Darwin "Dee" Davis will always be remembered by the Xavier faithful.
He played a part in two Sweet 16 squads whilst being a Musketeer, one as a lightly regarded freshman 8th-man for a A-10 Xavier squad, and the other as a respected senior starting point guard for one in the Big East.
As the only player in Xavier history to split his career between the A-10 and newly configured Big East, Davis was the bridge that the Musketeers crossed between the two conferences. He carried the lit torch as they tried to find their way in their new confines with better and unfamiliar opponents.
I guess you could say Mr. Davis helped solidify their place.
With the help of him and uber-skilled big man Matt Stainbrook, this past spring the Xavier Musketeers became the first team of the new Big East to make a Sweet 16. It's a special feat when you consider that they finished sixth in the conference standings in the 2014-15 season.
Everyone including Dee Davis himself would be in the utmost shock if he was to hear his name called on Thursday night. This scouting report is less so for the 30 franchises in the NBA, and more so for that basketball club in "Whoknowswhere" Russia looking to make a big off-season signing of a young kid from the states.
Davis stands at a generous 6-foot-0 and weighs an honest 170 pounds. He is not the biggest kid on the block, nor would it fit the basketball persona of Davis. He uses the most out of the body he has been given. It was never unusual to see him banged up before a game and almost always after. Every game he played, he left more out "on the floor" than J-Lo. I do not have any of his combine results, but I would imagine due to his impressive lateral quickness, Dee could put up a respectable shuttle time. Also, after witnessing him dunk in warm-ups once, his vertical is easily 30+.
Click here for Dee's college stats.
Dee's numbers slowly crawled a tad higher every consecutive season in his four years of college. Well not all his numbers did, but most were on the upward trajectory. In Dee's last go around, he put up a line of 9.0/6.0/2.4 and he put up his 9 ppg while shooting .404/.321/.721. Besides averaging a slightly high number of turnovers a game at 2.4, Dee stole the ball at a clip of 1.3 per game. Since Dee was asked to do a lot for X, he averaged 32.8 minutes per contest. Time on the bench for Dee was usually limited to a quick pulse check.
2013-14 Fourth Team ALL-BIG EAST Conference by collegesportsmadness.com
2014-15 Third Team ALL-BIG EAST Conference by collegesportsmadness.com
Career assists of 492 ranks fifth on Xavier's all-time assist list
Senior season total of 221 assists ranks 2nd in most assists in a season for Xavier
Dee should have State Farm Insurance, because he sure knows how to give an assist. Looking at his stats and a couple of his honors above, Davis knows how to help a friend out. With his 6.0 assist per game average, that placed Dee second in the Big East behind future 2016 lottery pick Kris Dunn of Providence, and good for 14th in the nation. Ironically, Dee's best assist game of his senior season and career took place in a critical home win against Kris Dunn and Providence in early February. Davis gave out a handful of 15 dimes that night, including this shiny one. His assist game was top-tier as a senior, finishing 43rd in the nation in assist rate.
Darwin also had a better than good assist-to-turnover ratio this past year. He averaged a ratio of 2.48-1.00, which was good enough for third in the Big East and 40th in the nation. In case I already did not emphasize it earlier, Dee was also asked to do a lot for Xavier. Dee played in 80.7 percent of the possible minutes he could have played. That number put him at 297 in the nation and 10th in the conference. Davis has incredible stamina and much grit. Not many players could play in a percentage of 80 or more of the possible minutes their team plays. To do so takes incredible conditioning, something Dee had more of than an air conditioning unit on a hot summers day.
By the final home stretch of the year, Dee became much more consistent in his shooting numbers. However, for much of the year his shooting was not in a typical PG likening. He shot a pedestrian 45.8 percent from the field and a low 32.1 percent from beyond the arc. Much of these poor shooting numbers by Dee had to do with how many minutes he was playing and the opposing guards he was facing. Dee was smaller than most of his opposing match-ups, something that was not as much of a problem in the A-10.
However bodies are bigger in the Big East, which took a toll on Dee's health and shooting numbers. It also didn't help that Dee had such a long arching shot, that you would expect Leprechaun's at the end of his rainbow ball. However, rarely was their much gold at the end of the rainbow. Dee's three point percentage was the lowest by a significant margin since he was a young lad freshmen, and his unorthodox form as well as the bigger players he was going up against were a few factors as to why.
Very few college basketball fans have probably ever heard the name Dee Davis. If they had gotten the opportunity to watch him, they would at times see him as a conundrum out on the floor. A hard puzzle to solve in some regards due to his funny looking shot and slight build, mixed with his dazzling assists and calm demeanor. Dee will not hear his name called in the NBA draft on Thursday night. However, he might hear a voice of some general manager outside of the United States through his cell phone Thursday night, whose looking to bring in an exciting rookie point guard for his basketball club. The man will probably speak English as a second language with an obvious accent, and might work a job on the side to his basketball one. Although, Dee will be thankful nonetheless.
Dee Davis was the kind of college basketball player you could not help but root for. A little undersized and a little disregarded, but a heart and passion for the game that can't be measured at a combine.