James Daniel Transfers to Tennessee from Howard, Led NCAA in Scoring in 2015-16

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2017

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2015, file photo, Howard guard James Daniel (11) dribbles the ball past Rutgers guard Mike Williams during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Piscataway, N.J. One of the funkier quirks of a season that’s been full of them is that four of the country’s top five scorers entering Friday’s games were 6-foot or shorter. Five-foot-11 Howard guard James Daniel led the way with (28.2 points per game), followed by 5-foot-9 Oakland star Kahlil Felder (25.7), 6-foot Davidson standout Jack Gibbs (24.8) and Stefan Moody, all of 5-foot-10, of Ole Miss (24.3). (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
Mel Evans/Associated Press

James Daniel, who led the NCAA in scoring during the 2015-16 season, will transfer from Howard to Tennessee as a graduate student.

"It came down to the relationship with coach [Rick] Barnes, the rest of the staff and the environment," Daniel told ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman. "I think that Tennessee is ready to win right now."

Daniel averaged 27.1 points and 2.8 assists during the 2015-16 campaign. He was limited to two games last season due to an ankle injury.

Ohio State, Michigan and DePaul were also among his final choices. Daniel said his relationship with Barnes helped push the Vols over the edge.

"I feel that I can help Tennessee as a leader," Daniel said. "And Coach Barnes said he wants me to come in and make basketball plays. Be myself and attack."

Tennessee went 16-16 in 2016-17, Barnes' second season in Knoxville after a 17-year run at Texas. The Vols are 14-22 in SEC play under Barnes and have struggled in shot creation. Ken Pomeroy's adjusted offensive efficiency ranked Tennessee 73rd in the country last year, and the team tied for 145th nationally in assists per game.

The Vols lost guard Robert Hubbs III to graduation and dismissed Detrick Mostella midseason in 2016-17, leaving them with a hole in the backcourt.

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