Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Daniel Hamilton Wants DeAndre Daniels Back at UConn, Plans to Sign His Letter of Intent
NEW YORK — UConn recruit Daniel Hamilton believes the Huskies could make a run toward defending their NCAA championship if his friend DeAndre Daniels returns for his senior season.
“We’ll be able to have another chance at a run if he comes back,” the 6-foot-7 Hamilton said after going for 10 points in 11 minutes for the West team in Friday’s Jordan Brand Classic at Barclays Center. “We’ll be that much better, because he’s a force. A lot of power forwards can’t guard him at that position, because he can put it on the floor and he can shoot, so it’s hard to guard him.”
Daniels helped his NBA stock during UConn’s title run, but is still projected as a 2015 pick by DraftExpress.com. UConn coach Kevin Ollie met with Daniels last week, but no decision has been announced.
Daniels and Hamilton played for the same AAU program and Daniels used to sleep over at Hamilton’s house because he knew the older Hamilton brothers, including Jordan, now with the Houston Rockets.
As for Hamilton, he never signed his National Letter of Intent because of what his brother Isaac went through at UTEP. After initially signing, Isaac wanted a release to return to California to be closer to his ailing grandmother, but UTEP coach Tim Floyd would not give it to him.
Isaac is now at UCLA and will be eligible to play next season.
“I think it wasn’t fair the situation he had to go through,” Daniel said, “but me and Coach Ollie and my family is going to talk about it even more and I think I’m going to end up signing it [Letter of Intent]. It’s just a matter of time. Next couple of weeks. No telling how long it’s going to take.”
Daniel said he thinks it’s unfair that players are bound to a school by a Letter of Intent, but coaches can leave at any time for another job.
“I think it’s kind of unfair,” he said. “When he signed it, we didn’t really know the situation and what was going on, so we thought he was going there [UTEP] for sure but some stuff had happened with my grandma and it was just an unfortunate situation.”
Daniels won a California Division 2 state title last season and believes he can bring a wide skillset to a UConn team that loses the seniors Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander.
“I think I can bring my versatility,” he said, “coming in playing shooting guard, small forward, being able to push it on the break and being able to get our players involved and being able to pull up for jumpers and stuff like that.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.