Last year was a season of transition for Devon Daniels. After having shown great potential as a freshman, the 6-4, 200-pounder turned that promise into production against much better competition as a sophomore.
“We lost in the regional finals,” Daniels recalled. “It was my first year at Kalamazoo Central. I transferred from Battle Creek Lakeview. I averaged 24 points and seven rebounds.”
Daniels is known for his power and explosiveness on the offensive end, and unbridled tenacity on the defensive end. And though capable of scoring in bunches he can also be extremely unselfish, as evidenced by his play with the 17-and–under Michigan Mustangs squad on the AAU circuit. Between his play in high school and AAU his game has garnered increased attention from more and more suitors.
“Michigan, Michigan State, Xavier, Dayton, [University of Detroit], Central Michigan and Notre Dame are all looking at me,” reported Daniels. “I grew up liking Texas and Kansas. I’d like to hear from them.”
For now the schools closer in proximity are the ones on his trail, and he already has a great deal of familiarity with a few of them. That is certainly the case with Michigan for whom he camped last summer.
“It was good,” Daniels said reflecting upon the experience. “I had a pretty good outing. They just had me play [and] showed me around the campus. They’ve been sending me letters since about eighth grade but now I’ve been going to their games.”
Michigan’s performances on the hardwood over the past few season have definitely impressed the talented youngster. While watching them experience all their recent success, Daniels began picturing how he might fit into the Maize & Blue puzzle.
“They’re pretty strong,” said Daniels of the Wolverines. “I think they should have won that last game. They’re pretty strong. I think it’s a good system. I think [John Beilein] is a good coach. I think it would fit me. I feel like they could help me.”
At the moment Daniels is still a long way away from determining that perfect fit. That said, he does happen to already know the ingredients.
“I’m looking for a comfortable system,” he said. “I like [the] transition game. I like the mid-range [game]. I like the off-the-catch three’s. I need to work on my defense. I need to get stronger.”
“I want a coach that will talk to me, make me better [and] help me grow in my game. And coaches that just push me.”
Whether Michigan will wind up being that place remains to be seen. One thing is for certain though. Both parties will get another long look at one another when Daniels attends Michigan’s elite camp early next month.