There are few programs nationally that are on San Diego State's level when it comes to knowing exactly what it wants out of each position on the court, evaluating for it, recruiting the right guys and not being afraid to develop their prospects.
Which makes Jalen McDaniels, in many ways, a typical San Diego State recruit and a perfect fit for the Aztecs.
McDaniels, a 6-foot-9, 185-pound 2016 power forward from Federal Way (Wash.), committed to San Diego State on Wednesday and he's a guy that is quickly making the transition from prospect to player.
Watching McDaniels, Scout's 85th ranked prospect in 2016, play on his AAU team last July you saw a 6-foot-6 forward who was all arms and legs with limited skill. A year later, McDaniels grew three inches and showed a much improved feel and skill level.
Even a year later, evaluating McDaniels in any given game on his Seattle Rotary AAU team and it was tough to get a true feel for his potential. He was surrounded by a lot of talented guys and only got a handful of possessions a game.
However, watch McDaniels enough and you see that he is a prospect who is very likely just strength away from becoming a player.
He has good size at 6-foot-9 with extremely long arms and is incredibly physically immature; there's going to be a heavy correlation between his ability to gain strength and his ultimate productivity.
Even though he's going to have to get stronger, McDaniels is a good athlete who plays hard and has a very high basketball IQ. He passes very well and has terrific instincts on the glass. Many of the time he's right there for a play but just can't make it because he's not strong enough yet.
He's somewhat raw as a scorer but not inept by any means; he has a legitimate floater and has nice touch around the basket. McDaniels is still inconsistent from three but is capable from there, while he's currently better shooting from midrange.
McDaniels has the foot speed and length to defend fours and potentially some threes and will be an above average rim protector for a forward.
He plays with a purpose and rarely tries to make plays he can't yet; there's a lot of times in any game that there's something that isn't available to him because he's not strong enough yet and if the play isn't there, he'll kick out to the open man.
McDaniels is more comfortable facing up than posting up but has a legit handle for his position and has an impressive floater.
He may need time due to his physical immaturity but there is a very high potential reward.