Arkansas' Gafford going pro, won't play in NIT

Arkansas sophomore Daniel Gafford will sign with an agent and enter the NBA draft, coach Mike Anderson told reporters on Monday.

Gafford won't play in the NIT, where the Razorbacks are slated to play at Providence on Tuesday.

"He's put his name in the draft and will hire an agent and will not be participating in the NIT," Anderson said.

Gafford, a 6-foot-11 big man, was expected to leave Arkansas after his freshman season. He was projected as a first-round pick, but decided to return to the Razorbacks for another season. His numbers improved across the board as a sophomore, averaging 16.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while shooting 66.0 percent from the field. He tallied 10 double-doubles this season, including 29 points and 16 rebounds in the regular season finale against Alabama.

"He could've left last year, he had the opportunity. He came back and developed and got better. I think he's going to be a first-round draft pick," Anderson said. "I'm supporting him in his endeavor. He came here with a dream, and he's going to have an opportunity to realize it."

ESPN's NBA draft rankings have Gafford as the No. 6 center and No. 35 overall.