Jalen McDaniels, SDSU
Jalen McDaniels celebrates after the upset win against Nevada in the Mountain West Conference semifinals on March 15, 2019. Photo credit: Ernie Anderson/SDSU

San Diego State forward Jalen McDaniels is again entering the NBA Draft, but this time he won’t be coming back.

The red-shirt sophomore intends to hire an agent, the school announced Wednesday, ending his collegiate eligibility.

“We appreciate the positive contributions Jalen made to our program and to the University,” coach Brian Dutcher said. “Jalen now has the opportunity to pursue his life-long goal of playing in the National Basketball Association. We wish him and his family well.”

McDaniels entered the NBA Draft last year to test the water but returned to SDSU that May.

“I want to thank San Diego State University, particularly the coaching staff, my teammates and our amazing fans, for guiding and supporting me both on and off the court,” he said. “These past three seasons I have matured as a person and a basketball player. I cherish the memories I have made with my teammates and the relationships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”

This past season, McDaniels was second on the team in scoring, averaging 15.9 points a game, and led the team in rebounding, averaging 8.3. He was 46.6 percent from the floor and started in all 34 games of the season where the Aztecs nearly won the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

Twice he was named Mountain West Player of the Week and was named to the conference’s all-tournament team.

During his freshman season, McDaniels averaged 10.5 points per game with a team-best 7.5 rebounds and shooting at a team-high 58.6 percent from the floor.

McDaniels’ NBA’s stock has lowered since two civil suits were filed against him in his home state of Washington alleging the basketball star of filming two women performing a sex act without their permission and distributing them on social media. He is still projected to be drafted in late in the first round or at the very least, the second round.

With McDaniels leaving, the attention now turned to his brother, Jaden, who is a top-five high school recruit. The younger McDaniels has narrowed his choices down to San Diego State, Kentucky, Washington, UCLA and Texas.

Presumably, with his brother leaving, Jaden McDaniels has one fewer incentive to come to the Mesa.