Who was the leading scorer last year? Grayson Allen? No. Melo Trimble? No. Buddy Hield? Nope. None of these people lead in scoring last year......it was James Daniel III. You read that right. You just read the name of a guy you probably never even heard of, but it is time to get to know him. Let’s take a look at the senior point guard from Howard.
Standing at 5’11, Daniel has an impressive resume for his junior campaign. He performed very well despite being overlooked by mostly everyone in the country. The Virginia native even dropped 38 points in their 92-91 loss against Radford last season, the same team that beat Georgetown in their season opener. His spectacular performance last season led Daniel to lead all Division I players in scoring, averaging 27.1 points per game. Along with that, he led all players in free throw attempts with 331, making 280 of them.
First off, Daniel has a ton of upside as a perimeter shooter, which you can see in the clip below. Opposing defenses could not contain Daniel, as he had plenty of success through catch-and-shoot and off-the-dribble play. Daniel is probably best suited off the dribble, as his quick dribbles can just shake defenders out of their Jordan’s.
While he shines as a perimeter shooter, Daniel’s best skill comes from his off-the-dribble work. Daniel has a knack for weaving through traffic to score in the paint. What he lacks in size, Howard makes up for with quick feet and speed when he drives up the middle is proven just too much for opposing teams looking to stop him. Those skills allowed Daniel to be pretty efficient from inside the paint, as he shot 46% that area, according to Hoop-Math.
Daniel enters the season as the reigning MEAC Player of the Year, AP Honorable Mention All-American and the NCAA Division I scoring champ. How could Daniel build off that during his senior season? Well Howard head coach Kevin Nickleberry an the rest of the Bison will look for an answer to that question as they begin the 2016-17 season.
The Bison have not been in the NCAA tournament, 1992 to be exact, but if Daniel continues to put on an impressive performance, Howard could very well be poised to make the tournament. Daniel will be eligible for the draft in 2017, so NBA teams wanting to have a prolific scorer on their team might want to take a look at a particular Bison running in the nation’s capital.