It's a bird, it's a plane, it's K.J.

CLEMSON - High-flying freshman wing K.J. McDaniels will be above the rim in a gym near you.

One of the final additions to Brad Brownell's 2011 signing class, McDaniels arrived to Clemson from Central Park Christian School in Birmingham, Ala., where he averaged 18.2 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 3.3 assists per game as a senior.

He could play a variety of positions for the Tigers' second-year head coach.

"I could play the two, three and four, but most likely the two and the three," McDaniels said. "I'm just going to bring energy, bring excitement."

That's exactly what the Clemson staff hopes he'll add when the season kicks off with next Saturday's 7 p.m. exhibition against Queens.

"Just to be the one that can bring the spark, just be the one that's real energetic. That's what they told me," he said.

What impresses Brownell the most about McDaniels is his athleticism.

"He can go make a play that you can't coach, like rebounding or blocking a shot...he can go get a rebound above the rim, come in and tip dunk, block a shot you think other kids can't do, and don't do," Brownell said.

Listed at 6-foot-5, McDaniels' wingspan is measured at 6-foot-10. And, according to the Clemson basketball media guide, he weighs 190.

"I've gained a few pounds. I think I'm right at 200. I'm gaining weight still. I'm still growing," he said.

A three-star small forward by Scout.com, McDaniels knows his fastest track to earning minutes is quality play on the defensive end.

"We just know, if you're going to be able to strive here, you have to play defense," McDaniels said.

Whether he starts or comes off the bench, McDaniels looks forward to making a contribution, wherever and whenever its needed.

"I'm just going to work hard to try to fill that role, most importantly play and help win," he said. "If I start, it'll just be a blessing."

His expectations for this season are simple.

"Get better, to be able to help my team win games, play my role and learn from the older guys," McDaniels said.

Flight No. 32 has been cleared for take-off.


Clemson's 2011 freshman class: K.J. McDaniels, Bernard Sullivan, Devin Coleman, Rod Hall, Carson Fields, T.J. Sapp

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