Fastbreak Friday

10 Jun

DeAndre Daniels headlines a busy week of recruiting news.

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

For the first full week of June, it sure was a busy week of recruiting tidbits. There was a major commitment. USA Basketball is taking shape. A high-major program made a big hire. Are assistant coaches simply wearing down because of the pressures of their job and lifestyle. I dive into it all in this week’s Fastbreak Friday.


DeAndre Daniels to UConn.

I enjoy the recruiting saga of Daniels about as much as I enjoy watching LeBron James in the fourth quarter.

Daniels, a one-time commitment to Texas and long-time transient of schools and alleged commitments, made it official for Jim Calhoun.

This came out of nowhere.

I think Calhoun and his staff probably had to look for Ashton Kutcher when they got the phone call (assuming there was one) from Daniels to announce his pledge. No one saw this commitment coming. Not a soul in the recruiting world.

Several people told me that Daniels called multiple schools (sometimes upwards of 30 times a day) and “begged” to talk about joining their programs. UConn was never one of those schools.

Calhoun has no problem coaching players with some recruiting baggage. He knows how to handle players like Daniels. And truth be told, Calhoun can flat out coach those kinds of players up. Look at his track record of wing players. Ever watch the NBA? Yeah, Huskies are everywhere on the wing.

Truth be told, I’d be surprised to see Daniels in Storrs for more than a year. Sure, he could go pro (and I’m sure he will certainly try to do that). My money is him transferring or having a fall out. I hope for the best. Just don’t expect the drama to subside.


Former Atlanta Celtic coach Korey McCray is now an official assistant coach at UCLA. I’m happy for him. He’s a good friend and a guy that I would have no problem coaching my son.

He’s going to recruit Atlanta. That’s a given. I have no doubt he’ll do a great job. Hello, Shaq Goodwin.

But, as I mentioned before in a Just a Minute column, players from Georgia that leave for BCS schools outside of the ACC and SEC traditionally don’t stay put.

Understand that fact, Bruin fans. That’s all I’m saying.


I had an interesting conversation this week with a high-major coach about the life as an assistant and a recruiter. He made some interesting comments about his line of work.

He said the “stakes are higher…patience is lower.”

I thought about that for a good part of the week. He’s right. Jobs are fragile. Head coaches, when pressed against the wall, sometimes clean house. The time allowed for success is shrinking for all parties involved with college sports these days. The pressure to be perfect in execution on the court, in the classroom and in recruiting is greater than ever before.

Our conversation turned to former Xavier assistant coach Pat Kelsey. He admitted that he questioned his career choice. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had this conversation.

“Kelsey may not be the last to make (a) move (out of the business). Good dudes are getting burned out by the unstableness,” the coach said.

Burned out. That’s the perfect way to describe the grind of an assistant coach. It is, most times, a thankless job.

Who is the next coach to bow out like Kelsey?


Players, what is your long term focus?



  • Here’s your gotta read it story of the week from Brad Winton of in SLAM magazine about Iowa recruit Anthony Hubbard.
  • Want to know who the stars of tomorrow are going to be? Go to Colorado Springs today and find out. USA Basketball is working with a good group of young players. This is usually the time when you start to see who is good and who is great.
  • One final nugget…the race for number one is still unsettled after the Pangos All-American camp. If I were to guess how the majority of the rankers go about it if they were to rank today it would be 1. Andre Drummond 2. Shabazz Muhammad. 3. Isaiah Austin. Just my hunch.

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