Top-20 recruit Daniels picks prep school over college for this season

Wing considering UK among others

jtipton@herald-leader.comAugust 24, 2010 

DeAndre Daniels, a top-20 national prospect, had been mentioned as a possible 11th-hour addition to Kentucky's basketball team this coming season.

But his trainer said Monday afternoon that Daniels will attend prep school in the 2010-11 year and enter college in the fall of 2011.

"He's going to go to a prep school to kind of get his body together," trainer Alex Parker said.

Daniels, a 6-foot-7 wing from Woodland Hills, Calif., committed to Texas in the summer of 2009. However, he changed his mind this year and re-opened the recruiting process.

Kentucky was one of several schools wanting Daniels to enter college in the fall semester of 2010 and play this coming season.

UK Coach John Calipari "said if we can get this done, send him right now," Parker said. But Daniels and his family decided that joining a college program in late August would not be wise when other incoming players would have been on campus since June.

"He'd be at a disadvantage for this year," Parker said.

An announcement on the prep school Daniels will attend should come in the next week or so, Parker said.

Parker emphasized that Daniels is going to a prep school to make sure he is physically and mentally ready for college. Family issues limited Daniels' high school career to "one solid year" of varsity basketball, Parker said.

The prep school option is not related to academics, said Parker, who added that Daniels had a 3.2 grade-point average and has met the NCAA standards for freshman eligibility.

"We're trying to get him as ready as possible to be the best he can be," Parker said.

In its summer ratings, the Prep Stars recruiting service rated Daniels No. 18 in the class of 2011.

"He's a great talent and he would fit right in with the guys Kentucky's got coming in," analyst Brick Oettinger of Prep Stars said. "I think he's a McDonald's (All-America) guy."

Oettinger noted Daniels' ability to shoot from distance and exploit a favorable matchup around the basket. "He can hurt you in a lot of different ways," the analyst said.

The Rivals.com recruiting service lists UK, Kansas, Tennessee, Memphis and Texas among those on Daniels' list.

The combination of Kentucky and Calipari made UK's interest impossible to ignore, Parker said. When asked whether Kentucky would be a contender in the recruiting race, the trainer said, "No question, no question. Are you kidding? To have Cal, that's pretty tough to deny. They have to be at least one of the contenders.

"His dad has said there's no clear-cut favorite. But this whole thing, you have to do it right."

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