Sprinting down the right side of the basketball floor, dribbling at a frantic pace, 2016 Battle Creek (Mich.) Lakeview shooting guard Devon Daniels was on a mission during the scrimmage portion of Michigan’s College Practice Camp. Euro stepping between defenders on the fast break, Daniels loaded up, bounced off the floor, extended his arm -- and missed, what would have been one heck of a highlight dunk.
“I lost the ball at the last second,” Daniels told GoBlueWolverine laughing. “It just didn’t go in. I don’t know what happened.”
Standing 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Daniels was as well put together physically as any of the underclassmen in attendance at the Wolverines camp, still learning the craft of preparation, making sure each rep is done with 110-percent effort, something Daniels said was really impressed upon him by the Michigan coaching staff throughout the four hour workout.
“My mindset going in was just to play hard and play my game,” said Daniels. “It changed throughout the day. At first I was trying to do just me but then I started trying to get my teammates involved and stuff.
“They taught me a lot. How to keep my motor going and that drills are just as important as playing. It was a good experience.”
Coming off of his first season as a high school varsity basketball player, Daniels grew leaps and bounds over the course of those five months at Lakeview, shaking off the nerves any freshmen could feel playing against opponents three years, some even four years, older.
“The second half of the season I started to pick it up and got a starting position,” said Daniels. “Our season wasn’t that good but we should be better next year.
“I was playing timid the first half of the season -- scared. I didn’t really play my game. In the second half I started to go all out, played my game every time I stepped on the court, and teams would start to double team me.”
Daniels sees himself as a penetrating type at this juncture, working to improve his outside shot.
“When I was growing up I was more of a Michigan State fan,” he said. “But then I became neutral around sixth grade -- I just liked both of them.”
Daniels and his Michigan Mustangs squad will be at the Adidas Invitational this July and GoBlueWolverine will definitely keep an eye on the talented in-state product.