Absence from All-SEC teams motivates Macon

Posted: October 22, 2017 at 1 a.m.

It is difficult for sports writers to focus on one topic this time of year when we’re juggling assignments in football, basketball, cross country, volleyball and cricket.

OK, not cricket. But that’s my excuse, anyway, for a segmented version of our weekly Sunday visit.

WHAT ABOUT US?

Say it loud, say it proud. Even if hardly anyone is listening.

Arkansas’ senior guard Daryl Macon wasn’t shy about promoting himself and teammate Jaylen Bar-ford during the SEC men’s basketball media day at Nashville, Tenn., last week.

“We’re going to be one of the best backcourts in the country,” Macon said. “We don’t get the respect we should, but we’ve just got to make sure we keep working and lead this team to another successful season.”

Apparently, SEC voters were unimpressed by the two or have forgotten about Arkansas’ turnaround from 16-16 two years ago to 26-10 last season. The Razorbacks were picked to finish sixth in the SEC and no Arkansas players were included among the 12 selected for the preseason All-SEC teams.

The snub was still on Macon’s mind days later.

“I have a chip on my shoulder right now,” Macon said after scored 17 points in an Arkansas Red-White scrimmage on Friday. “I personally thought I should have been on the first or second team. I have a point to prove and each and every game I’m going to come out strong.”

Motivated seniors like Macon and Barford are exactly what you want if you’re an Arkansas fan. The fun begins on Nov. 10 when the Razorbacks host Samford at Bud Walton Arena.

PRESEASON UPDATE

Preseason selections are often followed by complaints when people feel slighted.

There were grumbles among Arkansas football fans when only center Frank Ragnow (first team) and quarterback Austin Allen (third team) were among the nearly 70 players named to the All-SEC preseason football team in July.

But halfway through the season, it appears the voters may have gotten it right.

There are no Arkansas players among the top 10 in the SEC in rushing and passing and only one player (Jonathan Nance, eighth) is among the top 10 in receiving entering Saturday’s game against Auburn.

Preseason teams are compiled mostly to generate interest. But it’s interesting to see what people who cover the SEC think about the Razorbacks, even the one person who picked Arkansas to win the SEC championship.

OK, maybe not that person. But others, for sure.

WIDESPREAD WILDCATS

The numbers are in, which show again why Kentucky remains the choice for so many of the top high school basketball players in the country.

Kentucky leads all schools with 24 players on NBA rosters that were finalized last week. Florida is second among SEC schools with 10 players, followed by LSU with eight, Tennessee with five and Vanderbilt with four.

Arkansas had three players on opening-day rosters, although Bobby “The Bruiser” Portis is currently suspended after a fight with a Chicago Bulls teammate. Patrick Beverly plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, and Joe Johnson begins his 16th NBA season with the Utah Jazz.

FREE FOOTWEAR

Malik Monk left for one year to play basketball at Kentucky, but he hasn’t forgotten his Arkansas roots.

The Bentonville High School boys and girls basketball teams posted pictures last week of their new basketball shoes, paid for by Monk, a rookie with the Charlotte Hornets.

Monk also bought shoes for the basketball teams at East Poinsett County High School in Lepanto, where he grew up. Monk played his freshman year at EPC before he transferred to Bentonville.

On the court, Monk scored six points against Atlanta on Friday after he was held to three points in his NBA debut against Detroit.

ON THE MOVE

Former Lincoln basketball standout Shandon “Biggie” Goldman has resurfaced at Panola Junior College in Texas after spending his freshman year at Arkansas-Little Rock.

Goldman played in only five games with the Trojans, where Wes Flanagan begins his second year as coach.

Goldman, a 6-foot-9 forward, is expected to see plenty of playing time at Panola. Five players signed with Division I schools last year after Panola went 26-9. Goldman was offered recently by Canisius, a Division I schools located in Buffalo, New York.

Rick Fires can be reached at rfires@ nwadg.com or on Twitter @NWARick.

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