Assessing Robert Williams, Daniel Gafford, and D.J. Hogg
January 31, 2018
by Alan Lu
I took the time to see an SEC game that was played between Texas A&M and Arkansas, as this featured a couple of prospects that could go in the mid first round range of the upcoming draft. As for the contest itself, it didn’t turn out so well, as it was ridden with missed field goals, turnovers, and fouls, and it took awhile for either team to hit a stride offensively. The Aggies ended up getting a double-digit victory over Arkansas, and in this match, Robert Williams significantly outplayed Daniel Gafford. Here are my thoughts on both of them fared, as well as how the other prospects played on this day.
Texas A&M’s 6-9 sophomore big man, Robert Williams quietly had a good showing in his team’s double-digit victory over Arkansas. He played energetically, as he was able to play good defense early and often, he also scored on hustle plays, and he also managed to throw some good passes in this game. Williams did a very good job of scoring on hustle plays. He scored on a tip dunk early on, and he would catch passes around the basket to throw down thunderous jams. He can finish plays around the basket as well as score on short drives to the hoop, and he also ran the floor to score on a magnetic, alley-oop dunk on the break. However, he did once miss a reverse layup when posting up, but generally Williams excelled at getting scores in the paint.
He also showed off good playmaking skills. Though he didn’t look to handle the ball often, Williams generally made solid passes to notch plenty of assists against Arkansas. He can throw accurate passes from the post, and he can throw long outlet passes to set up scores for his teammates. He is an unselfish player that will get the ball to his teammates. However, he did commit one notable turnover, as he threw a lazy pass early in the game that ended up being intercepted.
Plus, he also rebounded the ball well in this game. He was quite active at crashing the glass, and Williams would frequently haul in boards when he was on the floor due to possessing very good athletic gifts, motor, and instincts to do so, but he committed an over the back foul once when going for a defensive board due to over-aggressiveness.
Also, Williams played solid defense against Arkansas. He did a great job of blocking shots, as he swatted a mid-range jumper to a teammate, and he swatted a couple of other shots around the basket to protect the paint for his team. In addition, Williams raced back quickly on defense to intercept a long outlet pass to get a steal, as he managed to prevent the opposing team from scoring in transition, but sometimes, he would be foul prone. He committed a handchecking foul out on the perimeter, and he also was called for a foul when defending a fast break drive. On another play, he was late to get back in transition, which led his team to allow a dunk on the break.
In general, Robert Williams had a solid showing, even if there would be stretches where he was on the bench. He still didn’t look to take jumpers or show much of a face-up game, and he was still prone to committing fouls defensively, but Williams played well in the other areas of this contest. Right now, he is a very athletic, energetic big man that can make hustle plays on both ends of the court, and his passing skills have seemed to improve recently. With his skill set, he could end up being a likely pick for an NBA team in the mid first round this year.
Arkansas’ 6-11 freshman center, Daniel Gafford has seen his draft stock rise rapidly, as ESPN has rated him as a potential lottery pick for the upcoming draft, and he is a very athletic big man that could perhaps project into a rim protector role in the NBA, but unfortunately for him in this game, Gafford just did not play very well, as he often was uninvolved on offense, and he also struggled with his position defense.
Gafford showed a good ability to score in the post when he would look to score the basketball. On one play, he used a drop step move to score on a jump hook. However, he didn’t look for his own shot often, and he did not seem to move very often off the ball. Despite possessing solid athletic abilities, Gafford would not usually take advantage of this, as he did not look to roll to the hoop that much.
He also struggled to score consistently on hustle plays. He missed a couple of tip-ins as he would rush his shots, and he also had his shot blocked in transition after getting the ball on the break. But Gafford did do a good job of scoring on cuts to the hoop, as he was able to draw free throws once, and off of another, he took the ball to the basket to draw a non-shooting foul. Late in the game, Gafford managed to catch a lob pass to score on a nifty reverse alley-oop dunk when no one was guarding him. However, he did not look to take jumpers in this game, and he rarely looked to dribble much against Texas A&M.
Also, he did not rebound the ball well when he was on the floor. Gafford did not haul in many boards in this game, but he was able to collect multiple rebounds on both ends of the court. He also did not play very good defense in this game. For the positives, Gafford is a fairly agile big man that managed to quickly deflect a pass out of bounds to prevent an opponent from scoring in transition once.
