San Diego State University men's basketball star player Jalen McDaniels is foregoing his remaining college eligibility and will enter professional basketball.
McDaniels, who last month completed his sophomore season of eligibility, plans to hire an agent, ending his collegiate career.
“We appreciate the positive contributions Jalen made to our program and to the University,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “Jalen now has the opportunity to pursue his life-long goal of playing in the National Basketball Association. We wish him and his family well.”
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“I want to thank San Diego State University, particularly the coaching staff, my teammates and our amazing fans, for guiding and supporting me both on and off the court,” McDaniels said. “These past three seasons I have matured as a person and a basketball player. I cherish the memories I have made with my teammates and the relationships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
For his 67-game career, which included 55 starting assignments, McDaniels averaged 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 27.9 minutes. He shot 50.4 percent from the field, including 29.8 percent from three-point range, and 75.8 percent from the free-throw line. McDaniels also added 35 blocked shots and 65 steals during his time on The Mesa.
McDaniels explored leaving SDSU after his freshman season, but after working out for pro scouts opted to return for his sophomore season.
This season, McDaniels was second on the team in scoring (15.9) and led the team in rebounding (8.3).
Predictions on his professional potential are varied. After a fabulous freshman season, McDaniel's was thought to be a borderline NBA lottery talent. Now, his stock is not as high.
In its mock draft, Basketballinsiders.com has McDaniels going 29th in the first round. However, many draft predictions have McDaniels being selected in the second 2nd round.
One interesting note is how McDaniels departure impacts the recruiting of his brother Jaden McDaniels. Jaden, a top 5 ranked recruit from Federal Way, Washington, has narrowed his final 5 college choices to San Diego State, Kentucky, Washington, UCLA and Texas.