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.