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Washington freshman Jaden McDaniels declares for NBA draft

UPDATED: Wed., April 15, 2020

Washington forward Jaden McDaniels (0) is shown during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., on March 7, 2020. (Rick Scuteri / AP)
Washington forward Jaden McDaniels (0) is shown during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., on March 7, 2020. (Rick Scuteri / AP)
By Tim Booth Associated Press

SEATTLE – Washington freshman swingman Jaden McDaniels has declared for the NBA draft, becoming the latest one-and-done player for the Huskies.

McDaniels, who is projected to go in the middle of the first round, announced his decision on social media late Tuesday night.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the player and man he has become,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “He grew so much and his best days are ahead of him. Our ultimate goal is to help our players reach their dreams, and to see Jaden’s dreams become reality is really fulfilling for our staff.”

McDaniels was inconsistent during his only season at Washington. At times, he was the best player on the court, exhibiting raw skills that have NBA scouts excited about his potential as a 6-foot-9 player on the wing. At other moments, McDaniels showed a lack of maturity and flaws in his game.

“I want to thank the University of Washington for embracing me and my family and giving me another place to call home,” McDaniels wrote in announcing his decision.

McDaniels averaged 13 points and 5.8 rebounds in a mixed role. He started 21 games but began coming off the bench midway through conference play, a role he found more comfortable. McDaniels had a season-high 22 points in late December against Ball State, and his overall play seemed to improve as the season went on. He scored in double figures in eight of the final nine games.

But he also had stretches where he was careless with the ball – he led Washington in turnovers – and found himself in foul trouble. McDaniels fouled out eight times and picked up six technical fouls.

McDaniels is the second one-and-done player for Washington this year, joining forward Isaiah Stewart. The duo join a lengthy list of freshmen who have left Washington after one season that includes Markelle Fultz, Dejounte Murray, Marquese Chriss, Tony Wroten and Spencer Hawes.

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