However, he would tend to be undisciplined when guarding his man. Gafford once bit on a pump fake to allow a score in the post. He also over-helped in the paint, which allowed his man to score on a dunk another time. Later on, he whiffed on a steal attempt when defending down low, as his team ended up allowing an opponent to score on an emphatic dunk from the high post.
In summary, this was not a great game for Daniel Gafford, as he did not seem to be involved much on offense, and he also was too undisciplined defensively. He made some good plays sporadically, as he was able to score in the post, and he threw down a reverse alley-oop dunk late in the game, but he did not make enough solid plays when he was on the court. Right now, he will need to improve significantly as an overall player, but he could end up being an upside pick as an NBA team might reach to take him somewhere in the first round, even though he may be a better value pick in the second round, due to possessing a rather limit skill set currently.
Texas A&M’s junior forward, D.J. Hogg put forth a solid performance in his team’s win over Arkansas. He shot the ball, he made good passes, and he generally excelled offensively. Hogg did a very good job of knocking down quick three-point shots to space the floor for his team, and he also would get the ball to his teammates in a variety of ways to set up scores for them. But sometimes, he would struggle to handle ball pressure, and on one play, he threw a pass to nowhere when trapped in the backcourt that ended up getting intercepted. Still, D.J. Hogg excelled as a shooter and passer when he was on the floor, and he could end up being a good value pick for an NBA team in the second round range of the upcoming draft.
Texas A&M’s junior guard, Admon Gilder played well in his team’s win over Arkansas. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also played adequate defense when he was on the court. Gilder did a very good job of knocking down open, spot-up threes off the catch, and he was able to make a couple of corner threes against Arkansas. He also did a good job of scoring on drives to the hoop, and he was able to score on a floater, and he would also draw non-shooting fouls, but he did have his shot blocked once on a drive in transition.
Plus, he also did a great job of rebounding the basketball, as he would haul in numerous boards on both ends of the floor. He also exhibited fairly good defensive skills. Gilder was able to collect a couple of steals, as he heaped on a loose ball, and he also jumped a pass to obtain another. He did a good job of playing passing lanes, and he also managed to contest a mid-range shot to force a miss, but sometimes, he would have lapses, as he ended up allowing a score to a cutter, and he also committed a foul on a drive another time. Also, there was one play where his body weight was carrying him too far backwards, and even though he managed to get back on defense, he was unable to contest the shot, as his team allowed a score on a fast break.
In summary, Admon Gilder shot the ball well, as he excelled as a scorer when he would look to take shots on offense. He also did a good job of forcing turnovers. Sometimes he would play too recklessly though, as he ended up committing turnovers on offense. But still, Gilder had a good showing, as he looks to be a second round prospect whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.
Arkansas’ 6-3 senior guard, Daryl Macon played well in his team’s loss to Texas A&M. He excelled as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also showed off some passing and defensive skills in this game. Macon did a good job of knocking down jumpers to space the floor for his team. He was able to make a couple of quick, spot-up threes off the catch, and he also made a pull-up three from well beyond the arc. In addition, he also managed to draw three free throws after attempting a pull-up three to show off his basketball savvy.
Plus, he also was able to knock down a pull-up, mid-range jumper as well. Also, he also is an agile playmaker that managed to score on a quick backdoor cut to the hoop. He also showed a decent ability to score on aggressive drives to the basket. Also, he displayed adequate playmaking skills. Macon did a good job of getting cutters the basketball to set up scores for his teammates, and he also would get the ball to the open man when he was on the floor, but sometimes, he would be inaccurate with his passes in this game.
He also was able to haul in his fair share of boards when he was on the floor. Macon also played good defense in this game. He was able to find a loose ball on the ground to help his team get a steal, and he also broke up a lob pass another time. But he did commit a foul on a drive on one possession. In general, Daryl Macon had a solid showing on this day against Texas A&M. He is an athletic, combo guard that flourished as a shooter and scorer when he was on the floor, and he also showed off some defensive skills. With his skill set, he could end up getting invited to the Portsmouth Invitational, as that could significantly help his chances to get drafted by an NBA team this year.
