Daniels and his Shelton State Community College teammates won the Alabama Community College Conference state title this past weekend. With the win, they advance to the NJCAA Men's National Basketball Championship Tournament.
Shelton State (25-8) will open tournament play at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 18th against Kilgore (26-4) in Hutchinson, Kansas.
"It was a great feeling because this is my first time winning a championship after my third or fourth time being in a championship game," said Daniels, who also won an individual award this season, a first-team member of the 2013 All-Region 22 Men's Basketball team. "It was great winning something that you worked hard for during the season and the off-season. It was a dream come true."
One of the strong points of this year's Shelton State CC team was the team chemistry.
"Everybody on our team trusts each other because we know what each player can do, offensively and defensively," said Daniels. "It's about trust."
Shelton State head coach Barry Mohun developed that chemistry despite playing a lot of players. Twelve players played in 29 or more of the 32 games SSCC played this season, with 11 of them playing more than 10 minutes a game. Daniels, who started all 32 of SSCC's game, led all players with an average of 24.3 minutes per game. He led the team in rebounding (6.48 pg), was second in assists (62), blocked shots (18) and steals (35) and third in scoring (11.4 pg).
"I think I brought a lot to the team because of my skill level and because I try to be a smart player," said Daniels. "I can figure out how players are playing and how they are doing in a game. I try to play off of that. The other players tell me that they feed off of me."
Daniels will carry his game to Mississippi State next season.
"(The Mississippi State coaches) told me that they like my game because I can play inside or outside," said Daniels. "They didn't say there is any one thing that they want me to bring to the team. I can shoot the three, handle the ball, I can go to the basket. Really, there are a lot of things that they want me to bring to the team."
While his game is close to SEC-ready, he's currently working on making his body SEC-ready.
"(The MSU coaches) said they want me to add about 15 to 20 more pounds so I can come into the SEC and handle the contact," said Daniels. "I'm 207 right now and they want me around 225."
Daniels, who plans on taking his last math class this summer then attend MSU the second summer session, kept up with his future teammates this season and liked what he saw.
"I watched them play," he said. "Overall, they are a good team but they were just outnumbered because they didn't have much of a bench because of injuries. There were times when they just ran out of gas because they didn't have that spurt that they needed off of the bench. But I was impressed with what I saw from them."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.