What Razorback signees are saying about Daniel Gafford's return

Jonesboro guard Desi Sills (3) knocks the ball out of the hands of West Memphis' Zachary Byrd (12) during the 6A boys state championship game Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Hot Springs.

— Arkansas’ incoming basketball signees are thrilled with the news they will be getting the chance to play alongside Razorback center Daniel Gafford next season.

Gafford, who averaged 11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, had 76 dunks and blocked a freshman school-record 76 shots, announced Monday that he will not enter the NBA Draft this year.

IMG Academy guard and former Oklahoma prep star Keyshawn Embery was thrilled with the news.

“I am so happy he decided to stay,” Embery said. “I am not only excited about the chance to play with him and get the ball to him, but also learn from him as to how well he handled his freshman season.

“It is just huge for us as a basketball program. I can’t wait to get up there with him and the other guys (in early June) and get to work.”

The return of Gafford has Jonesboro guard Desi Sills thinking big about next season and a return to the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s going to be scary,” said Sills, who is coming off a second straight Class 6A state title. “I can’t wait to get on The Hill and play with...Big Dan. I’m loving it that he stayed. We will be going dancing again.”

Little Rock Parkview standout Ethan Henderson, who joins Sills and Fort Smith Northside's Isaiah Joe as the Razorbacks' three in-state signees, has played against Gafford in high school, but is anxious to play alongside him in college.

“I am a thoroughly excited,” Henderson said. “Daniel and I have never played together. Maybe we can become Arkansas’ twin towers.”

Forwards Reggie Chaney and Jordan Phillips are also signed to the Razorbacks next season. All six signees will be in Little Rock on April 5 to play in the Mike Conley Jr. Classic against a group of Tennessee prep stars. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Pinnacle View Middle School on Cantrell Road.