Holmes Community College sophomore guard Daryl Macon has picked up this season right where he left off in last year's NJCAA Elite Eight finish and by doing so has landed him a Division I scholarship with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks for next season.
Last season, Macon averaged 23 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He shot 46.5 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 88.5 percent from the foul line, which was fourth in the NJCAA. He was named the Region XXIII Player of the Year and was a NJCAA All-American.
Macon of Little Rock, Ark., who is averaging over 23 points per game through five games of the 2015-16 campaign, made it official last week by signing with the Razorbacks.
"It was a fun process but at times it got annoying," Macon said of the whole recruiting process. "I'm happy it's over now so I can focus on school and the national championship.
"They need me to be an immediate impact with the team and score the ball," he said of the Razorbacks. As far as his skill level, Macon said, "Scoring is number one, leadership is number two and defense is number three. I'm blessed. A lot of people don't have that."
Over 75 people attended Macon's signing day party last week in Little Rock, and he was glad to have support coming from all areas. "It always important to have people in your corner that support you and will always have your back," Macon said. He thanked all of his basketball coaches. "All those coaches helped me get better at what I do now. I have to thank them because without them I don't think I would be here right now."
Macon was quick to thank his Holmes family. "The important thing is I have to thank my teammates," Macon said. "They put up with me the whole year last year. Without them this would not have ever happened."
Holmes Assistant Coach Jason Harrison said he's proud of Macon's timing and his choice. "It's important because Daryl in a unique talent," Harrison said. "He could fit in with any school in the country. That comes with a lot of heartache and phone calls. He made his decision and can focus back on school and leading us to a national championship.
"He's a natural scorer,' Harrison added. Macon played point guard most of his life, but he grew seven inches later in life and transitioned to a shooting guard. "He's a scorer so he needs to work on his defense and his leadership skills. Once he gets better on those things it'll be great for him."
Having nine players return for this season, Macon expects the Bulldogs to have a great season. "We are playing as a team and trusting each other," Macon said. "We are working hard in practice. We still have to stay focused because it's early and have a long season ahead of us. We have a lot more experience than the other teams and should do a lot better this season."
Harrison agreed by having nine players return who trust and play hard for each other gives the Bulldogs an advantage. "Those kids know what we expect from them and how we work hard each and every day to get better," Harrison said. "We are fortunate for sure. Like these guys know, championships are not won in November. We take each game, game by game. We don't look forward, and we don't look back. We look at each task at hand."
Harrison said Macon is well-known throughout the MACJC and won't be able to sneak up on teams. "He has to be a smarter player obviously because he's not sneaking up on anyone," Harrison said. "Everyone knows who he is. He's a household name in the state.
"He has to take what the defense gives him. If he can score, score. I want him making more plays for his teammates. If everybody is clicking on all cylinders, you just can't just key-in on him. Just like the other night when he got into foul trouble. The guys still played. We demand a lot from him and all the guys as well. Those guys understand they have a role to play. Everybody has to do their role. They take coaching and do what we ask them to do. So far it's worked out. We still have a long season to go."