Clemson's McDaniels leaving for NBA

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- K.J. McDaniels is leaving Clemson for the NBA draft.

The high-flying junior, who supplied so many must-see highlight moments last season, announced his decision through the school Tuesday. He had until April 27 to enter the draft.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity these past three seasons to grow as a player and person at Clemson," said McDaniels. "None of this would have been possible without the guidance and support of my coaches, teammates and family. This was not an easy decision, but I am excited to take the next step toward fulfilling my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA."

McDaniels was Clemson's unquestioned star this season. He averaged 17.1 points and seven rebounds and helped the Tigers reach the NIT semifinals.

The forward led the team in points, rebounds, blocks and steals. He was the Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year and earned a spot on the league's first team as voted on by ACC media.

"K.J. is a hard-working, humble young man who always put team first. He has had a tremendous impact on our program and improved as much as any player Iâ??ve ever coached," said Clemson coach Brad Brownell. "I'm extremely proud of his development and excited for his future at the next level."

The 6-foot-6 forward is projected as a middle-to-late selection in the first round in several NBA mock drafts,