Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 25 Player Countdown. Each day, we publish a new article counting down the 25 best players in the Atlantic 10 this past season, as voted by our staff. Today, we feature #19 Darrell Davis of Dayton.
Dayton had to develop young players after an offseason that saw the winningest class in program history graduate and head coach Archie Miller leave to go coach at Indiana. Needless to say, 2017-18 wasn’t an easy ride for the Flyers. However, Dayton did see Darrell Davis fill a significant gap at guard left by studs Scoochie Smith and Kyle Davis. He went from averaging 5.5 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists per game to 15.4 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 2.7 assists per game. Davis grew a lot in his senior season at Dayton, and without his help next season, the Flyers will have to look for a new scorer yet again.
Davis was enormous in some of the Flyers’ biggest home wins of the season. Davis went for 28 points and 7 boards to help take down St. Bonaventure early in conference play. A few days later, he went 9/10 from the field for 28 points and dished out 9 assists in an absolute rout over VCU in UD Arena. Davis took a lot of three pointers this past season — 3 more attempts than from inside the arc. He was arguably at his best when he stayed around the perimeter, but Davis also showed flashes of driving ability throughout the season. When the senior was connecting from deep, he put the Flyers in position to win games.
86.3%. Davis played 86.3% of available minutes under Anthony Grant, a metric that ranked in the top 150 of players nationally. He barely played half of available minutes his junior year.
6. Davis only missed 6 free throws all of conference play, and he ended up shooting 91.0% in the Atlantic 10. The senior greatly improved his shooting from the charity stripe from junior to his last season.
Davis played hard in his final season as a Flyer, and it certainly was a disappointing one for Dayton. The Flyers had a talented roster, but Anthony Grant couldn’t put the pieces together in his first year. While it’s a season to forget, you can’t discredit Darrell Davis for some big nights and improved play. There may not have been an A-10 player to make a bigger jump in terms of scoring, passing, etc. than Davis did this past year.
Previously: #20 De’Monte Buckingham