January 21, 2021 

Brianna McDaniel narrows her list to five

Georgia, Louisville among suitors for a top player in the 2022 class

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Brianna McDaniel, currently ranked as the No. 30 prospect in the 2022 class according to ESPN, has received 38 Division I offers. The highly touted guard from Chicago, Illinois, has narrowed that list to five, with a decision likely to come soon.

In alphabetical order, the final five schools are Georgia, Louisville, Mississippi State, Texas, and Texas A&M.

For McDaniel, it wasn’t just where she could see herself as a basketball player, but her career goals played an extremely important role in the narrowing of her college list.

“Getting to know the coaches and feeling a connection with them and the program is important. I want to study to become a large animal veterinarian, so going to a university that could provide me the support for that was a big factor as well,” McDaniel told The Next.

“Many schools had biology tracks, much like pre-med, but there were some schools that had a veterinary concentration and I like that.”

McDaniel, who attends Kenwood Academy and plays AAU for head coach Jerald Davis of the Chicago Hoops Express, is a strong, physical guard capable of scoring at all three levels and defending multiple positions. Beyond her ability to be a true impact player on both ends of the floor, her most underrated skill may be her ability as a passer. McDaniel is an elite passer, which makes her extremely dangerous whenever she has the ball in her hands.

When I spoke to McDaniel back in May, I was mostly impressed with her determination, work ethic, and competitive drive. In response to how she responds to a loss, McDaniel said, “If we don’t win, I’m going to be upset. That’s just who I am. If we lose that night, the next day I’m in the gym working on things with my coach. What could I have done better?”

McDaniel is also confident in her ability and the type of versatility she will bring to the college game. “I think that my ability to handle the ball, decision-making, and scoring in various ways will help me with having an opportunity to play and contribute to what the program needs.”

For Davis, he believes McDaniel has the ability to have an immediate impact wherever she decides to go.

“I think Brianna can have an immediate impact because of her competitiveness defensively and her ability to pass.  I also believe her versatility will be a factor because she is capable of playing as a point, as a 2-guard or a 3-guard.”

Regardless of where McDaniel decides to go to college, Davis is confident that she will be successful. “I believe she will be able to contribute day one in college as long as she continues to work to stay conditioned and staying consistent with her 3-point shooting and mid-range game.”

With some of the top players in the 2021 class leaving high school early to join their college teams, such as Saylor Poffenbarger (UConn) and Olivia Miles (Notre Dame), there has been some question around how the pandemic will also impact the 2022 class. For McDaniel, she is enjoying the process and doesn’t feel the need to rush to a decision just to secure a spot.

“It’s been exciting. I’ve enjoyed phone calls and Zooms with a lot of amazing coaches. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them as people and felt close with some of them. Cutting the list of schools down was very hard and emotional for me and my family.”

Written by Matt Ward

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