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Player Preview: Darwin Davis

The Indiana pipeline that has brought guards to Xavier has been mostly thanks to Kellen Sampson at this point in time. Jordan Crawford hailed from Detroit, Michigan, and Tu Holloway is a proud native of New York, but both had come committed to Indiana before the little snafu with Sampson and recruiting violations brought them to Cinci. Dee Davis, on the other hand, cut his teeth at Bloomington South in the Hoosier state.

Despite his diminutive stature - Davis was listed at 5'10", 150 lbs and shows up on X's roster at 6'0", 160 (for what that's worth) - Davis did enough in school to catch the eyes of a good number of recruiters. He posted more than 21 PPG as a senior on nearly 70% shooting from the floor, and his career mark from behind the arc was over 40% in high school. In between buckets gotten, Davis also found time to average over six assists per game throughout his high school career.

Davis comes into Xavier with his size as his most obvious limitation. He is an unselfish point guard who knows how to run a team and get the ball to the scorers. His first step allows him to keep most defenders on their heels, which in turn gives him room to get his shot off despite his relatively low release. Also, Davis wins. His high school teams went 75-3 and won two state championships; Davis was the state tournament MVP both times his team went home with the crown.

Best case: Dee bulks up and is able to find space in between NCAA defenders like he did in high school. The starting back court is set, but Davis provides a reliable ball handler and team manager off the bench. Tu stays fresh thanks to having someone to deputize for him, and Davis learns Tu's insane work ethic from him. Dee's game continues to develop during the year, and he averages 10-12 minutes per game with an A:TO of better than 1.5.

Worst case: Brad Redford has 22 pounds on Davis; Tu and Cheek are each listed as almost 30 pounds heavier than the freshman. College basketball is a physical game, and every pound counts in terms of absorbing the damage. Dee's quickness doesn't play as well at the next level, where everyone's a good athlete. He has trouble getting into the paint, trouble keeping defenders off his dribble, and trouble setting the offense within 30' of the bucket. Tu plays 35 minutes per game and Cheek plays the point while Tu catches breathers. Davis spends more time in the weight room than he does on the floor.

Most likely: Davis is a smart player with enough court savvy to make up for his physical limitations. Despite having to continue to add muscle to his frame through the course of the season, he is able to become an effective force in transition while he learns to work the half court game. With Dez Wells, Justin Martin, and maybe even Jeff Robinson, he is an integral part of a fast-breaking second unit while also picking up the nuances of the game from Xavier's more experienced guards.