ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 07: DeAndre Daniels #2 of the Connecticut Huskies cuts the net after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
DeAndre Daniels has apparently played his last game for the Huskies. According to several reports, the junior forward will enter the 2014 NBA Draft.
UConn F DeAndre Daniels will enter NBA draft. He's a projected late 1st to mid 2nd round pick. (ESPN & media reports) pic.twitter.com/SuMIfGA0rZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 25, 2014
League sources tell Yahoo.com's Adrian Wojnarowski that Daniels will file the requisite paperwork with NBA offices and declare himself eligible for the June draft. (Daniels has been retweeting congratulatory tweets, too, further indicating that he's likely gone.)
The 22-year-old from California, averaged 13.1 points and 6 rebounds a game last season, and he showed range with his jumper, converting 42 percent of his 3s. He struggled with consistency for much of his career, but his 20-point, 10-rebound effort against Florida in the Final Four showcased his talents on college basketball's biggest stage, and also proved that he didn't shrink in huge moments.
"I just wanted to step up big time," Daniels said at the time, moments after UConn beat Florida, 63-53. "I talked to coach Jim Calhoun yesterday and he was like, 'Man, nobody's talking about you.' And I said, 'Don't worry about, everybody's gonna be talking about me after Saturday.' ...Everybody's always focused on our two guards penetrating and I stepped up huge tonight. We wanted to come out here and prove everybody wrong," Daniels added, "because nobody gave us a shot to win this game."
Last month, before the Huskies got hot in the postseason on their way to a fourth national title, the New Haven Register's David Borges spoke about Daniels' pro prospects with a couple NBA scouts.
“I think he has a great upside," one scout said. "He’s on our future list. He’s got to get stronger, tougher and more consistent. He has a ton of talent. I’ve seen him play very well at times, and I’ve seen him disappear for long periods of times, which I know people around UConn talk about."
Another scout added: "He’s got some ability. He’s very athletic, looks like he’s got skills. He can shoot the ball OK. You hear people saying how soft he is, that’s never good. You can be thin, but wiry strong. He doesn’t have to be a killer if he’s not toughest guy in world.”