Texas A&M’s junior center, Tyler Davis had a good game in his team’s win over Arkansas. He was quite active in making plays around the basket, and he was able to get a double-double, as he scored 15 points and collected 13 rebounds in this contest. Davis did a very good job of getting scores in the post. He used a pump fake and pivoted to score on a step-through move due to possessing good footwork and shooting touch to do so. He also used another step-through move to score on a thunderous dunk from the high post. Davis also was able to draw fouls upon his opponents, and he generally excelled when he would look to score from the block.
He also showed an adequate ability to finish plays in the paint to get scores. He was able to throw down a powerful dunk after being left open underneath the hoop, and he also scored using a pump fake move another time. He also managed to score on a put back, and drew an extra free throw afterwards, but he also would miss shots in traffic, especially after getting offensive rebounds, as he may not possess much lift.
Also, Davis did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He was very active at crashing the glass, especially on the offensive end, and he would come away with many boards against Arkansas. He also showed off some defensive skills, as he was able to block a shot in the post, and he also altered a drive in transition to force a miss another time.
In general, Tyler Davis had a good showing to help his team get the win over Arkansas. He is a productive player that can get points and rebounds when he is on the floor. As for his NBA prospects, he may currently rate as a second round prospect due to possessing only average at best athletic gifts for a player his size, and he will need to show that he can play and defend out on the perimeter if asked to do so. But with his skill set, he could perhaps end up being an effective role player at the next level.
Texas A&M’s freshman point guard, T.J. Starks did a very good job of shooting the basketball, and he also drew free throws on aggressive drives to the hoop. He also played unselfishly, as he would get the ball to his teammates to get assists in this game. But he also would commit turnovers due to carelessness, and he also struggled with his position defense. Still, Starks had a solid showing in his team’s win over Arkansas, and he could end up having a very good career in college basketball.
Arkansas’s 6-6 freshman forward, Darious Hall had a solid game, as he played really well early on, and he ended up making all of his field goals against Texas A&M. He is a very athletic basketball player that can often score on hustle plays. He will often throw down dunks in transition as well as off cuts, and he also managed to score on a turnaround jumper after using a quick spin move in the post. Plus, Hall also made an open corner three to space the floor for his team.
Also, he rebounded and defended well. Hall managed to block a shot off of a drive, and he also is a quick, instinctive player that would collect steals for his team. However, Hall also was turnover prone, as he had trouble getting his shots off when attempting to score off the dribble. In summary, Darious Hall played very well, and he may have had the best showing among all players in the first half of this game. He is a very athletic, high motor player that could be an intriguing prospect to follow in the future, as he could project into a Rondae Holllis-Jefferson type of player down the road, especially if he plays more as his collegiate career progresses.
Texas A&M’s 6-10 senior big man, Tonny Trocha-Morelos did not really stand out in this game, but he was able to make some good plays against Arkansas when he was on the floor. He was able to make a pull-up mid-range jumper, and he also drew free throws after using a spin move in the post to showcase his ability to score the basketball in a variety of ways.
Trocha-Morelos also showed off good playmaking skills, as he managed to pass the ball to a shooter to get an assist, and he also quickly brought the ball up amidst handling ball pressure on a separate offensive possession. On defense, he managed to draw a charge when defending an opponent off the dribble. In general, Trocha-Morelos tended to be in the background in this game, but he was able to play well at times, as he could end up being a good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.
Jaylen Barford had his ups and downs throughout this game against Texas A&M, but he did not consistently play well when he was on the floor. For the positives, he did do a good job of shooing and scoring the basketball. Barford did a good job of making threes both off the catch and dribble, and he also excelled as a scorer in transition, as he managed to get a couple of scores on fast break drives to the hoop. He also played adequate defense, as he was able to use a backtap move to poke a ball away from an opponent from behind to get a steal. However, Barford was very turnover prone, as he was too careless in handling the basketball in this game, and he also threw a pass that ended up getting intercepted.
In general, Jaylen Barford is an athletic combo guard that could project into a microwave type of scorer role at the next level, but he will need to improve his playmaking skills, and he will need to show that he can consistently make shots when he is on the floor. But with his skill set, he could end up being a good addition to an NBA team’s summer league roster.