3.) Daniel Gafford, Center: (16.9ppg, 8.7rpg, 2bpg, .9spg, 66 fg%, 59.1 ft%)
Put simply, Gafford has a build and projected playstyle similar to DeAndre Jordan. This 6’10” Indiana Hoosier was an absolute monster in the transition game: he possesses an unteachable high motor and athletically finishes above-the-rim.
Outside of being a dangerous lob threat and having a nose for offensive boards, Gafford proved to be effective in screening and cutting in the pick-and-roll game (although it was seldom used during his time at Indiana). Daniel Gafford’s high energy and athleticism also carried over on the defensive end as both an amazing rim protector and rebounder.
However, his anchored feet often left him in the dust against quicker bigs and guards who exploited switches and mismatches on him. Moreover, his current thin frame and propensity to gamble on defense (going after certain steals and blocking futile shot attempts) was frequently abused in the post and on the perimeter by stronger and quicker bigs with skilled footwork.
On the other side of the ball, Daniel Gafford cannot make a bucket outside of fifteen feet and rarely showcased his capabilities to comfortably finish around the basket with both hands- severely limiting his offensive game as he solely relied on his teammates and athleticism, not skill, to prove effective for his team.
Gafford certainly needs both improved footwork in the post and a willingness to make the right basketball decision while on the low block (he often failed to pass out of double team situations and frequently fell short in hitting a wide open teammate on the perimeter from the post).
Nonetheless, this All-SEC Defender- although very raw- has all the tools to be the rim protector and high-flyer DeAndre Jordan was for us.