The Wolverine

February 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2022 THE WOLVERINE 59 BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan's 2022 basketball recruit- ing class is ranked as the best in the Big Ten, and point guard Dug McDaniel is doing his part to ensure it stays there. The 5-10 point guard recently led his Chantilly (Va.) St. Paul VI Catholic squad to a huge victory over nationally ranked Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon, led by 2023 standout Bronny James (On3's No. 34 overall player in the 2023 class). McDaniel was the alpha from the get- go Jan. 15 in Springfield, Mo. On3's No. 73 overall player in the consensus rank- ings was named the MVP after notching 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out two assists in the 72-65 victory over Sierra Canyon that gave St. Paul VI Catholic the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions title. St. Paul VI Catholic had lost to Sierra Canyon 52-49 Dec. 22 in Hawai'i and was eager to atone. "To lose to them recently and fight like that and get that one back, it shows how much we fight and how much we really buy into what the coaches have been saying," McDaniel told The Springfield News-Leader. "That was a really, really great win. They have all of the attention. People feel like they can't be beaten, and we just shocked the world today. "I can't be more thankful for my guys and be thankful for my coaches. I'm just ready to get back and celebrate back home." McDaniel and his team lost 72-57 to Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Acad- emy at the event last season, and he was excited to get another shot. He made the most of it. "It means a lot of me to walk out of my high school career knowing that I won Bass Pro," he said. "I couldn't say that two years ago. Just being able to say that I won Bass Pro and bringing this trophy back to Virginia just means a lot to me." St. Paul VI Catholic stood at 12-2 overall with McDaniel running the show as of Jan. 18. He was a complementary player last year to five-star guard Trevor Keels, but this year he's taken over. Though not big, he's a warrior. Al- though not as stocky, he's similar to for- mer Michigan point guard Zavier Simp- son in mindset, especially. He's not going to be denied or intimidated, and he's a winner. He plays well out of a ball screen and takes defense extremely seriously. St. Paul VI Catholic coach Glenn Farello told local WDVM-TV McDaniel is one of the best he's ever coached. "He does play with some grit to him, and he understands how to set people up," Farello said. "His intelligence, his basketball IQ is off the charts. He's able to play in pick-and-roll. He really un- derstands angles and he's probably the best passer we've ever had. "He thrives with that bull's-eye on him. I think he enjoys it. He thrives un- der pressure, the expectations that he has, people coming at him because they want to measure themselves against him as a basketball player. So, it's about respect, and he understands that." He "plays with a chip on his shoul- der," St. Paul VI Catholic junior guard DeShawn Harris-Smith added. "He's like one of the smallest guards in his class, but still one of the best guards in his class," Harris-Smith said. "I think everybody likes that about him. He's small, but he plays like he is bigger than that." "McDaniel has been on a tear all month for St. Paul VI Catholic and has them positioned to make a real run at the WCAC [the prestigious Washing- ton Catholic Athletic Conference] title as 2022 begins," noted. "The future Michigan floor general is one of the quicker guards you'll come across in his class, and it's evident in the open floor. He takes advantage of any driving lane or angle he can gain on his defender to work his way into the paint, where he quickly breaks down the defense and lo- cates open shooters, bigs along the base- line or finishes with high floaters. "McDaniel's outside shot is still a work in progress, but with time he's proven to be a more capable threat than before. There were reasons to believe that Paul IV may have its bumps consid- ering the youthful roster, but McDaniel helped engineer an 8-1 start with blow-   BASKETBALL RECRUITING Signee Dug McDaniel Is Living Up To His Billing McDaniel was the MVP at the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions after notching 18 points, six rebounds and two assists to lead Chantilly (Va.) St. Paul VI Catholic to a 72-65 win over nationally ranked Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon. PHOTO COURTESY MCDANIEL VIA TWITTER

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