No respectable coach in America will tell an athlete to stay in school when it’s clear the kid is better off moving on to bigger and better things. The problem for Roy Williams will be getting the message across to sophomore forward Ed Davis.
Sure, he has his collegiate title already and his flashes of brilliance on the court have left scouts drooling, but has it been enough to warrant an early jump to the NBA? Davis has clearly not played to his ability or to expectations. If he had, we would see a guy averaging 22 and 12 rather than 13 and 9.
How do you tell a kid to stay hungry when they already have a ring and a top draft projection? As every basketball fan figures out over time, players are drafted more on future expectations than past production. We’ve all heard the story regarding Davis signing with an agent and effectively terminating his NCAA eligibility. We’ve also heard that this story is false and that Davis has not yet made a decision regarding his future. So, which is it Ed?
Currently, Davis is projected to go in the top 10 in the 2010 NBA Draft. Not bad for a guy averaging less than 14 points per game. Again, this ranking is based on Davis’ freakish abilities around the rim. Blessed with extraordinary length and an ability to run the floor faster than some swingmen, Davis’ numbers haven’t seemed to have a negative impact. A broken wrist should have no bearing on his decision. The time Davis spent healthy certainly has not showcased his gifts or his ability to lead this year’s Tar Heel squad and yet the scouts still love him.
Currently standing just above the sports sea level at 15-14, will Davis return for his junior campaign and be the leader the way Roy and the entire nation expected him to? Those that bleed Carolina Blue have been here before. If a guy like Davis stays, combined with a top 5 recruiting class, the Heels are a final four contender. If he leaves, they must find a new bullet for that empty chamber.