Tag:Jamal Coombs-McDaniel
Posted on: June 15, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 1:59 pm

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel transfers to Hofstra

By Jeff Goodman and Matt Norlander

UConn transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel told CBSSports.com he has committed to Hofstra.

The 6-foot-6 sophomore, who averaged 5.6 points for the national champions last season, informed Hofstra coach Mo Cassara on Wednesday.

"I had a great visit there a week ago and just felt it was the right fit for me," he said. "I love the coaching staff, playing in New York and the success of Charles Jenkins were all important for me." 

Coombs-McDaniel will be reunited with former UConn assistant Pat Sellars – who was brought on by Cassara earlier this month. Coombs-McDaniel will finish out classes in the summer at UConn, head to Hofstra – where he will sit out this season and have two more years of eligibility.

Cassara, who lost Jenkins to graduation, will now build around transfers Stevie Mejia (Rhode Island) and Coombs-McDaniel. Hofstra is also among the leaders for Penn State transfer Taron Buie.

But that's not the only Coombs-McDaniel-related news of the day.  (Reading that sentence looks so bizarre.) The Hofstra guard will also be doing some image repair.

The sophomore will do some time in a drug education program, according to the Associated Press. This is a move being made with good intentions, but it's also being done to save face, as Coombs-McDaniel was attempting to land at a new school in the past few weeks.

Attending a few classes, mandated by the State's Court, will go some way toward Hofstra and its student body, coaches, administrators, etc. accepting him as a changed man.
The Rockville Superior Court order Wednesday requires Coombs-McDaniel to take 10 drug education classes and perform 75 hours of community service. The charges will be dismissed if he complies with the requirements.
He gets the charges taken off his record and moves on with his life. A nice deal to be cut.

The irony in all of this is that McDaniels not only was a victim of bad judgment, but also bad timing. Had his pot bust come a few months later, instead of in the wake of Connecticut's championship in mid-April, none of this would be happening, and he might still be a part of UConn's team. (Though he and Jim Calhoun have said this charge had nothing to do with him leaving.)

Connecticut recently passed a law that lightens punishment for marijuana possession, specifically, no arrests and lighter fines if a person is caught with a half-ounce or less of the drug. Coombs-McDaniel was busted for 5.6 grams of pot on April 21, which comes out to .12 ounces, well under the new guidelines. The law goes into effect in Connecticut on July 1.

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: June 15, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 1:22 pm
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Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:28 pm

Coombs-McDaniel Visits Hofstra; Missouri Next

By Jeff Goodman

UConn transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel returned from a visit to Hofstra this past weekend and said he expects to take a trip to Missouri in the next couple of weeks and then decide between the pair.

``I had a great trip,” Coombs-McDaniel told CBSSports.com. ``The guys I met were terrific and I can’t speak enough about the entire coaching staff. I had a great overall experience.”

The 6-foot-6 sophomore, who averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game for the national champions this past season, will have to sit out this season and have two years left.

Coombs-McDaniel wasn’t much of a factor down the stretch for the Huskies, but did show the potential that has both Missouri and Hofstra in pursuit.

He went for 25 points and grabbed eight boards against Providence and also had 23 points and six rebounds in a win over Georgetown in February.

Coombs-McDaniel has a relationship with new Hofstra assistant Pat Sellars – who was an assistant at UConn during his freshman campaign – and also played with Missouri’s Phil and Matt Pressey with BABC a few summers back.

Coombs-McDaniel is still at UConn taking classes this summer. 

Posted on: June 7, 2011 6:00 pm

Will Sellers lure Coombs-McDaniel to Hofstra?

Posted by Eric Angevine

As Matt Norlander reported earlier today, former UConn assistant coach Patrick Sellers is headed for an assistant's job at Hofstra. If things break Mo Cassara's way once more, yet another refugee from the Huskies could join Sellers on the bench next season.

Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, 6-foot-7 sophomore who logged just six minutes in the national title game, left UConn in a search for more playing time, though his May arrest on marijuana charges probably didn't help matters.

If Coombs-McDaniel does choose Hofstra, he could find the playing time he's been looking for (after sitting out a season, of course). A lanky 6-7 without much bulk or a good shooting touch, the sophomore mostly provided fresh legs off the bench in relief of Jim Calhoun's youthful starters. His 5.6 rebounds per game, even in limited duty, give him a skill to hang his hat on wherever he goes, especially if he uses his transfer season to develop other aspects of his game.

Cassarra had the Pride in the upper echelon of the dynamic Colonial Athletic Association last year in his first season on the bench at the school. The league's profile has grown by leaps and bounds following a 2006 Final Four appearance by George Mason and last year's stunning run by Virginia Commonwealth. Hofstra is in search of the school's first NCAA tourney berth since 2001, when Jay Wright was the head coach, and Hofstra was still a member of the America East conference. Cassara would no doubt find Coombs-McDaniel's services to be very helpful toward that effort in 2012-13. Landing an official commitment from another embattled former Husky could be Patrick Sellers' first order of business.

Photo: US Presswire
Posted on: April 3, 2011 12:37 am
Posted on: February 16, 2011 11:06 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 1:22 am

Walker returns to form, exhibits his best power

Posted by Matt Norlander

HARTFORD, Conn. — If Jim Calhoun can barely contain himself at the podium in the post-game press conference, then something really special just went down.

Kemba Walker’s about the only person in any arena who can make the UConn coach ramble on and on and on to the media. After a loss to Syracuse two weeks ago, Calhoun refused to talk about Walker’s play because it was so bad; the UConn junior scored season-low eight points in the Feb. 2 66-58 home loss to the Orange.

