Finding a role at the NBA level can be tough for many players right out of college, but some players have already developed the mindset to know exactly how they can fit in and help a team. Often this will come from prior experience, especially at the college level. Troy Daniels is one of those players and playing at VCU has brought out the best in his skill set.
“My time at VCU really made me more competitive as a player,” Daniels said. “It was a very intense atmosphere. Getting to play in a lot of big games also helped me become a better player.”
Among those big games were three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a remarkable run to the Final Four in 2011. “Getting to play in the big arenas and at the highest competition levels really brings out the best in you,” said Daniels. “It was a lot of fun, and it will always be great to say that I had those opportunities.”
Playing for one of the best coaches in the game, Shaka Smart, also helped Daniels a lot as he developed as a player. “Coach Smart helped me develop as a man,” Daniels explained. “Myself and my teammates looked at him as a father, a friend, and a coach.”
With his college career behind him, Daniels is now looking to parlay all he has learned into a chance in the NBA. “Shooting is what I am known for, but I think people have been surprised by how I can put the ball on the floor,” Daniels said. “I was a good shooter when I came to VCU, but I worked at becoming a great shooter.”
Daniels averaged over 12 points per game last year, while hitting 125 threes at a 41% clip.
Defense is also a major area where Daniels believes he has an advantage, and that comes from his college experience. “Havoc, that’s what we were all about,” Daniels explained. “We worked on our defense every single day, and it will certainly help me defend at the NBA level.”
“You learn to give you all on defense, because the more defense I played, the more I got to stay on the court.”
Daniels has spent the last few months sharpening his skills before he had his chance to show what he could do to NBA teams. “I worked a lot on my ballhandling skills,” said Daniels. “It was important for me to show teams that I wasn’t just one-dimensional as a player.”
Daniels has been brought in to work out for Boston, Houston, New Jersey, Indiana and San Antonio, as well as the combine in New Jersey in front of all 30 NBA teams. “The combine was a fun experience for me,” Daniels said. “It gave me a chance to compete and meet up with other guys and see how their experience has been during the process. You got a feel for the NBA game which is different, but I just went out there and competed.”
Finding your role at the next level can be tough, but Daniels already has a good idea how he can help a team. “My shooting ability will be important, as well as my defense,” said Daniels. “I’ll just stay in my lane and do what I do best.”
Daniels is just looking for his opportunity and he know he has been prepared to take advantage of it.
“I came from a good program with a great coach who has me ready. I know I can help a team.”
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