US Binghamton University is hedging their bets and hopes of a great season on their newcomer St.Kitts freshman guard Everson Davis.
The dynamic newcomer is expected to make a significant impact immediately.
“My goal to this day is to be Rookie of the Year in this conference,” said Davis, a 6-foot-3 combo guard. “I’ve just got to work to it. My first job is getting on the court.”
Despite setting a high bar, signs point to Davis having a good head on his shoulders. He’s quick to point out that he still has to “earn” a spot in the rotation.
Davis, a 6-foot-3 combo guard played the past two seasons for the Peddie School in Highstown, N.J., where he was first-team All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League as a senior.
A natural scorer who played both point guard and shooting guard in high school, Davis doesn’t take playing point guard for granted. He knows playing the point is more than simply having the ball in his hands a lot. He’s working toward knowing everybody’s duties and positioning on the court on each set so that he can make adjustments and even move guys around when a play breaks down.
“I’m an aggressive player getting to the rim,” said Davis, a self-described “scorer.”
Davis averaged 16.7 points per game as a junior at Peddie. Prior to Peddie, he spent three seasons playing or West Side High School in Newark. He earned All-Essex County honors and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in three seasons at West Side. He averaged 23.6 points per game in his final season there.
Davis showed humility when asked about adjusting to the college game. He wasn’t too proud to admit that he got a bit of a shock over the summer just practicing against established college players. The level at which they play was jarring at first, but Davis has gotten used to that.
“Coming in the summer, it was real fast,” Davis said. “Now playing in practice, I’m seeing the floor more especially in transition. Everything has slowed down a little bit. I see people on the cut before they even cut. That’s a good sign that the game is slowing down for me.”
More impressive than the adjustments he has already made, Davis seems to have a firm grasp on where he still has to improve. He has become aware of how important it is to be in the correct position on defense. Those split seconds you lose by being in the wrong spot add up quickly.
After a practice on Tuesday, he seemed to take to heart the words of the coaching staff regarding the need for him to maintain a high level of energy and passion every single day.
There’s already a good deal to like about Davis, even with the team’s only exhibition game nearly three weeks away.
Oh yeah, and one more thing: The young man can score.
Davis eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau in three seasons at West Side High in Newark, New Jersey, and he averaged 23.6 points per game in his final season before going to the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. He scored just shy of 750 points in those two seasons, and averaged 16 points per game during his stint there.
After Davis signed his letter of intent in April, his former AAU coach Shawn Gates, of the New Jersey Roadrunners, compared Davis’ potential to that of mid-major stars C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard, who both went on to be lottery picks in the NBA Draft.
While Gates’ assessment may very well prove to be two parts hope, one part wish and a healthy dose of hyperbole, Dempsey certainly recognizes an abundance of potential in Davis and offered an endorsement of Davis less than a week into preseason practice by saying that he’d “demand minutes.”
“I don’t know exactly what his role is going to be; I know he’s going to have one, though,” Dempsey said. “He’s shown a lot in the first four practices. He’s shown us as a staff that he’s a guy that is going to demand minutes.”
That qualifies as making waves when you’re joining a team with 11 returning players, including nine on scholarship and five who started at least 18 games last season.
“He’s a D-1 guy,” Dempsey said. “He’s fast. He’s got good size. He can play both ends of the court. He’s really good in our press and when (we) get out in transition. We’ve struggled to score in transition. That has hurt our overall number. We’ve given away a lot of points in transition where we haven’t converted. He attacks the basket.”
Well, it seems the Bearcats might have too many guards? Of course, that’s like having too many pitchers in baseball or too many good running backs in football. The only real problems is when you don’t have enough good options. The Bearcats are well-versed in those sorts of problems. It’s about time for some new ones.
Everson’s older brother Marvin “Skywalker” Davis played college ball with Barry University and was a former National Player for St.Kitts. His brother Kevin also plays basketball and with Marvin formed a very formidable frontcourt duo that helped St.Kitts Club Team Hitters to win multiple Championships.