Devon Daniels was cooking last night vs Wake Forest. The senior had 20 points (7-10 fg) and 10 rebounds with over 8 minutes remaining in the game. Then he went down with what appeared to be a serious injury, and needed to be helped off the court.
The program reported today that an MRI confirmed he has a torn ACL, and will thus miss the remainder of the 2021 basketball season.
First Devin Leary, now Devon Daniels, this name is jinxed this year. Both Dev(i/o)ns are key to the offensive success of their respective teams, and both football and basketball teams struggle in their absence. Thoughts and prayers to Devon that he’s able to make a full recovery. Time will tell if he will use this season of free eligibility to come for another season or not.
This injury leaves a significant gap in production for this NC State basketball team. Coach Kevin Keatts is going to have to find some combination of players to fill in for the team leader in points, assists and steals, and third in rebounding. Daniels is top 10 in the ACC production for scoring, field goal percentage and steals.
The eyes will inevitably shift towards Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore. The freshmen duo have been slowly building their case this season for earning more playing time, and thus more of the burden of leading the team. They have both shown flashes they are ready to step in, but also have shown typical freshmen mistakes. Before this news broke, I was wondering if Daniels had a temporary injury how his absence could provide Hayes and Moore the opportunity assume more responsibility, then incorporate Devon back in when and they’ll have gotten more reps. Now it appears they will be getting those reps whether they like it or not. It’s pretty clear they’re the future of the program, so they’re going to get their shot.
I’ve been on both sides of alternately admonishing and applauding Devon Daniels for his play over the years. The one thing that nobody can question is whether he gives everything he has for this team. Kevin Keatts loves his energy, and the fans do as well while also grumbling about his style of play. Yeah, maybe he could pass more when he’s barreling towards the basket but he’s also the one getting shots when many times there aren’t other options for the team.
Basketball aside, this one stings. Daniels has literally left it all out on the floor for the Wolfpack and for that we salute you.