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DeAndre Daniels: Big Visit Is No Joke and I’m Not Laughing

After thinking about it for awhile, it really makes a lot of sense. As most of you know, I’ve attended a lot of high school level events lately, both big name camps and high class AAU tournaments. In between those, I’ve been to a couple camps and tournaments featuring some of Kentucky and Indiana’s finest. This week, after attending an NBA camp loaded with UK prospects, seemed like a good time to take a little vacation and get some much needed rest but with John Calipari as head coach and one of the best group of assistants in the recruiting business today, not a freakin’ chance.

As most of you already know, 2011 forward prospect DeAndre Daniels snuck onto campus this weekend for an unofficial visit. 2010’s Mychal Parker, just before the Freshman All-American Camp begins this weekend, will join in the parade of recruits setting foot in Lexington in June. But, as I mentioned previously, this all makes sense. Any prospect wanting to showcase his talent does so during the busy summer AAU circuit. In between that grueling schedule, winding all around the United States, they squeeze in some unofficial visits in order to get a better idea of where they may eventually take their limited official visits. When those of us attending these camps and tournaments get to go home (or take vacations), these kids get the breaks in their schedule they need to make these visits. And so the saying goes, “No rest for the weary.”

That brings me to my next point: When a kid like DeAndre Daniels, with a summer address of Anywhere There’s A Basketball Tournament, USA and an official address in California, takes time out to travel cross-country in order to visit a school, there is most likely some serious interest there. Therefore, I think it is important for us Kentucky fans to pay close attention to this kid.

DeAndre weighs in as a 6’8″ 180 pound combo forward with some serious athleticism. He fits the mold of the classic forward “tweener” who has yet to allow himself to be pegged as more of a post-forward or a tall version of a slashing wing. If he is going to be a down low big man, he’ll need to refine his post game a bit, but if its the slasher that he aspires to be, he’ll need to continue working on his perimeter jump shooting. All of the parts of a forward’s game that fall in between the two extremes are the areas where DeAndre butters his bread. He can run in transition, finish at the rim, but also takes time out to play tough defense and block out for rebounds. DeAndre was originally classified as 2010 but was moved to 2011 because of transfer issues. This puts his body development a year ahead of the other kids in his class and makes it more interesting to see if he will continue to develop or if he has hit his peak and will later allow the rest of his class to catch up later. At this point though, when you mix the potential that his frame gives him with the athleticism that he was blessed to receive, this big man is a good bet for future stardom.

On the recruiting side, DeAndre currently holds offers from Rhode Island, Texas, UNLV and USC. At the Pangos Camp in early June, he added Gonzaga, Iowa State, Kentucky, Memphis, Ohio State, Washington and Wake Forest to the list of schools showing strong interest. Like I said, when a kid from way out west takes time to travel to Kentucky during the busy summer season, there’s something, or most likely somebody (way to go coaches), that has caught his attention. Both from a recruiting standpoint, as well as a game development standpoint, this is going to be an interesting saga to watch unfold.

Still more to come this week including a post on Wednesday, just before Mychal Parker’s scheduled weekend visit begins Thursday, taking a closer look at the 2010 recruit’s game and recruitment. I’ll also do a UK Recruiting Notebook entry for Kyrie Irving on Friday which will have some new and interesting information on what the future might hold in terms of his recruitment.

Article written by Dustin Rumbaugh

I enjoy basketball, Kentucky sports and extremely short walks on the beach, followed by a nap. Sorry ladies, I'm taken.