Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coombs-McDaniel: 'It's Just Business'

For anyone who thinks Jamal Coombs-McDaniel was pushed out of UConn after his arrest for marijuana possession, think again.

Coombs-McDaniel told me on Thursday that he had decided to transfer prior to his April 21 arrest on the UConn campus.

"Oh yeah, yeah, I had made up my mind before that," he said. "I was just looking for schools, and I found some schools, so I'm just going from there."

(Read my article in the Register here).

Coombs-McDaniel listed Hofstra, Miami (Fla.), Missouri and UC-Irvine as potential destinations. He's already made an unofficial visit to Hofstra, which is coached by longtime New England basketball guru Mo Cassara, and plans on visiting Miami next week and Missouri the week after that. Phil Pressey, Coombs-McDaniel's AAU teammate and good friend, plays at Mizzou.

As to the reason why he's transferring, Coombs-McDaniel said: "I just wanted to play more, finish up my career strong, personally, and basically be a main, focal player on a team at this point in my career ... My playing time was going up, going down, going up, and we have a lot of good kids coming back next year. I don't want to spend my junior year like that. I want to be happy throughout the year."

He added that he and coach Jim Calhoun were "cool."

"I respect him, I'm sure he respects me. It's just personal business. I have to look for a better situation for me."

Coombs-McDaniel said he'll return to UConn on June 1 to take a summer school session, then be on his way.

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