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Player Preview: Myles Davis

Gunslingers shelf life depends solely on their defining talent. Can Myles Davis rediscover his and shoot himself back into the top of the rotation?

Like it would be any other picture.
Like it would be any other picture.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

"Myles Davis ran a quick v cut and flare and came open in front of the Xavier bench. From the moment he let the ball go he knew it was dropping. Davis' celebration carried him across half court and his shot gave Xavier a lead they would not relinquish."

In The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Blondie, as played by Clint Eastwood, opines "In this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig." For the first third of last season, Myles Davis looked a lot like a man with a loaded gun. After the Alabama game, Davis was shooting a scorching 46% from deep and had already lifted 60 three point attempts in just 12 games. Patrolling the perimeter with a swagger commensurate with his numbers, Davis looked like the gunslinger Xavier needed.

And then he looked very much like someone about to get buried. After that same Alabama game, Davis went 20.3% from deep and attempted only 64 shots in 22 games. While Myles' final 34.2% from deep wasn't truly awful, it certainly wasn't good enough to keep a player whose main strength was being a hired gun involved in the games. Davis only accrued nine more assists than turnovers, didn't rebound at anything resembling an elite rate for a guard, and wasn't a lockdown defender. Gunslingers shoot, and the ones who can't shoot, dig.

While Myles Davis certainly won't face the fate of anyone in a Clint Eastwood movie, he could be looking at a serious loss of playing time if he regain his shooting touch. Last year Davis playing time slipped as his shooting did, bu he still managed 17 minutes per contest. Davis led the team in minutes in Brazil, but four of the next five players after him can all play guard, and Dee Davis was out injured. Unless Myles has developed a more rounded game, his time will be in danger.

Worst case scenario:

The shot is gone. There's not really a lot to say here. A Myles Davis that shoots 28% from deep is not one that plays basketball for an elite NCAA Division I team. That's it in brief. Shoot, or find another way to spend time.

Best case scenario:

It's probably not reasonable to expect Myles to shoot 46% for a year, but he's already shown he can have six weeks stretches where he shoots that well despite a high volume of shots. The best case scenario is that Davis is an elite level gunner who walks onto the court and starts burying the opposition one three pointer at a time. Davis is certainly competent in other facets of the game, so it's not like he has to come off the court in defense first situations or when the ball has to be protected. If Davis shoots around 40% from deep, he's the kind of weapon that most teams don't have and Xavier has in depth.

Most likely scenario:

The kind of skill that Davis has doesn't just vanish overnight. While last season may have been his best chance to install himself as a permanent part of Xavier's starting lineup, Myles will get his chances this year. A line of 7/1/2 seems reasonable based on the faith that Coach Mack seems to have in him. Come December, Myles Davis could once again be the man with the loaded gun, just ask Georgetown.