Junior forward DeAndre Daniels will forgo his senior season at Connecticut and enter the NBA Draft, UConn confirmed Friday.
Daniels, who averaged 13.1 points and 6 rebounds per game last season, came on strong during the NCAA Tournament, putting up 27 points and 10 rebounds in leading the Huskies to a Sweet 16 win over Iowa State, and going for 20 and 10 in a national semifinal victory over Florida.
He is projected as a late first-to second round pick in most mock NBA Drafts.
“I just felt like this was the right time for me,” Daniels said. “I sat down with my family and we discussed it, and everyone agreed. But the final decision was still mine and it was hard. I had a great career at UConn and I wouldn’t change it for the world, and to go out on top like we did makes it even better.”
“DeAndre has made an enormous contribution to the success we have enjoyed at UConn, both on the court and in the classroom,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “Besides being an outstanding basketball player, he is a quality young man.
We wholeheartedly support the decision he has made and wish him nothing but success as he moves ahead with his basketball career. He will always be part of our UConn family.”
NBADraft.net projects Daniels to be selected 25th overall. At 6-9, 195 pounds, Daniels is an intriguing prospect. He was often pronounced as the player with the most upside on the UConn roster, though he often times disappeared in games.
Daniels was held under 10 points in 13 games this season. He also scored at least 15 points 13 times.
He scored a career-high 31 in a win over Temple in January. Still, his size and sweet shooting stroke make him attractive to NBA scouts. Draftexpress.com has Daniels landing at No. 27. Some current and future Huskies reacted to the news on Twitter this afternoon. This tweet is from top incoming recruit Daniel Hamilton, who grew up with Daniels in L.A.:
Huskies fans did get some good news on Friday, as junior guard Ryan Boatright announced he was returning to school.