Jimmy Carter is an award-winning reporter covering Arkansas football and basketball for WholeHogSports.com. He was born in Texas and grew up in Tulsa. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Anderson: 'Possibility' underclassmen will declare for NBA Draft
NWA Democrat-Gazette/J.T. WAMPLER Arkansas' Daryl Macon plays defense against Southern Illinois Monday Nov. 14, 2016 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks beat the Salukis 90-65.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said Monday he thinks the team’s underclassmen will return, but there is a possibility several will test the NBA Draft waters in the near future.
“I’ve got the feeling that guys are going to be on board, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be opposed to a guy possibly doing that,” Anderson said.
Anderson, speaking after the Razorbacks’ postseason awards banquet, was asked specifically about the intentions of junior guards Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford, both of whom were in attendance. Anderson said while no one has decided to declare early “at this point in time,” he is having conversations with players about their options moving forward.
“I’m not saying no one said they’re not going to do it, but I think right now you can see with the guys being here, their intentions are getting ready for the next year,” Anderson said. “But the possibility is there because I think it’s something that’s available and I wouldn’t want to stop a guy if a guy wants to do that."
The early entree deadline for underclassmen is April 23. Players who declare but don’t sign an agent have until May 24, , 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine, to withdraw their name and return to school.
“Moses (Kingsley) did that last year and he got some good feedback and I thought it made him a much better basketball player,” Anderson said. “If it happens, it’s an opportunity for those guys to really go and see where they are.”
Arkansas officials declined to make players available for comment after the banquet.
Macon ranked second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals as a junior in his first season at Arkansas after transferring in from a junior college.
Questions about his plans arose after Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament loss to North Carolina. Postgame, Macon declined to answer questions about his and the program’s future, saying “no comment” when asked about next year’s team and repeating the phrase when asked a follow-up about whether he planned to return.
Barford averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game.
The Razorbacks have one scholarship available at the moment and have continued to recruit. The spring signing period starts Wednesday and runs into May.
“The show is going on. We’re starting workouts tomorrow. We had an opportunity tonight to celebrate what they accomplished. They did some great things.”
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