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.
Daryl Macon, Jaylen Barford declare but don't sign agents
Arkansas' Jaylen Barford drives around Vanderbilt's Luke Kornet during an SEC Tournament game Saturday, March, 11, 2017, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Arkansas beat Vanderbilt 76-62 and will play Kentucky in the tournament championship game on Sunday.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas junior guards Dary Macon and Jaylen Barford declared for the NBA Draft on Friday afternoon, but will not hire an agent, thus retaining the ability to return to school for their senior seasons.
Macon and Barford have until May 24, 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine, to withdraw their name from the draft, provided they don't sign with an agent. Neither player is considered a candidate to be taken in this year's draft, at this point. ESPN and Draft Express, the 2 most reputable draft websites, do not include either player among their top 100 prospects. Draft Express does not list either among its 62 top junior prospects.
But the decision to test the waters is an increasingly common one thanks to a new rule allowing players to do so while retaining their eligibility. Moses Kingsley made the same choice last year and withdrew his name after he received feedback but wasn't invited to the combine in Chicago. This year, the combine is May 9-14.
“The new rule for the NBA Draft provides a great opportunity for these guys to workout with NBA teams and get the necessary feedback to make an informed decision,” coach Mike Anderson said in a statement. “Daryl and Jaylen had productive years for us and we will support them every step of the way through this process.”
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 from a junior college. The 6-3 Little Rock native was named to the All-SEC Tournament team and earned SEC Player of the Week honors in February after scoring a career-high 30 against Ole Miss.
“My ultimate goal is to play at the next level and this is an opportunity to see where I stand and get feedback from NBA teams,” Macon said via the university.
Barford averaged 12.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game. He raised his level of play the last 2 months of the year as Arkansas made its late-season push that culminated in a second-round NCAA Tournament appearance.
“My dream has always been to play in the NBA and this gives me the chance to go through the process and be evaluated by teams,” Barford said.
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