Two-man show: Macon, Barford rank near top of UA scoring duos

By: Bob Holt
Published: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Arkansas guards Daryl Macon, left, and Jaylen Barford are shown during the Razorbacks' annual media day on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas guards Daryl Macon, left, and Jaylen Barford are shown during the Razorbacks' annual media day on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- You have to go back to the days of MayDay and Corliss and Scotty to find a scoring duo for the Arkansas Razorbacks as formidable as Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon.

Seniors Todd Day and Lee Mayberry averaged 37.9 points -- 22.7 by Day and 15.2 by Mayberry -- when the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville won the SEC championship during its first season in the conference in 1991-1992.

SEC’s top scoring tandems this season:

rank;players;school;combined averages

1;Jaylen Barford & Daryl Macon;Arkansas;36.1

2;Bryce Brown & Mustapha Heron;Auburn;32.6

tie 3;Jalen Hudson & Egor Koulechov;Florida;30.0

tie 3;Kassius Robertson & Jordan Barnett;Missourl;30.0

5;Collin Sexton & Donta Hall;Alabama;29.4

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Arkansas’ top scoring tandems of the SEC era, 1991-92 through this season:

rank;players;season;combined averages

1;Todd Day & Lee Mayberry;1991-92;37.9

2;Corliss Williamson & Scotty Thurman;1993-94;36.3

3;Jaylen Barford & Daryl Macon;2017-18;36.1

4;Corliss Williamson & Scotty Thurman;1994-95;35.1

5;Ronnie Brewer & Jonathan Modica;2005-06;34.5

Two years later, sophomores Corliss Williamson and Scotty Thurman averaged 36.3 points -- 20.4 for Williamson and 15.9 for Thurman -- to lead the Razorbacks to the 1994 SEC and national championships in Arkansas' inaugural season in Walton Arena.

Going into tonight's Arkansas-Vanderbilt game, Barford and Macon, both 6-3 senior guards, are averaging 36.1 points for the most by a Razorbacks duo since the 1993-1994 season.

"Jaylen and Daryl are easily the most explosive backcourt in the entire SEC," said former Arkansas guard Pat Bradley, an analyst for the SEC Network. "There are other backcourts that can put up good numbers, but not like Jaylen and Daryl, that's for sure."

Barford and Macon are the highest-scoring duo in the SEC, ahead of Auburn's Bryce Brown and Mustapha Heron, who are averaging 32.6 points.

Georgia senior forward Yante Maten leads the SEC in scoring at 19.3 points, followed by Barford (18.8), Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton (18.6) and Macon (17.3).

Barford and Macon have been even better in SEC games only, with Barford averaging a conference-leading 20.3 points and Macon averaging 19.0 to tie Maten for second.

"He gets me going, and I get him going," Macon said of himself and Barford. "It's something two good players can do."

Macon (33 points) and Barford (28) both scored career-highs in the Razorbacks' 95-93 overtime victory against Tennessee to open SEC play. Twice this season they've combined to score 49 points -- Macon 25 and Barford 24 -- at Georgia and against South Carolina.

"They're awesome; they're fearless," South Carolina Coach Frank Martin said after Macon and Barford led the Razorbacks to an 81-65 victory over the Gamecocks on Tuesday. "They obviously have developed an unbelievable chemistry with their team. You're on the other sideline and you see them, and they're always talking and getting to the right place and making sure their teammates are in the right place.

"They're both playing with a sense of urgency that seniors play with."

Arkansas Coach Mike Anderson said how Macon and Barford scored against South Carolina is especially impressive because the Gamecocks play hard-nosed defense. South Carolina came into its game at Arkansas holding opponents to an average of 67.4 points.

"Defensively, South Carolina gets into you," Anderson said. "But Jaylen and Daryl, they're wired to score. That's what they do. And it says a lot about our team not minding them taking those shots."

Last season Barford and Macon, both junior-college transfers, didn't have to score as much for the Razorbacks to win because the team had other reliable scorers in seniors Dusty Hannahs (14.4 points) and Moses Kingsley (12.0).

With Hannahs and Kingsley gone, Barford has raised his scoring averaging from 12.8 points and Macon from 13.4 points.

"Coach always emphasizes that we have to feed off each other, so it's kind of hard for opponents to guard us because you have to pick your poison," Barford said. "Then you have Anton Beard as well. It's good when we're all clicking on the same night. With Dan [Gafford] going, it's great for all of us. Everybody's happy."

Beard, a senior guard, is averaging 9.7 points and Gafford, a freshman forward, 11.0.

But Barford and Macon consistently have carried the offense. One or the other has led Arkansas in scoring in 21 of 24 games.

"We've been playing well, but we wouldn't be able to do the things that we're doing without our teammates," Macon said. "Those guys get us involved."

How well Barford and Macon share the scoring load was never more evident than in Arkansas' 80-77 double-overtime victory at Georgia.

Barford scored all 24 of his points in the first 33 minutes, but he was hounded by the Bulldogs down the stretch.

Macon, who didn't score in the first half, then took over, scoring 25 points after halftime -- including the Razorbacks' final 16 points in the overtime periods.

"It's one thing to get 25 throughout the course of the game," Bradley said. "But when you score 16 in a row to end it? To me, that's heroic stuff."

It hasn't been unusual for Barford or Macon to have personal scoring runs of three or four consecutive possessions.

"What's really impressive is they do it when you know they're going to do it," Bradley said. "Everybody knows they're going to do it -- and the defense still can't stop them."

Barford is shooting 50 percent from the field (166 of 332), including 45.6 percent on three-pointers (57 of 125), and has hit 63 of 93 free throws (67.7 percent).

Macon is shooting 46.0 percent from the field (125 of 272), including 42.7 percent on three-pointers (64 of 150), and has hit 101 of 115 free throws (87.8 percent).

"What I love about them is they do it in multiple ways," Bradley said. "Jaylen has developed a really good step-back shot, and he also can score in transition where he gets the ball and goes downhill.

"He's strong, so he can take it himself all the way and finish at the rim. The other thing he's done is he'll recognize when the guy on him is smaller, and he'll get him in the post.

"Daryl likes to use screens. He knows when he's got somebody he can work on. He can come off a screen or pull up off of his one-two dribble move. He's a great back-cutter as well.

"Then they both get to the free-throw line, which I think is huge."

Bradley said he knows Barford and Macon took Arkansas' 72-65 loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament last year personally.

"They've noticeably stepped up each of their games in a big way," Bradley said. "It's good to see them understanding this is their last go-around, that it's either now or never, so let's get the most of it."

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