Thursday, August 19, 2010

North Florida gets a steal in Davis

North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll has his team on the rise in the Atlantic Sun, but he had a prayer answered on Wednesday: Jacoby Davis committed to the Ospreys.

“He called, yelled and said ‘Thank you Jesus’ and [then] coach conference [called] the entire staff on the phone and we talked, then we prayed because his prayer came through,” Davis said on Thursday.

Davis, a 6-foot-1 point guard from West Charlotte (N.C.), chose North Florida over Charleston, UNC-Asheville, Western Carolina, Northeastern and Georgia State. He also held offers from schools such as South Carolina, Ole Miss, South Florida, VCU, George Mason and Charlotte.

“I chose North Florida because I just got along with the staff real well,” Davis said. “I loved the campus and I have a chance, if I come in and work hard, I will get a lot of minutes.”

When I saw Davis play alongside incoming Wake Forest scorer J.T. Terrell at the National High School Hoops Festival in December, he was very impressive with his offensive ability. He is an excellent shooter with deep three-point range who seems like he can knock down shots from anywhere. Davis also demonstrated great ball-handling skills and beat his defender off the dribble to create plays for himself and teammates around the basket.

What impressed him most about North Florida, though, was not how his basketball prowess translated to the Ospreys’ system.

“The one thing was their academic advisor. He really stood out to me and my family,” Davis said. “Me and him stayed in contact about my academics and how to pass that SAT, and just giving me majors that I could fall back on if basketball wasn’t a choice for me.”

North Florida had a five-win increase last season, even winning five games in a row and seven of eight during one stretch. With three of its top four scorers from last season either freshmen or sophomores, the Ospreys could continue to improve in the Atlantic Sun.

Davis hopes he is part of the continued success within the program.

“I think I can come in, help with defense and just playing my game by being aggressive on offense and being a team player,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever we have to do to win and get to the Big Dance.”

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