San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Jalen McDaniels declares for NBA Draft

Raymond Gorospe
Sophomore forward Jalen McDaniels acknowledges the fans after the Aztecs’ 65-56 victory over Nevada in the Mountain West semifinals on March 15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

San Diego State men’s basketball sophomore forward Jalen McDaniels has declared he will leave school to pursue a career in professional basketball, the university announced Wednesday afternoon.

The university’s social media accounts were the first to post about the news.

McDaniels then posted on Instagram his personal statement he will be putting his name in the NBA Draft on June 20.

“I want to thank San Diego State University for guiding and supporting me both on and off the court,” McDaniels wrote. “Particularly the coaching staff, my teammates and our amazing fans. These past three seasons I have matured as a person and a basketball player. I cherish the memories I have made with my teammates and the relationships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life! With that being said I will be entering the 2019 NBA Draft with representation. THANK YOU #Aztec4L.”

This is not the first time McDaniels declared for the NBA Draft.

Last season, the 6-foot-10 standout tested the NBA Draft and but did not hire an agent in order to keep his college eligibility.

However, a new NCAA rule implemented in August states that prospects can hire an agent without losing their remaining college eligibility.

McDaniels said he plans to hire an agent.

So if McDaniels does not get drafted, he can still technically come back to SDSU with two years left of eligibility.

Technically doesn’t mean it will actually happen.

McDaniels made it clear in the announcement he will commit to professional basketball regardless if an NBA team drafts him on June 20.

The news may have decreased the Aztecs’ chances in landing his five-star recruit and younger brother, Jaden, who is ranked the number one power forward on the 2019 ESPN 100 rankings.

The Aztecs’ potentially dream scenario of having both McDaniels brothers play in Viejas Arena next season is no more.

SDSU head coach Brian Dutcher said, in a statement through the university, that he is grateful for what Jalen McDaniels has done for Aztec basketball.

“We appreciate the positive contributions Jalen made to our program and to the university,” Dutcher said. “Jalen now has the opportunity to pursue his life-long goal of playing in the National Basketball Association. We wish him and his family well.”

Many mock draft boards have Jalen McDaniels as a second-round pick.

ESPN ranked him as the 36th best prospect in this summer’s upcoming draft. Yahoo Sports lists him as the 41st best while has him going to Brooklyn with the 27th overall pick.

McDaniels, in two seasons on the Mesa, played in 67 games, averaging 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He shot an efficient 50.4 percent from the floor.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on March 29 at 1:11 p.m.

About the Contributors
Aaron Tolentino, Sports Editor
Aaron is in his second and final year at SDSU. He is a junior college transfer from the Bay Area. From his previous experience covering junior college football, he has transitioned to the Aztec football beat where he is well plugged into the program – often breaking news first about the team. He has visited different road football stadiums, such as Stanford, Fresno State, San José State and UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Some of his highlights working at The Daily Aztec include covering the Mountain West Championship game in Las Vegas, casually sitting behind the legendary broadcaster Kevin Harlan (no big deal). Follow Aaron on Twitter @atolent2 to get the latest scoop on SDSU sports and one day see him break the news from that same account.
Raymond Gorospe, Staff Photographer
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Jalen McDaniels declares for NBA Draft