Since the beginning of the evaluation period, the phone's been ringing and the question has been the same: how good is Roscoe Davis? The answer: very good. Top 100 good and getting better.
Since Hargrave began working out, Davis has responded. Last week with over 15 college coaches in attendance he was terrific. However, the thought that Davis is suddenly a good player shouldn't be foreign. He's been on the radar the better part of three years now. The problem with Davis has been finding him. He's jumped schools quite a bit and hasn't been easy to track down. Now at Hargrave, the 6-foot-10 Davis is getting his academics situated. Basketball is taking care of itself.
Davis Finds Stability
"This is a real good situation," Davis said. "It's different as far as getting up real early in the morning and having to do all the things we do and then come in here and play. It's hard but it's a good situation. It'll help me in the long run."
Teammates like Eshaunte Jones are beginning to see just how good Davis is when he applies himself on the court. "He's come a long way (already)," Jones said. "He's serious now. He runs the floor like a deer." Memphis, Florida, Ohio State, West Virginia, Kansas, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State and Maryland are keeping tabs on him. Davis could be a signee this year or a post grad student next season.
"It's a possibility but if not I'm going to just work hard and do what I got to do to get to a college," Davis said. "It's up to me and what I do in the classroom and how hard I work."
Davis isn't the only "surprise" at Hargrave. Guard Dee Bost, a Mississippi State commitment, keeps getting better and better. The MVP of North Carolina's state football and basketball championship games is exceptionally quick and equally athletic.
"He's a guy that when I first saw him, he's one of those guys that gets better each week right in front of your eyes," coach Kevin Keatts said. "By the time he got to Vegas he was one of the most improved guards I saw all summer. The crazy thing I think he's still continuing to get better because he's playing against great competition and learning to work hard every day."
While Pitts mans the controls and Bost slashes and dunks, Jones will be the trigger man behind the arc. Last week he was nursing a bad leg but when at full strength he's one of the more lethal perimeter threats in the country. Jones had a Sept. 22 trip to Cincinnati cancelled but intends to visit the school. He'll trip to Tennessee Oct. 26 and Memphis and Missouri are in the mix.
Davis' inside partners include a pair of forwards with size (Chris Braswell) and athleticism (Eladio Espinosa). The 6-8 Braswell is headed to Georgetown and should provide Keatts with a legit scoring threat, especially on the block and along the baseline. Espinosa is trying to play his way into scholarships and should be one of the better board men on the roster. He's got Penn State, Tulane, Fordham, Charlotte, George Washington and Winthrop monitoring his progress.
Keatts' role players are all in contention for Division I scholarships. Western Carolina head coach Larry Hunter was there last week and Tommy Brenton has a Catamounts offer. Brenton, a 6-5 combo wing, is the jack of all trades type on the roster. Howard Hurt, Dexter Moore and Chris Conner will get time on the wings.
A pair of bigs – Sam Smithson and Matthew Kiley – should provide size and have a chance to develop as the season winds on. Smithson is a real interesting player. From the tiny town of Horse Shoe, N.C., (population 6,600), he's a kid beginning to receive looks from smaller regional schools in the Carolinas. He's a legit 6-8 and ready to take the next step in his development.
"This year we're going to look for more up tempo style," Keatts said. "We're going to get after it a little bit. I think the strength of our team is our balance. On any given night anyone can step up and lead us. The last couple of years you knew who was going to lead you (in scoring) but balance and chemistry are the strengths this year."