Chaise Daniels stepping away from Quinnipiac men’s basketball team

The senior forward has been losing playing time throughout the season and it is unclear if he will return

By on December 9, 2017

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
Senior forward Chaise Daniels will be taking a personal leave from the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team, effective immediately, according to a statement by head coach Baker Dunleavy.

“At this time Chaise Daniels is taking a personal leave from our men’s basketball team,” Dunleavy said via Twitter. “Our program will continue to support him through this process.”

Daniels, a four-year starter from Meriden, Connecticut, was the Bobcats’ second-leading scorer at 13.7 points per game and third-leading rebounder at 4.6 per game.

It is unclear how long Daniels will be away from the team, but Dunleavy’s statement left the door open for a possible return.

After an electrifying block to cap off a season-opening win over Dartmouth, in which Daniels had 21 points and seven rebounds, the season has taken a turn for the worse for Daniels.

Daniels’ season averages and playing time have steadily dropped since opening night. He is averaging just 22.4 minutes per game, the lowest since his freshman year (14.4).

In Quinnipiac’s 79-58 loss at Lafayette on Saturday, Dec. 2, Daniels did not start the game for the first time since his sophomore year. Daniels finished the game with 12 points.

On Thursday, Daniels played a season-low 13 minutes, scoring just five points and picking up a technical foul that essentially planted him on the bench for most of the rest of the night. Quinnipiac went on to lose that game 77-75.

“Chaise was just struggling, it just wasn’t his night,” Dunleavy said after the game. “That’s just going to happen at times. Mentally, physically, whatever it was, just wasn’t all there. He’s one of our most important guys, so we’re going to stick with him, we’re going to go back to him. Tonight [Bundu] earned the opportunity.”

When Dunleavy was hired as head coach in March, there was speculation that Daniels would transfer along with freshmen guards Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss. Daniels elected to stay, tweeting “Gotta laugh at the people that said I was transferring.

Without Daniels on the roster, Quinnipiac is clearly lacking for size. At 6-foot-7-inches, junior forward Abdulai Bundu and graduate student forward Alain Chigha are the tallest Bobcats. Bundu will get the majority of Daniels’ minutes, as he did against Hartford, scoring 13 points and eight rebounds in a season-high 26 minutes.

Stay tuned with the Chronicle for further updates.

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