VUHoops continues our coverage of Villanova Basketball’s 100th Season by previewing the entire Wildcat roster. Be sure to check out all of our coverage including Ten Top 10’s, event coverage, and schedule previews. Check back over the coming weeks as we begin the celebration of 100 years of Villanova Basketball!
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
High School: St. Augustine
Former College: Tulane
The Blue-White Scrimmage was both a blessing and a curse for those curious about Caleb Daniels. In a short matter of time, the 6-foot-4 guard showed some good things on the court and said “I love Villanova” in regards to his time on campus thus far. Unfortunately, the wait begins, as we won’t be able to see Daniels in any kind of official basketball action—at least publicly—until the 2020-21 season.
For those that missed their chance at seeing Daniels set foot on the court this year, our Brendan Reilly covered the Blue-White Scrimmage and said, “If Bey was the most impressive player of the night, Daniels was easily the most impressive newcomer. He was making plays all over the court on both offense and defense.”
He continued, “He was scoring at the rim, mid-range, and beyond the arc. On defense, he was disruptive and even had a block on freshman Justin Moore. Just an overall great game from the transfer.”
At Tulane, Daniels was a bright spot on a Tulane Green Wave squad that finished 4-27 last season, including 20-straight losses to finish the year.
Daniels saw a huge step up in playing time and production as a sophomore, showing vast improvement from his freshman year. He had a team-high 16.9 points per game during the 2018-19 campaign. He also averaged 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and shot 44.5 percent overall and 34.6 percent from long range.
He was unranked coming out of high school, but he was coached by Mike Dunleavy Sr., the father of former Villanova assistant Baker Dunleavy. Jay Wright will get the rundown on Daniels, just as he did with Eric Paschall and former Fordham coach Tom Pecora, who is also a part of Wright’s coaching tree.
Last season, at Tulane, he carried the Green Wave offensively, scoring in double figures in 28 contests. His best game was a 36-point outing against Wichita State.
Daniels falls under the new type of point guards, one that can initiate offense and score in volumes, as opposed to the traditional facilitator kinds. However, with greater help around him and no longer having the responsibility of carrying a team, Daniels can work on his ability to create for others.
He will certainly provide Villanova with another ball handler and playmaker, as well as someone who can be relied upon for scoring. After sitting out this season, he will have two seasons of eligibility.
Best Case Scenario: The Wildcats’ streak of successful players coming out of a redshirt year continues, when Daniels is free next season. Until then, he absorbs as much as he can, acclimating to a new system and immersing himself in the program’s culture. Daniels pushes his teammates in practice and provides a good look on scout team. In the meantime, positive rumors and rumblings from the practice court make their way out or the occasional practice footage to generate hype, because hype is good.
Worst Case Scenario: The exact opposite. Daniels’ development slows down, he doesn’t get the concepts and systems down as much as he should. Even worse, injury. However, all that is a pretty extreme worst case scenario. In a redshirt year, there’s not much bad that possibly happen this season.