A Strong Start: Canaan, Daniel among national leaders after impressive games

Seniors Ed Daniel and Isaiah Canaan have led the Racers to a 5-1 start. Daniel scored 20 points and a career high 18 rebounds against Lipscomb. || Samuel T. Hays/The News

Seniors Ed Daniel and Isaiah Canaan have led the Racers to a 5-1 start. Daniel scored 20 points and a career high 18 rebounds against Lipscomb. || Samuel T. Hays/The News

Before the season started, Head Coach Steve Prohm knew his team would have to rely heavily on seniors Ed Daniel and Isaiah Canaan if the Racers were to be successful.

Daniel and Canaan have provided, turning in several dominant performances early in the year.

Through the first six games, Daniel is averaging a double-double, including 11.3 rebounds per game – the eighth highest total in the country.

Daniel had the best game of his career Monday night at Lipscomb, scoring 20 points and collecting a career-high 18 rebounds, along with five blocks and three assists.

With the loss of senior forward Latreze Mushatt to a torn Achilles, Daniel’s playing time has significantly increased, with his average minutes per game climbing from 23.9 a year ago, to 29.3 in 2012-13.

“Ed has been tremendous this season,” Prohm said. “I’m proud of him. He’s really maturing as a player. His rebounding numbers are at 10 or 11 a game and he’s getting everything around the basket. He’s scoring and playing really tough around the basket also.”

Canaan is also among the national leaders, ranking 13th in scoring with 22.5 points per game, and leading his team in several statistical categories including minutes, points per game, assists, 3-point shots made and 3-point field goal percentage.

After surpassing the 30-point mark for a second straight game at Lipscomb, Canaan is not only knocking down shots, but is keeping his team in every game.

In Murray State’s last two games against Old Dominion and Lipscomb, Canaan has either tied the game or taken the lead for the Racers eight times, three of which coming in the last ten minutes of play.

With the absence of Mushatt and sophomore guard Zay Jackson, Daniel and Canaan’s remarkable performances are being noticed on a national scale.

After successful campaigns last season, both players were invited to NBA camps over the summer to improve their skills and learn from professionals.

With the eye-popping stats Daniel and Canaan have put up thus far, the seniors continue to draw interest from NBA scouts and coaches across the country.

Regardless of the media attention and impressive stat lines, the two are helping the Racers overcome a lack of depth and experience off the bench.

The lone remaining starters from last season’s 31 win roster continue to help a young Racer team find ways to overcome adversity and win games.

“The two guys sitting next to me (Daniel and Canaan) are the heartbeat and the leaders of our team,” Prohm said. “We go as they go.”

Story by Jonathan Ferris, Sports Editor.