On the Razorbacks’ 15-player roster, two players have stood out among the others as they’ve carried the Hogs’ scoring load this season.
Senior guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon average a combined 35.5 points per game. In Southeastern Conference play, Barford is No. 3 in points per game, No. 4 in field goal percentage and No.1 in three-point percentage. Macon is No. 4 in points per game, No. 9 in field goal percentage and No. 3 in three-point percentage. Together these two have been the workhorses for Arkansas.
“We’ve been putting in the time and work,” Barford said about the strong play from Macon and himself.
As a senior, Barford is averaging 18.6 points per game, leading all Razorbacks, and is also averaging four rebounds, three assists and 1.2 steals. His early-season play garnered a selection to the All-Tournament team after the Phil Knight Invitational concluded Nov. 26.
Barford’s rise to the top of the Hogs’ scoring list this season began last year when he transferred to the UofA from Motlow State Community College. Before the season started, there was a lot of talk about Barford’s scoring ability. He proved it at the JUCO level, averaging 26.2 points per game as a sophomore, but he faced a difficult test in the SEC. Barford, in his first season as a Hog, started in 30 of 36 games while being second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game.
Barford, during this sophomore season, led the nation in scoring while shooting almost 60 percent from the field. His composite score was at 94 percent, which entails that both his offensive and defensive efficiency were very highly rated, according to 247Sports. At the end of his sophomore season, Barford gained his second All-American accolade and became the second player in Motlow history to have consecutive All-American selections.
The Tennessee native played in 27 games while starting in 25 during his freshman season. Throughout those games, he averaged an electric 20.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
While Barford has been a consistent starter for the Razorbacks this season, Macon has seen his role change. He started throughout the season, but Razorback coach Mike Anderson elected to start freshman Darious Hall in place of Macon as of late. Still, the Little Rock native has proven to be clutch late in games.
During a press conference earlier in the season, Macon said he would enter his senior season with a chip on his shoulder. He said he wouldn’t give the committee a choice but to pick him for the All-SEC team at the end of the season.
So far, Macon’s senior season has been his best. He was awarded SEC player of the Week three times already this season, putting him at four in his career. Macon holds the record for most SEC Player of the Week honors earned by any player in Razorback history.
“The things that we’re doing is putting him in the position where he can receive those accolades,” Razorback coach Mike Anderson said. “It could be him, it could be Barford.”
Macon went to Little Rock Parkview, a school also attended by senior guard Anton Beard before he transferred to North Little Rock. Before Arkansas, he played for Holmes Community College in Goodman, Mississippi. During his freshman season, he played in 32 games while starting in eight. Macon averaged 23 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
As a sophomore, Macon returned to HCC and played in 18 games, starting in five. Macon received Region XXIII player of the year while also being named a Third Team All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association. He averaged 23.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
Macon made the decision to become a Razorback for his junior season. He showed that he was going to be a high-scoring Hog. Macon was second on the team in scoring with 15.2 points per game and played in all 36 games.
Macon is averaging 17 points per game, but has also become more of a distributor this season, averaging four assists per game compared to only averaging 2.2 last season.
Overall, this season has been a solid one for Barford and Macon. In the end, both guards will be some of the most-memorable players in Razorback basketball history.
After a two-game skid, the Razorbacks head back home for a two-game series, starting with the South Carolina Gamecocks on Feb. 6.