Arkansas sophomore Daniel Gafford was voted consensus first team All-SEC (coaches and the Associated Press) as well as being and named to the SEC All-Defensive Team by the league’s coaches. Isaiah Joe was voted to the SEC All-Freshman Team, it was announced today.
Gafford is the 12th first team All-SEC selection by the coaches for Arkansas and the sixth SEC All-Defensive Team honor. Gafford and Lee Mayberry (1992) are the only two Razorbacks to earn first team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive Team in the same season. Gafford joins Bobby Portis (2-15), Ronnie Brewer (2006), Scotty Thurman (11994 and ’95), Corliss Williamson (1994 and ’95), Todd Day (1992) and Lee Mayberry (1992) as consensus first team All-SEC picks. Joe is the 18th Razorback to be named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Gafford (El Dorado) leads the SEC in field goal percentage (.660), rebounding (8.7) and offensive rebounding (2.87) while ranking third in blocked shots (2.06), third in defensive rebounds (5.87) and fourth in scoring (17.0). He is the only player in the SEC to rank among the top five – much less the top 10 – in each of these categories. He additionally leads the SEC in field goals made and ranks third in double-doubles.
The two-time SEC Player of the Week ranks sixth nationally in field goal percentage and leads the SEC in the category by 91 percentage points. Gafford is one of two players in the NCAA to average at least 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots while shooting at least 60 percent. Gafford scored a career-high 32 points versus LSU this season and ended the regular season by grabbing a career-high 16 rebounds and scoring 29 points, his second-best career output.
On the defensive end, Gafford is a dominant force in the paint. He has turned away 64 shots and leads the Razorbacks with 149 deflections – 50 more than the next closest on the team.
Joe (Fort Smith) has not only had one of the best rookie campaigns in school history, but he is producing one the best in SEC and even NCAA history. He has made 106 3-pointers to date to set the Arkansas single-season record for triples made in a season. (Scotty Thurman previously held the mark with 102 in 1995.) Joe leads the SEC in 3-pointers made per game (3.42) and 3-point percentage (.429). He is looking to join Tennessee’ Chris Lofton (2005) as the only freshmen to lead the league in both categories. Joe additionally ranks second among all NCAA freshman in both 3-pointers made and percentage. Joe only needs to make three more 3-pointers to rank among the NCAA top six for 3-pointers made in a season by a freshman. Joe ranks second in SEC history for 3-pointers made in a season by a freshman with the record being 113.
Joe also is a standout on the defensive end as he leads the team in steals, ranking 10th in the SEC, while leading the team in charges taken with 24. Joe is tied for the team lead with 96 defections, including seven in two of the last four.
Arkansas, the ninth seed, will face eighth-seeded Florida on Thursday (March 14) at the 2019 SEC Tournament. Tip-off is set for Noon at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.