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DeAndre Daniels Commits To UConn

DeAndre DanielsUConn was docked three scholarships for the 2011-12 season, two for a sub-par APR and one for terms of its probation, but it's really not about how many scholarships a team has. It's about how that team uses them.

Few would argue the Huskies could have done better than land 6-foot-8 wing DeAndre Daniels, who becomes the 10th and final member of the 2011-12 Huskies.

UConn was docked three scholarships for the 2011-12 season, two for a sub-par APR and one for terms of its probation, but it's really not about how many scholarships a team has. It's about how that team uses them.

Few would argue the Huskies could have done better than land 6-foot-8 wing DeAndre Daniels, who becomes the 10th and final member of the 2011-12 Huskies.

Daniels' commitment to UConn was announced via a press release from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He is the 10th best overall player in the Class of 2011, according to rivals.com, and was the top unsigned Class of 2011 player on the board. Daniels was recruited by many elite schools, such as Texas, Duke, Tennessee, Kansas, Florida and Tennessee.

The Huskies won the national championship and said goodbye to one of the brightest stars in program history, Kemba Walker. Still, UConn is clearly reloading, not rebuilding, despite entering defense of its title with just 10 scholarship players. Daniels, whose roster spot was made possible by the transfer of sophomore forward Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, will join fellow freshman Ryan Boatright, a guard from East Aurora, Ill., as newcomers.

Boatright is ranked 42nd overall and the ninth-best point guard by rivals.com, which has Daniels as the third-best small forward.

Daniels can play both forward positions. His physical presence will be a great asset up front for Alex Oriakhi and an otherwise unproven frontcourt. Roscoe Smith will have support inside and out, and Daniels' open-court and perimeter skills give UConn great depth outside with Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier and Boatright.

Daniels originally committed to Texas out of Woodland Hills, Calif., but instead opted for a year at IMG and re-opened his recruitment. IMG Academy offer a wide variety of sports training programs and educational programs to athletes of all ages, from full-year enrollment for students such as Daniels to camps for weekend warriors in their 40s.

Notable NBA players who have trained part-time at IMG include Vince Carter, Chauncey Billups, Charlie Villanueva and Sebastian Telfair. Notable players who were enrolled full-time include Michael Beasley and Renaldo Balkman.

"DeAndre has taken full advantage of everything that IMG has to offer and has continued to develop on the court, in the classroom and in the weight room," IMG Academy basketball program director Andy Borman said in a statement. "He is an extremely talented young man, but what sets him apart from other talented kids his age is the fact that he is extremely driven and focused on becoming the best player possible. He is an immediate impact player at the next level."

The Huskies had been in a wait-and-see mode with recruiting heading into mid-April. UConn was hoping Andre Drummond of St. Thomas More, a Middletown native and widely regarded as the best prospect in the Class of 2012, would reclassify to 2011. But all along, there apparently was also a push being made for Daniels.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun said last week he has told all recruits that he is returning and "it hasn't been a problem," though he has yet to make an official announcement. Calhoun also has repeatedly said he is operating on a day-to-day basis as if he is going to coach.

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