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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

CBKB: UCLA assistant leaving to join Gonzaga

By Chris Foster
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES Donny Daniels, a UCLA assistant the last seven seasons, has accepted a similar position with Gonzaga, part of a small shake-up Tuesday in the Bruins' basketball program.

UCLA coach Ben Howland also announced that reserve center J'mison Morgan has not enrolled for the spring quarter and will transfer.

Daniels joined UCLA when Howland was hired in 2003 and helped put together recruiting classes that took the Bruins to three consecutive Final Four appearances. Daniels also spent three seasons as coach at California State University, Fullerton and was an assistant at Utah for 11 seasons.

"Donny did a terrific job for me and this program for seven years," Howland said. "... I wish him the very best. He is going to another outstanding program with good tradition and history."

Howland said that he would not replace Daniels until after this month's recruiting period. He said he hoped to fill the Bruins' remaining three scholarships, including the one Morgan leaves behind.

Morgan's departure was expected. The 6-foot-10 sophomore was out of shape when he arrived at UCLA, and he averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per game during his two seasons.

"It was in the best interest of both our program and him that he leaves here," Howland said. Morgan did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Morgan becomes the third member of the 2008 recruiting class to leave UCLA. Guard Jrue Holiday jumped to the NBA in June and center Drew Gordon transferred to New Mexico in December.

Howland also said details are being worked out for a home-and-home series with St. John's, which would start next season. Steve Lavin, replaced by Howland as UCLA's coach, was hired Tuesday as coach at St. John's.