Hog Calls:

There's more than scoring to winning games

By: Nate Allen
Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon reacts after scoring during a game against Fresno State on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas guard Daryl Macon reacts after scoring during a game against Fresno State on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- In basketball sometimes a scorer scores the most points with his coach by not scoring at all.

Take Daryl Macon, senior scoring guard at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

The Little Rock Parkview alum averaged 23.0 and 23.9 points per game his two years at Holmes (Miss.) Community College and averaged 13.4 points debuting for the Razorbacks last season with a peak of 30 points against Ole Miss.

Presently Macon averages 14.3 points for these 7-2 Razorbacks, including 27 in a 92-83 victory over Oklahoma.

Yet of all of Macon's Razorbacks games, Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson perhaps talks most reverently of the first half when Macon didn't score last Saturday night against Minnesota.

Now of course Anderson enjoyed Macon catching fire to score 12 second-half points. But the coach most relished that Macon's 14 scoreless minutes contributed significantly to Arkansas' 50-42 halftime lead extending to a 95-79 victory at Walton Arena over the then 14th-ranked Golden Gophers.

Macon dished seven assists against one turnover while making two steals and grabbing two rebounds and playing stout defense in last Saturday's first half.

"I think the biggest part of that he was playing defense, and that is why he continued to be out on the floor," Anderson said. "He didn't make any shots [0 for 3] early on, but I thought he was the one getting the ball down the floor where DT [senior forward Dustin Thomas] was getting layups or [senior guard Jaylen] Barford was wide open or 'Ton [senior guard Anton Beard]. You are doing other things than score. He moved the basketball."

In the second half he scored it.

"Of course the second half he got the mindset that he thinks that he can score on anybody," Anderson said. "So I like how he did. He did what he needed to do to help the team win. That's what these guys are learning; it's about winning."

Freshman 6-11 power forward Daniel Gafford of El Dorado was so much a part of Arkansas winning its last two games over Colorado State (14 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots) and Minnesota (16 points on eight for eight from the field, six blocked shots and seven rebounds) that he was named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday by the SEC Office.

The notoriety, Anderson knows, will increase challenges to the talented rookie that the coach has nurtured off the bench until starting him against Minnesota.

"He's had some ups, but he's going to have some downs because he's going to the top of every scouting report," Anderson said. "So now you are talking about the physicality that takes place at this level."

So far Gafford, bulked to 234 since his El Dorado senior year weighing 217, has given as good as he's got or better battling veteran collegiate big men.

"In high school everything was easy," Gafford said Monday during Anderson's "Miked Up" radio show. "But on the college level I learned I've got to play more physical because it's a man's game."

Sports on 12/13/2017

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