RICHMOND, Va. – Troy Daniels made a career out of connecting on long shots. So what’s one more?
Daniels has been invited to an NBA workout May 22-23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Representatives from all 30 NBA teams are expected to attend.
“It’s time to get a job now. This is a lot different than college,” Daniels said Thursday. “It’s a great feeling. “It’s something that you dream about when you’re younger and it’s finally coming true now.”
Despite his sharpshooting credentials – Daniels ranks second in school history in 3-pointers (251) and owns the top two single season marks – the senior from Roanoke, Va. likely faces an uphill battle. He’s currently not expected to be drafted and is not listed among the top 100 NBA prospects by NBADraftExpress.com, NBADraft.net or CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman.
But Daniels, who will graduate from VCU Saturday with a degree in criminal justice, says that won’t be a deterrent. He’s says he’s been working out twice a day, fine-tuning his skills and hopes to grab the attention of scouts and executives in Brooklyn. He’s also recently worked out with former Ram Eric Maynor of the Portland Trail Blazers, who typically spends much of his offseason in Richmond.
“I’ve been doing two-a-days lately, been working in my ball handling, working on different stuff that NBA scouts look for,” said Daniels, who averaged 12.4 points per game this season. “They know I can shoot the ball, but they want to see some more stuff, so I’ve just been working on that stuff.”
One thing is certain. Daniels’ shooting ability is not in question. The 6-foot-4 guard shot 40 percent (124-of-308) from beyond the arc in 2012-13. Daniels ranked seventh nationally in 3-pointers per game (3.44) and hit a Division I season-best 11 in a game at East Tennessee State on Jan. 2. More importantly, Daniels has shown he is comfortable from NBA 3-point range – 23 feet, 9 inches – which is three feet deeper than the college arc. Frankly, there are few spots on the floor, save the water cooler, where Daniels didn’t look comfortable pulling up from three.
If nothing else, NBA history is littered with notable 3-point specialists (Craig Hodges, Steve Kerr, J.J. Redick, Kyle Korver), not to mention undrafted-to-renown players (John Starks, Gary Neal, Mario Elie, Jeremy Lin, J.J. Barea, Brad Miller, Bruce Bowen, Avery Johnson, Ben Wallace).
Two former Rams, Maynor and Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks, are currently playing in the NBA. In recent years, a number have also secured workouts with individual teams and/or a spot in one of the NBA summer leagues. Bradford Burgess, Jamie Skeen, Jamal Shuler and Nick George have all received varying levels of NBA interest in recent years.
It’s highly likely that Daniels will have the option of playing in Europe, should he not garner further NBA interest. A number of former Rams, Shuler, Skeen, George and B.A. Walker, to name a few, have carved out solid pro careers across the pond. But first, Daniels wants to fully explore his NBA options.
“This is something that you dream about, and you just want to work at it as hard as you can,” he said. “I don’t want to close any doors, but obviously the NBA is my first goal and everybody wants to play in the NBA,” he said. “So it’s going to be different going out there and seeing your goal right there.”
As many as 45 draft-eligible hopefuls are expected to take part in the two-day workout for scouts, including familiar faces Khalif Wyatt of Temple, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Brandon Triche of Syracuse, Nate Wolters of South Dakota State and Phil Pressey of Missouri. While the workout schedule isn’t yet available, Daniels says he’ll be prepared regardless.
“I can tell you I will be ready,” he said. “This opportunity only comes once, maybe, so I’m going to definitely take advantage of it.”
The NBA Draft will be held June 27 at Barclays Center. The NBA Las Vegas Summer League will be held July 12-22, while league training camps will open in October.
Players expected to attend (via Chad Ford, ESPN): Pierre Jackson, Nate Wolters, Phil Pressey, Matthew Dellavedova, Peyton Siva, Josiah Turner, Larry Drew III, Julius Mays, Ricky Ledo, Vander Blue, Khalif Wyatt, Brandon Paul, Michael Snaer, Carrick Felix, Brandon Triche, Marcos Knight, Troy Daniels, Angelo Sharpless, Solomon Hill, James Ennis, Rodney Williams, Christian Watford, C.J. Aiken, Robert Covington, Trevor Releford, Amath M’Baye, D.J. Stephens, Laurence Bowers, Richard Howell, Alex Oriakhi, Romero Osby, Elias Harris, Trevor Mbakwe, Jack Cooley, Marshawn Powell, Jamelle Hagins, Arsalan Kazemi, Colton Iverson, Kenny Kadji, Marcus Dedmon, Jared Berggren, Jake Cohen, A.J. Matthews, Jason Washburn.