The name Marquis Daniels might be a name people forget but Daniels made quite a career for himself in the NBA, playing for a decade in the league.
High School Years
Daniels attended and played basketball at Edgewater High School in Orlando, Florida. In his senior year, he transferred over to Mt. Zion Christian Academy, a school that has produced many former NBA players including Tracy McGrady and Amar’e Stoudemire, in Durham, North Carolina. In his senior year, he was named to the Parade All-American fourth-team.
Daniels attended Auburn University and played all four years there.
In his first year at Auburn, the 6’ 6” guard came off the bench in all of his 17 games played. He averaged 4.5 points per game (PPG), 2.6 rebounds per game (RPG), 0.5 assists per game (APG), 0.3 steals per game (SPG), and 0.1 blocks per game (BPG) in his first season there. Auburn went 9-7 in conference games, finished second in the Western division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and qualified for the NCAA tournament as the seventh seed in Midwest Region. They took down tenth-seeded, Creighton University, in the first round of the tournament. The Tigers March Madness championship hopes ended in the second round when they lost to the second seed, Iowa State University. Auburn finished the season with a 24-10 record.
Daniels was promoted to a starter in his second year at the school and his numbers took a big jump. He averaged 15.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.6 APG, 2.2 SPG, and 0.7 BPG while starting in all but one of the 32 games played that season. The team went 7-9 in conference play, finished fifth in the Western division of the conference, and didn’t qualify for the NCAA tournament. The Tigers finished the season 18-14. Even though it wasn’t the season Auburn was hoping for, it still ended up being a good season for Daniels, as he was named to the All-SEC third-team.
Daniels started in 25 out of the 28 games played in his junior year. His numbers took a bit of a hit in his third year on the team, but he still managed to do well as he averaged 11.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.9 SPG, and 0.2 BPG for the season. The Tigers had another off-year in their conference, as they went 4-12 in conference play, finished last in their division and in their conference overall, and missed out on March Madness for their second straight year. The team’s season ended up being worse than the previous year, as they finished with a losing record of 12-16.
Daniels had the best season in his career in his final year at Auburn. He put up 18.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 2.3 SPG, and 0.2 BPG while starting in all 34 games played. The Tigers had a bounce-back year, going 8-8 in conference play, finished second in their division of the conference, and qualified for the NCAA tournament as the tenth seed in the East Region. In the first round of the tournament, they defeated seventh-seeded, Saint Joseph’s University. The Tigers then went on to defeat second-seeded, Wake Forest University. Auburn’s March Madness journey came to an end in the Sweet 16 round, when they lost to the eventual champions, Syracuse University. The Tigers finished the season 22-12. To cap off the season, Daniels was named to the All-SEC second-team.
Welcome to the NBA
Daniels went undrafted in the 2003 NBA Draft. He joined the Dallas Mavericks for the 2003 Summer League and later signed with the team.
In his first season with the team, he regularly came off the bench, starting in 15 out of the 56 games played in his first year. He averaged 8.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 0.2 BPG for the season. The Mavericks had a good year as they went 52-30 and finished fifth in the Western Conference. Dallas quickly exited the playoffs, as they were eliminated in five games, by the Sacramento Kings. In the playoffs, Daniels put up 15.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 SPG, and 0.6 BPG while getting the opportunity to start in all five games.
The following season, Daniels continued to mainly come off the bench, starting in 17 out of 60 games. He averaged 9.1 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 0.2 BPG in his second year in the league. The Mavs finished with a better season, going 58-24 and clinching the fourth seed in the West. In the first round of the playoffs, the team defeated the Houston Rockets in seven games. In the second round, they fell to the Phoenix Suns in six games. Daniels came off the bench in 11 of the playoff games and averaged 6.5 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 0.3 BPG.
Daniels’ third year on the team was his best season with the Mavericks. He started in 29 out of 62 games, while putting up 10.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.2 BPG for the season. Dallas had another successful season as they went 60-22 and clinched the fourth seed in their conference. The Mavs swept the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. The team then won a hard-fought seven-game series against their rivals, the San Antonio Spurs. In the Western Conference Finals, they took down the Suns in six games. The Mavericks’ championship hopes were shattered in the Finals when they lost in six games to the Miami Heat. Daniels played in 20 of the playoff games and averaged 3.4 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.3 SPG, and 0.1 BPG.
