The past decade of Razorback Basketball definitely had its share of ups and downs. Through the course of ten seasons, Arkansas has boasted plenty of great talent on each team since the 2010’s started.
From a team that was close to breaking through in the 2010-11 season, the Mike Anderson era and the first season of Musselman at the helm the Hogs have utilized quality players each season. It was very hard to breakdown a list of JUST five players for the all decade team. So, why not take the ten best players and split them into first and second teams with two honorable mentions?
G: Daryl Macon
G: Mason Jones
G: Jaylen Barford
F: Bobby Portis
C: Daniel Gafford
Arkansas has been very fortunate to have stellar guard play and very athletic front court players for much of the past decade. It was very tough to not have Michael Qualls in the first team with his high flying, blockbuster dunks made Arkansas a primetime team to watch in the early tenure of Mike Anderson. The impact that Macon, Jones and Barford had on their teams was something that you don’t overlook. In his senior campaign, Macon scored nearly 17 points per game and went for 30 twice in his career. Most notably during his senior season versus Tennessee at home where he and Barford went off to come from behind at home.
Barford’s upper body strength reminded me of a shorter version of Lebron James. An athletic guard that could attack the rim, displayed incredible balance, play very good defense and on many occasions chased down a fast break to block his opponents shot off the backboard. He scored a career high 28 against Florida in 2018, scored 20 or more points in 13 games in his final season and scored almost 18 points a ball game as a senior.
As a McDonalds All-American, Bobby Portis was highly heralded coming out of Little Rock Hall. No one has to look at his stats as a Hog and wonder why he would be one of the best post players in Razorback history.
A consensus all-American, all-SEC, all-SEC freshman and SEC Player of the Year were the honors that Portis received in his two year Razorback career. While leading the Razorbacks to a near upset of North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, Portis solidified himself as one of the best to wear a Razorback uniform. He is now a member of the New York Knicks and has developed himself as an all around player.
Maybe it is my El Dorado roots but I had to add Daniel Gafford to the first team. Watching him from his time as a sophomore at El Dorado High School when he blocked a shot into the eight row behind the goal, I remember looking at my then fiancé and saying, “this guy will be special.” An athletic freak of nature, electrifying windmill dunks, ability to handle a basketball, block shots and his game near or around the basket was special. A guy his size are not suppose to do what he does but he did! Gafford was nearly automatic as a sophomore shooting 66% from the field.
G: Michael Qualls
G: Dusty Hannahs
G: Isaiah Joe
F: Coty Clarke
C: Moses Kingsley
G: Roteni Clarke
G: Anthlon Bell