Davis Looking to Be A Leader Next Season

Junior Kyle Davis wants to step into the team leadership role held by Marquis Daniels and Derrick Bird this season.

Albany, New York--Less than an hour after his junior season had ended, Kyle Davis was already looking ahead to the future of Auburn basketball.

The six-foot-10 center and his teammates had just come up one shot shy of advancing to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 as they fell 79-78 to Syracuse on Friday night at the Pepsi Center.

"I feel like we have let everybody know that we will be a team to contend with next year," says Davis, who blocked four shots, grabbed six rebounds, scored two points vs. Syracuse in 20 minutes of action. Despite giving up more points than the norm, Coach Cliff Ellis says the Tigers had a solid defensive performance vs. Syracuse and Davis had a major hand in that.

Kyle Davis

"It is kind of tough that Marquis (Daniels) and Derrick (Bird) aren't going to play anymore," Davis adds. "Coming off a hard season like we had last year, they can feel great about what we have done this year. We went further than any Auburn team has in a while (since 1999).

"Next season I am going to try to be like Marquis and Derrick and go out there help the team stay focused, help the young guys when they come in and take a team leadership role."

When things looked bleak for the Tigers in the first half, with the calls and the crowd going against them, Auburn hung tough and never let the Orangemen deliver a knockout blow. Even though Auburn trailed 37-27 at halftime, the Tigers didn't get discouraged and made some halftime adjustments.

"We came out and played a lot more physical in the second half," Davis says. "

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