FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas men’s basketball freshman forward Daniel Gafford announced Monday that he will return for his sophomore season.
“Obviously this is great news for us,” said head coach Mike Anderson. “He’s the centerpiece to what we are doing here, and this gives him the chance to build on the tremendous freshman year he had. Daniel is a special player and the sky is the limit for him.”
The El Dorado, Arkansas, native was named to the SEC All-Freshman team by the league coaches after averaging 11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks last season. He joined Bobby Portis and Patrick Beverley as the only Razorbacks in program history to ever be named SEC Freshman of the Week three times.
Gafford played all 35 games as a freshman, starting 26 of the final 27 games of the season. The big man became the first Arkansas freshman in program history to record 400 points, 200 rebounds and 70 blocks in a season. Along with setting the Arkansas freshman record for blocks in a season with 76, he also ranked third in offensive rebounds (77), third in defensive rebounds (140) and second in overall rebounds (217) among freshmen in program history.
Gafford ranked eighth among all freshmen in the country in field goal percentage and 54th overall at 60.5 percent, thanks in large part to his team-high 76 dunks, which more than six SEC teams. Gafford recorded three double-doubles in 2017-18, pulling down 10-plus rebounds four times. He finished in double figures in scoring 22 times and swatted three or more shot attempts 14 times.