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Big East Breakouts: Connecticut’s DeAndre Daniels

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It’s amazing what two years’ difference can make. Back in 201o, the Connecticut Huskies were the Big East and national champions, on top of the world. Now in 2012, they enter a season where they just lost two lottery picks in Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond and will be left out of both tournaments they won two years ago because of NCAA sanctions. Is there anything to look forward to for the Huskies? DeAndre Daniels may have something to say about that.

Daniels didn’t get many minutes last year, but he is an NBA prospect who will certainly see more time on the floor. His averages of 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds are going to shoot through the roof.

A complete player, Daniels does a lot of things well. Despite the fact that he needs to bulk up, his lanky frame helps him, especially on defense and blocking shots. He has a great three point shot and can break down his man and get to the basket. Finally, he is a natural born basketball player. His scoring mentality and high basketball I. Q. will be ever so valuable to a UConn team in turmoil.

He does need some time to develop his skills, but Daniels is set to make major contributions for the Huskies this season. He should be able to shoulder a heavy load on offense and truly be the definition of a breakout player. Next to Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright, the team could surprise some folks in the Big East.

It’s going to be a gloomy year in Storrs. The team is depleted form a year ago, and Connecticut was even a mess then. If I had to make a suggestion, I would tell Husky fans to focus on Daniels becoming a star and hope the team makes strides to the point where it can be competitive next season.

For more on college basketball and the Big East, follow Chris on Twitter.

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