Hogs hope to have Gafford's partner in post

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Arkansas forward Daniel Gafford looks to go around Butler forward Tyler Wideman during a NCAA Tournament game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Detroit.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas forward Daniel Gafford looks to go around Butler forward Tyler Wideman during a NCAA Tournament game Friday, March 16, 2018, in Detroit.

Now that Arkansas knows it will have Daniel Gafford to man the post another year, attention can turn to just who might get the most minutes beside him next season.

The Razorbacks had a revolving door at power forward this season. Dustin Thomas got the most minutes there (500) in 2017-18, but did not begin or finish the season on the floor. The power forward position barely got double-digit production from four guys.

There are several candidates with returnees Adrio Bailey (6-7, 217) and Gabe Osabuohein (6-8, 220) as well as a pair of incoming freshmen in Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep standout Reggie Chaney (6-8, 230) and Little Rock Parkview's Ethan Henderson (6-9, 190).

Even though there aren't currently any scholarships available, it certainly wouldn't be beyond the realm of comprehension that one opens up via transfer. There were more than 800 transfers last season among the 351 NCAA programs.

If that happens, Arkansas could add another big in the form of a graduate transfer or a junior college prospect.

If forced to make a bet right now, I would guess that Bailey gets the nod early, but will have a hard time holding off Chaney, a bruiser who has averaged 13.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals per game this season.

Chaney brings scoring punch, rebounding and a nifty passing game that will work well with Gafford. I'm a huge fan and think he has the most complete game and upside of the four current candidates.

Arkansas fans can get a look at Chaney and Findlay Prep (31-4) up to three times this week on ESPN's family of networks.

The Pilots, ranked No. 3 in the country by USA Today, will be playing in the eight-team Geico National Tournament beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday when they on No.7 and defending champion La Lumiere on ESPNU.

Findlay Prep coach Paul Washington, the dad of Kentucky freshman P.J. Washington, has quite the collection of talent, including Oregon signee Bol Bol, Chaney, TJ Moss and others.

"It boils down to preparation, and we prepared by playing a good schedule," Washington told USA Today. "I think we're the deepest team out there. We're not afraid of anybody. The toughest thing for everyone is having that month off and who can come in and play well in that first game."

The other three semifinals Thursday will feature unbeaten and No. 1 Montverde taking on No. 25 Highland, Utah, Lone Peak; No. 2 Fort Lauderdale, Fla., University meeting No. 4 Phoenix, Ariz., Shawdow Mountain; and Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill Academy battling No. 11 Seattle, Wash., Garfield. Monteverde has the nation's top 2018 player in R.J. Barrett

The semifinals will be on Friday, and the finals on Saturday on ESPN2.

Sports on 03/29/2018

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