Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daniels Arrives at UConn

DeAndre Daniels set foot on UConn's campus for the first time on Monday. So far, so good ... and busy.

Daniels, the highly-touted recruit who committed to the Huskies earlier this month, has had a whirlwind first couple of days: getting together his schoolbooks, computers, dorm key, etc.; scrimmaging with some of his new teammates; grabbing dinner with Alex Oriakhi, Roscoe Smith and Ryan Boatright; taking two classes this morning; his first workout in the weight room; a tutorial sesson; another scrimmage this evening.

"It's been crazy, so far," he said on Tuesday, shortly after a weight-room session with Oriakhi, Smith and Boatright. "They're treating me like I'm already family, so, I'm happy."

Daniels, a 6-foot-7 forward originally from Los Angeles who appears to be an affable kid, chose UConn without ever having visited the campus. His father, LaRon, visited and liked what he saw, and that was good enough for DeAndre.

"Just listening to my dad, I sat down with my family and thought this was the best situation for me," he noted.

Daniels, a 6-foot-7 forward, can't wait to start this season.

"They won a championship," he pointed out. "Losing Kemba, that's a big part, but we've got me and Ryan Boatright to come in and help try to fill – not fill Kemba's spot – but help the team and hopefully get us back to the national championship."

Daniels considers himself a small forward but says he can "do anything on the court -- post up, whatever Coach needs me to do."

Daniels originally committed to Texas in 2009 but, realizing he had made the decision too early, off his first offer, he de-committed. A year later, he opened up the recruiting process again, and chose UConn.

Playing for Jim Calhoun, in a program that has put numerous wing players in the NBA, was obviously a big factor. So was fellow Los Angeles native Kevin Ollie.

"Me and Coach Ollie, we connect like that."

Daniels said he'll be on campus for the whole summer.

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