robert Williams and we thought the same of Kingsley), but even in doing so, he's still more likely to only expose himself to negative observations from scouts and NBA personnel because they will already be expecting that. What will he do to convince them he's really gotten better?
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FineAsSwine

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2018, 03:29:19 pm »

Also, any notion that there is some close-to-the-vest big man recruit out there as a replacement for Gafford is complete, laughable nonsense. Sounds like some "I gotta tell myself something to make me feel better about this" crap. We aren't recruiting another true big. Period. And no one come back at me with Tim Caesar, either.

I'm not suggesting that there is a replacement for Gafford but I am saying that we do not know if the staff may or may not have sent out an indirect feeler to a potential grad transfer or some other prospect, if they were inclined to try to get a big in the 2018 class were Gafford to leave this year.
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Hawg Red

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2018, 03:31:49 pm »

Blake Griffin is another guy from the one and done era that came back, got better, became a college star, and went number 2 overall in the draft. It can happen. Daniel is a much better scorer than WCS already in this point of his career.

I can't say I remember what Blake's stock was after his freshman season, but I do know that, even since 2009, the NBA and the NBA draft have changed dramatically. You've had to go back 10 years to find Blake Griffin. There only two freshman drafted in the lottery of that draft. These are points that matter. Times have changed.
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FineAsSwine

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2018, 03:32:39 pm »

When all is said and done, Daniel and his family have a big decision to make. I will be happy with it either way and I wish him the best either way.

He may leave this year but if he decides to return, I will definitely enjoy watching him in a Hog uniform for one more season.
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Hawg Red

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2018, 03:32:55 pm »

I'm not suggesting that there is a replacement for Gafford but I am saying that we do not know if the staff may or may not have sent out an indirect feeler to a potential grad transfer or some other prospect, if they were inclined to try to get a big in the 2018 class were Gafford to leave this year.

We can safely say that do have anyone on the radar from the prep ranks for the 2018, 2019 or maybe even 2020 classes that is a real "big man."
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FineAsSwine

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2018, 03:42:06 pm »

We can safely say that do have anyone on the radar from the prep ranks for the 2018, 2019 or maybe even 2020 classes that is a real "big man."

Well, there is this one guy for 2020 but that is so far off that I guess it doesn't really impact our current situation.

Ok. Small ball it is. Just win baby. I don't care if it's with roster stocked with nothing but 6'0" point guards. Just win.

I'm not going to get worked up over it because I don't have 2.4 million a year riding on it. I guess since CMA does, there must be a plan. Unless he is insane.
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MB Hog

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2018, 05:04:11 pm »

I think the only players who should return to school are players whose draft stock is not relevant. So these are players that are not projected to be first-round picks or drafted at all. Not all players projected to be first-round picks will be, but they will almost always be drafted early in the second-round and receive a contract with money and guarantees similar to a late first-round pick. Basketball is a gain that really does negate experience in many ways unlike sports like football or baseball. It's the only major sport where we have seen players come straight in from high school and be All-Stars or clear starting-caliber players. Basketball is a sport for creatives and I think that benefits youthful players. Obviously players have to learn and develop, but I don't think it's needed for anyone who has reached the level of clear first-round pick to return to school because the risk will outweigh the potential reward.

Daniel Gafford doesn't need to work on his body too much, really. The NBA doesn't want 260 lb. bigs. He's a poor FT shooter. Coming back to school won't give him any road to development there that he won't also have in the professional ranks. But he is much, much more likely to play with real PGs as a pro, and that is going to really help him. That cannot be understated. I'm just generally not a big fan of players as good as Gafford, who are unique in comparison to their teammates and opposition (even if they aren't dominating that opposition), going back to school and not entering themselves into a situation where they are facing more like-skilled or like-potentialed players. I'm sure Daniel Gafford would obliterate the SEC next season (A&M fans might have said the same about Robert Williams and we thought the same of Kingsley), but even in doing so, he's still more likely to only expose himself to negative observations from scouts and NBA personnel because they will already be expecting that. What will he do to convince them he's really gotten better?
I guess it depends on how good he really is.  For Kingsley, we found out he just flat out can't play with his back to the basket and it didn't help him to come back for his senior year.  For Gafford, if he continues to improve at his current rate and is really as good as we think he is, then there's a lot he can do to show his ceiling is higher.  If it turns out he's peaked already, then there's the danger for him to come back. 

Finally, I hate it for these kids that there seems to be such an obligation to move on to the NBA as soon as you can.  I would have hated to miss out on my college years so I could start making money a few years earlier.  I'm not sure of Gafford's financial situation, but if a kid really enjoys college life and isn't in deep financial need, I think they should stick around, get an education, and have some fun.  I know there is always the chance of injury, but I just feel like these kids are missing out when they move on to a grown-up world at such a young age.
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TeufelHog

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2018, 05:29:13 pm »

Does it really matter?  Remind me again how many seniors we’re losing after this season.
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ArkRazr

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Re: Any backup plan for Gafford?
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2018, 05:33:24 pm »

I honestly think Gafford will be back. With bobby guiding him he will want to come back for more development and to help his state.
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