But Wednesday night? Calhoun was so chat-happy he only had time to allow three questions from reporters. The UConn coach of 25 years couldn’t move his mouth fast enough when talking about how big his team’s 78-70 home win over No. 9 Georgetown was and how fun Walker was to watch.

“He’s leading a lot of young people to some awfully good places,” Calhoun said of Walker. “At one point in the middle of the second half when we finally took the lead, he just wanted to beat everybody. You could see it. I’ve never been able to see a guy do those kinds of things. And those are the kind of magical things that he’s done throughout the entire year. … It was a pleasure to watch him compete like that.”

We shouldn’t — and won’t — talk turning points with UConn because its situation doesn’t call for that kind of praise; after all, this is a 20-6 team that’s assured itself of a 5-seed at worst after ending Georgetown’s eight-game winning streak. Calhoun clearly considered this win his team's most important since the Maui Invitational in November.

Walker’s play, however, does enable us to discuss turning points for him. Man, oh, man what a show. A massive uptick/a return to form was due for No. 15, who put on his first impressive, efficient performance since Jan. 15 against DePaul — and does that really even count? — wherein he scored 31 points, the same tally he had against the Hoyas.

Walker’s night was highlighted by a play that will go famously be remembered as one of the best of his college career. An intentional bank pass/shot from the foul line to himself, which he caught, then put through the hoop with an off-balance bunny shot. If you haven’t seen the highlight by now, just zip to the video at the bottom of this column.

“It was the only play I could make,” Walker said of the Kobe-like maneuver. “I had Henry Sims on me. I stepped back, picked my dribble up, I didn’t have anything. It was just me and the rim and the backboard.”

Walker was believed to be a distant third, perhaps even fourth, behind newcomer Nolan Smith of Duke, in the national Player of the Year race. But Walker won’t ever truly be out of the running, not when he’s dazzling up scoreboards and dropping thousands of jaws — like he did tonight. His play at the XL Center put to bed all doubts of who should be the Big East Player of the Year, at a minimum.

When asked to explain his play against a top-10 team, Walker said, “I just took whatever the defense gave me.”

Pretty sure Walker took everything, period.

“He basically put us on his back, led us to victory and scored every way possible,” teammate Alex Oriakhi said.

On the flip side, Georgetown coach John Thompson III was dour as could be after the loss. He credited some of Walker’s play, but was matter-of-fact in summing up why his team — which was in the game until the final minute — fell to 20-6 and 9-5 in the Big East.

“Our defense was horrible today,” Thompson said.

Funny how Walker can make coaches say that. The Hoyas lost for the first time in more than a month (Jan. 12 at Pittsburgh).   Thompson’s point guard, Chris Wright, explained why Walker did what he did and does what he does.

“He stretches the ball screens out very well, and it forces the bigs to keep stretching, so it’s hard for the guards to get back in front,” Wright said. “So then he plays around the screen and it’s to his advantage. … Once he got in the lane, he pretty much was doing whatever he wanted.”

For all Walker did, and for as incredible as he was to watch, how about the carousel of Robins that have emerged to Walker’s Batman? This is a definite pattern. At the beginning of the year it was Oriakhi who was playing a strong complementary role. Then freshman Shabazz Napier showed promise and helped UConn get out to a 10-0 start. For a portion of January, Jeremy Lamb became the No. 2 guy for the Huskies.

Now: Hello, Jamal Coombs-McDaniel.

Walker is not the only reason UConn is where it is. This rotating posse of supporting players is keeping the Huskies unpredictable for opponents and steady in week-to-week chunks. McDaniel’s come a long way from the disappointing player he and fans considered him to be last season.

“I learned a lot from last year,” Coombs-McDaniel said. “Like, when you sulk and stuff and don’t get playing time, and you do nothing about it, you’re not going to get any better.”

On the topic of giving Coombs-McDaniel more minutes after he put up a career-high 25 points in Sunday’s 75-57 win over Providence, Calhoun said, “That seemed to be a good idea.”

“Where Jamal reminds me of Rashad Anderson is that they never met a shot they didn’t like,” Calhoun said. “And if they miss a shot, they’re going to take the next one. … I couldn’t be happier for Jamal.”

With a stabilized role, McDaniels was able and ready to be the latest beta to Walker’s alpha.

“I’m trying to be that glue guy, that hustle guy, for the team,” Coombs-McDaniel said. “[Earlier in the year] I was working from outside-in, especially when I was starting. I’m not the type of shooter to just come in and start knocking down 3s. I have to have a feel. I’m mature enough know that, and now that’s what I’ve been working on.”

But for the 19th time at UConn, Calhoun is a 20-game winner. Kemba’s the reason why.

“I think tonight is just a giant win for us in a hundred different ways,” Calhoun said. “It really was. I mean, they’re (Georgetown) really good. Here at home, to get a win like that, and have the crowd so much involved. … It’s an awful lot of fun. It really is, with these guys.”

Jim Calhoun is having fun and enjoying a season with a team that’s certainly got its share of flaws. That is the power of Kemba Walker who's still every bit as electrifying as any other college player in the country.


Posted on: February 16, 2011 9:53 pm

Post-game video: UConn's Jamal Coombs-McDaniel

Posted by Matt Norlander

Kemba's going to get all the love in my column, so I went ahead and got Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, who scored 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting in UConn's 78-70 win over Georgetown Wednesday night, for the post-game video treatment.

I'm going to blow up Coombs-McDaniel's spot here. Before the video started, he made sure he looked good and put his hat on. Alex Oriakhi was trying to make him laugh behind the camera as the interview was taking place. Enjoy.
My first question has to do with this tweet.

Category: NCAAB
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