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2019-20 Player Preview: Daejon Davis

Junior guard looks to become leader

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With the season opener just two weeks away, I’ll be previewing what the season holds for each member of the Stanford roster. The first player is Daejon Davis.

2018-19 Recap

After a strong freshman season in 2017-18, Jerod Haase assured everyone that his young point guard had taken the next step over the off season. That didn’t come to fruition, as his play and numbers were fairly similar across the board. He looked modestly more comfortable as a floor general, but it wasn’t a monumental leap.

Davis averaged 11.4/3.0/4.4 on .426/.341/.758 splits. He did bump his turnovers down from 4.0 to 3.2 per game, which was an important step for him. He tied a season-high for scoring with 19 points in the near upset of Kansas at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. His lone double-double came when he recorded 12 points and 11 assists in a February drubbing of UCLA, one of Stanford’s best games of the season.

All in all, he had a solid year, even if he didn’t take the next step. He also had a series of minor injuries and missed 5 games, and was far from 100% during the Pac-12 tournament.

2019-20 Outlook

Jerod Haase has high hopes for Davis in the year ahead. During Pac-12 media day, he raved about his point guard.

“When he’s at his best offensively and is a complete player, he’s as good as there is,” said Haase. “He can be an all-conference type player.” That certainly seems attainable. With fellow leading scorers KZ Okpala and Josh Sharma in the professional ranks, Daejon figures to have a shot to be the guy, and see a major uptick in his usage rate. He came to Stanford as a consensus top-50 recruit, and the talent level is clear.

With freshman guard Tyrell Terry in the fold and Bryce Wills more integrated, Davis figures to play off ball more. He flourished at Garfield High School sharing ball-handling duties with former Washington star Jaylen Nowell, and could benefit from a similar role this season. Defensively, he can really bother opposing guards. He led the team last season with 1.5 steals per game, and teams with Wills to form a pesky backcourt.

“He is certainly with his personality in a position to be a fantastic leader,” said Haase. Last season the coach did not name any captains, after having three the previous year. In his eyes, there was no one worthy of the honor. The coach has hinted that Davis might soon carry that title, but it’s all about stability.

“When things are good, he can take an entire team with him to really good spots,” said Haase. “And when he gets frustrated or struggles, he really takes the team with him some.” Stability is what will make or break Davis’ season. He’s still mistake-prone and can run hot-and-cold. A stable Daejon could be in contention for one of the 15 all-conference spots, and could help the Cardinal surprise some people.