MSU head coach Rick Ray has made a point of recruiting the right guys to fit his system on both ends of the floor. On Wednesday Ray found one of those perfect fits in Shelton State (Ala.) Community College's Travis Daniels, according to his head coach.
"The key thing for Mississippi State is they wanted someone who is versatile like Travis," said Shelton State head coach Barry Mohun. "Travis can dribble well, pass and shoot and someone with his size is a big plus for Mississippi State."
Last year as a freshman, Daniels averaged 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds for Shelton State. But Mohun said those numbers were a bit deceiving.
"Travis does a bit of everything for us," said Mohun. "He is able to bring the ball down the floor at times, shoot the mid-range jumper, shoot three-pointers and also post up inside at times. Last year he had to play center for us because of injuries but he never questioned that move. It probably cost him some numbers and stats but he is a good leader for us and never once questioned playing there because it was for the good of the team.
"He should have a better year this year, numbers-wise, because he will play more at his true position (small forward)."
Off the court, Mohun also complimented Daniels for his character and also his increased motivation.
"Travis is a lot bigger and stronger now compared to last year," said Mohun. "He's added about 15-20 pounds and I've also seen a big difference in his motivation. He's always been a high-character kid but now he knows how important this is and I've seen a totally different attitude from him. I really expect him to have an outstanding year for us."
And having that character off the court and leadership on the court should fit in well with Ray's program, added Mohun.
"I think that what's sold Coach Ray with Travis," said Mohun. "He is a great kid and a great talent. Mississippi State is recruiting him as a three guy and will be a good fit in Coach Ray's motion offense. He can take people off the dribble and also post up when he has a size advantage. He will fit well in their motion offense."