Goodbye Dallas, Hello Indiana
During the 2006 offseason, Daniels was traded to the Indiana Pacers. He spent three years on the Pacers. His first two years on the team he was used as bench help, but in his third year in Indiana, he was used mainly as a starter. He started in 48 out of the 173 games he played with the team. Daniels averaged 9.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.3 BPG in his time on the team. He had his best-scoring NBA season as a Pacer when he scored 13.6 PPG in his final year with the team. Unfortunately, for the Pacers, they didn’t have the same luck as Daniels during his time on the team. The team went 107-139 during his time there, obtaining three consecutive losing seasons.
Daniels Joins the Celtics
During the 2009 offseason, Daniels signed as a free agent with the Boston Celtics. Daniels spent two and a half seasons as part of the Celtics. In the midst of his Celtics run he was traded to the Kings, but he never suited up for them, and returned to Boston in the 2011 offseason. Daniels continued to be a proficient bench player, starting in only 4 out of his 138 games with the team. During his time as a Celtic, Daniels averaged 4.9 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 0.3 BPG.
The Celtics made the playoffs in both years in which Daniels was part of the team at the end of the year. In their first year with him on the team, they made it all the way to the Finals, before losing in seven games to the Los Angeles Lakers. Two years later they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals but fell in seven games to the Miami Heat. During the Celtics’ two playoff appearances, Daniels played in 26 games and averaged 1.8 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 0.2 APG, and 0.1 SPG.
Daniels’ Final Season
Daniels signed with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2012 offseason. In his final season in the league, he was mainly used as a starter. Daniels averaged 5.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 0.2 BPG while starting in 33 out of his 59 games played. The Bucks made the playoffs but were quickly swept in the first round by the Heat. Daniels came off the bench in three of the playoff games and managed to put up 4.0 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, and 0.3 SPG.
Daniels’ three years with the Mavericks were used as a learning experience for him. He found his footing in the league while in Dallas and embraced his role off the bench. His productivity as a role player helped the Mavericks keep their momentum off the bench, even while the starters were resting. In his three years with the Mavs Daniels averaged 9.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.2 BPG.
In 2018, Daniels became an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at his alma mater, Auburn University. In his first season as an assistant coach, the team finished fourth in their conference with an 11-7 record, won the conference tournament championship, and qualified for the NCAA tournament. The team entered the tournament as the ninth seed in the Midwest Region. They defeated the 12th seed, New Mexico State University, in the first round. They then went on to defeat the fourth seed, Kansas State University, in the following round. In the Sweet 16, they took down the first seed in their region, the University of North Carolina. They continued to dominate the tournament as they took down the second seed of their region, the University of Kentucky. The Tigers March Madness journey ended in the Final 4, when they fell to the eventual tournament champs, the University of Virginia. The Tigers finished their season 30-10.
The following season Daniels became the player development coach for the Tigers. Auburn finished tournament play with a 12-6 record and second in their conference. There was no NCAA tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They finished their overall season with a 25-6 record.
In his third season coaching at Auburn, Daniels continued his position as player development coach. The Tigers had an off-year as they went 7-11 in conference play, finished 10th in the SEC, and missed out on March Madness. They finished the season with a record of 13-14.
Daniels continued to be the player development coach for the Tigers during the 2021-22 NCAA season. Auburn had a bounce-back year, going 15-3 in conference games, finished first in the SEC, and qualified for the NCAA tournament as the second seed in the Midwest Region. They defeated the fifteenth seed, Jacksonville State University, in the first round. The Tigers’ luck ran out in the second round when they lost in an upset to the tenth seed, the University of Miami.
He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Sociology.
Daniels is also a rapper and goes by the stage name Q6. He’s collaborated with other artists such as Lil Boosie.
Daniels’ best years came during his college days, but he still had the attributes needed to stay in the league for a decade, something that not many athletes are able to do. He’s continued to impact younger generations as a coach, by helping them try to reach their peak potential and hopefully make the NBA as he did.