MEAC talent drain continues as Howard’s James Daniel expected to transfer

In what has become a routine occurrence in the last few years, another MEAC star has opted to finish his college career with a new program. Howard’s James Daniel. the leading scorer in Division I in 2015-16, has decided to transfer.

Daniel will move elsewhere as a graduate transfer, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.
The Hampton, VA native averaged 27.1 points per game as a junior, but a severe ankle sprain limited him to just two games in 2016-17. Daniel averaged 17 points per game in those losses before being sidelined for the rest of the season.

Daniel’s transfer isn’t all that surprising given the attention he got for leading D1 in scoring as a junior and the difficulty that HBCUs, particularly in the MEAC, have had holding on to top talent in recent years.

North Carolina Central lost talented big man Stanton Kidd to Colorado State following an All-MEAC campaign during the 2014-15 season. Two years ago, Hampton lost MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player DeRon Powers, who transferred to Hofstra while Norfolk State (Rashid Gaston) and FAMU (Jermaine Ruttley) were also hit by deflections of key contributors that spring. Last season FAMU lost leading scorer Malcolm Bernard, who ended up helping Xavier make the Elite Eight along with Gaston.

This pattern of developing star players only to watch them head for greener pastures is a frustrating one for HBCU basketball fans, but appears to be the new reality.


*Daniels averaged a career-low of 5.6 points per game in just 19.7 minutes per game with Tennessee in 2017-18

* Powers averaged 13 points and 5.2 assists per game. Hofstra did not make the NCAA Tournament that season, however.

*Gaston helped Xavier to the 2017 Elite Eight, but did not get selected in the NBA Draft. He played in Japan last season.

*Ruttley averaged 3.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game as a senior at Little Rock-Arkansas.



  1. Julius Coxswain

    March 28, 2017 at 4:10 am

    SMH. I can understand it though. Howard isn't going to win the MEAC next year. He earned his degree at HU and did good by the school. He has one more year of eligibility and he wants to go to the Dance. It is what it is.

  2. Tommy Lee

    March 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    These are isolated examples..Look at Grambling's football roster they had 18 Graduate students…Nccu had 11 so they come and go.Its the sign of the times where student-athlete graduate and still have a year of eligibility its happening all over.

  3. The Hundred Seven

    March 29, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    These young men are also completing their degrees at the HBCUs, so they gave them 3 years of their eligibility and added their names to the alumni roster.

  4. Unknown

    March 29, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    Thku Tommie Lee ! It also shows no respect for Black coaches. They want to increase their chances of Bn drafted . Professional sports is about talent no matter where it comes from . We are the only race that feels that they must go through another race to prove /show that we are talented/good !Really Sad !

  5. Pingback: James Daniel makes his decision - HBCU Gameday

  6. Pingback: MEAC teams having difficult time holding on to star players - HBCU Gameday

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