After losing every player that played minutes at point guard for them this past season it was clear that the Huskies would need to bring in some firepower at that spot via the transfer portal. Washington already added Arizona transfer Terrell Brown Jr. and now have righted a wrong while weakening another Pac-12 rival by earning a commitment from Stanford’s Daejon Davis.
life takes you unexpected places— Daejon Davis (@DaejonDavis) May 4, 2021
it’s the LOVE that brings you home
The 6’3, 190 lb Davis averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.9 assists this past season while starting 99 out of 104 games he appeared in during his Stanford career. He only appeared in about half of Stanford’s games though this season after injuring his leg and then aggravating the injury after 2 games back. The setback caused Davis to miss 13 out of 16 games during a stretch in the middle of the year and coach Jerod Haase seemingly had trouble re-integrating him into the lineup.
Despite the injury troubles Davis excelled when on the court. He had the most efficient season of his career in 2020-21 with a career high true shooting percentage and a career low turnover percentage. Over his 4 years at Stanford Davis had 47.7% FG, 35.2% 3pt, 70.6% FT shooting splits but performed better than that in all 3 categories as a senior. Since this is the first transfer of his career Davis will be automatically eligible due to the new rule finalized last Wednesday and gets to use the 5th season of eligibility wherever he wants because of the pandemic.
Davis is of course a Seattle native and starred at Garfield before committing to Lorenzo Romar and the Huskies in the class of 2017. Unlike teammate Jaylen Nowell however when Romar was let go Davis decided to look elsewhere and committed instead to Stanford. He played point guard his first two years but has recently moved off the ball to play alongside freshmen Tyrell Terry and then Michael O’Connell. Correspondingly his assist rate has fallen from 28% his first 2 seasons to 22% the last 2 years. However his turnover rate has also dropped at about the same level during that span from 28% to 21%.
On the defensive end Davis has also seen improvement throughout his career. Per Synergy Sports his opponents’ points per possession with Davis as the primary defender has improved from 0.858 as a freshman to 0.670 last year. That most recent mark would’ve led the 2020-21 Huskies by a substantial amount and finished in the 90th percentile across college basketball. Stanford played no zone defense last year so there will be an adjustment but with his 6’5 wingspan and consistently strong steal numbers playing man he should be an upgrade at the top of the Husky zone.
Davis becomes the 3rd addition via the transfer portal this offseason along with the aforementioned Terrell Brown Jr. and Emmitt Matthews Jr. All 3 played significant minutes on above average power conference teams this past season and drastically raise the floor of the Husky program which should now have a core of proven players provided that Brown receives a waiver to play immediately (his case is helped by Arizona’s coaching change).
At the moment it seems likely we’ll see a starting lineup of 6’1 Brown, 6’3 Davis, 6’6 Bey, 6’7 Matthews, and 6’11 Roberts with 6’7 Bajema, 6’9 Langston Wilson, 6’10 Grant, and 7’4 Sorn rounding out a potential 9-man rotation. Neither Brown nor Davis are true pass first point guards but both are comfortable playing on or off the ball and when in the game together should be able to take turns as the primary ballhandler while taking the job full-time when the other rests. Freshman Dominiq Penn will have a chance to earn playing time but barring injury it should be possible to stagger Brown and Davis sufficiently to not make that a necessity. There’s also a chance Washington could add newly available true freshman Nolan Hickman or TCU’s PJ Fuller out of the transfer portal to further shore up the guard spot.
Both Brown and Davis are 5th year seniors which means this is not a long-term fix at the lead guard spot. Next year without further additions you can expect the Huskies to be in essentially the same position except with a little better idea about what they have in Penn. 4-star PG Koren Johnson from Garfield is the top local recruit in the area for 2022 and Washington will clearly have immediate playing time available for him to help make the sell.
For anyone who wants to see the Huskies turn things around next year this is a major step in the right direction although another impact addition or two are likely still needed for the team to sniff the NCAA tournament. Washington still has 2 scholarship openings remaining on their roster.
Welcome home Daejon!