Terence Davis II is a 6’4” shooting guard for the Ole Miss Rebels. Davis picked up a fair amount of NBA draft buzz following his breakout sophomore season and tested the draft waters following his junior campaign, ultimately choosing to withdraw and return to Oxford for his senior season. Davis, the unquestioned senior leader of the Rebels, has righted the ship after last season’s disappointing 12-20 showing. The Rebels are off to a 14-3 start, and Davis has upped the productivity and efficiency of his individual performance on both sides of the ball. Fresh off of being named SEC Player of the Week, Davis will look to carry this momentum through the duration of conference play, and continue to show a newfound level of poise and consistency that, in conjunction with his skill and first-round athleticism, will give him a chance to play at the next level.
Tale of the Tape
The Davis-led Rebels run a high volume of sets beginning with ball screen actions that result in Davis receiving a pass on the wing and being relied upon as a secondary creator. Whether this secondary action is initiated via side-pick-and-roll, or the strong side clears out to create space for an isolation opportunity, Davis has shown promising ability to create space, stop on a dime, fluidly rise up into his shooting motion, and knock down pull-up jumpers. In 54 off-the-dribble jump shot attempts this season, Davis ranks in the 93rd percentile (1.167 PPP).
In the clip below, we highlight Davis’ self-creation and pull-up acumen off the bounce. He shows the ability to pull up post pick-and-roll initiation, after attacking a closeout, and in isolation.
In prior seasons, Davis had shown promising flashes of self-creation ability, but was not converting at nearly the clip he is today. What was formerly a sign of scoring upside has evolved into a lethal facet of Davis’ scoring arsenal, however, he will need to continue to monitor his shot selection, and ensure not to become overly reliant on long mid-range jump shots.
Functional Athleticism: Perimeter Defense
Davis is slightly shorter than the average 6’5”-6’6” rotation NBA shooting guard, but has a complimentary package of strength, wingspan, motor, and lateral quickness that could allow him to translate as a perimeter defender at the next level. Davis is consistently active and engaged as an on-ball defender, and has shown a knack for frustrating handlers, forcing turnovers, and making impact defensive plays. Davis surrenders only 0.797 PPP as a primary on-ball defender, primarily due to his ability to stay in front of drivers and force his man into uncomfortable situations.
In the clip below, we highlight Davis’ reactive athleticism and ability to slide his feet and keep quick-twitch opposing guards in front of him, including LSU’s Tremont Waters, one of the most electric lead guards in the nation. Davis maintains an effective defensive stance, shuffling his feet with a low center of gravity and holding his ground with functional core and lower body strength.
Davis projects to primarily guard twos at the next level, with the potential to slide up or down a position in switching schemes, depending on personnel. He may, at times, struggle when matched up with sharp-shooting wings that have a positional length advantage.
Davis has been on the radar of NBA scouts and decision-makers for several years now. While his inefficient junior season may have watered down his prospectus as an early entrant, Davis’ high-level, efficient production and contribution to winning this season is helping provide answers to some of his question marks as a prospect. Some of Davis’ prior year inefficiencies may have been driven by scheme, situation, and how he was used within the context of the offense relative to his strengths and weaknesses. Davis’ overall combination of athleticism, shot creation, and motor give him a chance to stick at the next level, despite being slightly undersized for a wing prospect.
Davis’ most likely outcome as the 2019 NBA Draft approaches seems to be a two-way contract, though continued efficiency and team success from now through March may result in 2nd round grades from a handful of teams seeking potential explosive upside toward the tail-end of the draft.