Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter landed another addition to the class of 2008 today with the addition of Kirkwood Guard Jermain Davis. Davis, standing 6-4 and 202 pounds, played last year at Southeastern Community College before transferring to Kirkwood for the 2007-2008 season.
Jermain lead the team in scoring, with 10.8 points per game and assists, with 2.9 per game. He also hit 76.4% of his free throws, went 50.8% from the field and 34% from beyond the arc. He brought in 3 rebounds and .9 steals per game, playing all 29 games for the Blackhawks.
Davis had committed to the Northern Iowa Panthers earlier, but reconsidered before settling on the Hawkeyes. Below is a transcript of an interview conducted with Davis less than 4 hours after he made the call to Coach Lickliter.
Q: When did you make your decision?
Jermain Davis: Today, after practice, about 4:00, I decided to be a Hawkeye. I called Coach Lickliter.
Q: How did that phone conversation go?
Davis: It was kind of quick, he had to go to practice. He told me that he was excited about what I bring to the Hawkeyes. I bring athleticism, explosion to the rim, defense and the ability to make smart decisions off the pick and roll.
Q: Where does he have you slotted right now, position wise?
Davis: I think he sees me playing the 2, the 1, I'm able to be interchangeable 1-3. I played point guard all last year for Southeast. I'm comfortable with the ball, but I'm also strong enough to guard the 3 position.
Q: How has the off-season been going?
Davis: Pre-season is going really well for me. I'm bouncing back from a high ankle sprain. My ankle is about 85%, and I can feel my explosion coming back.
Q: Did you want to get the recruiting thing done with before the season?
Davis: I wouldn't say it was to get out of the way, I didn't want to settle for a school just to get it done. I wanted to go into a visit and feel comfortable, feel like I could see myself playing here, but also living here. That was really important to me.
Q: You visited Iowa City this weekend, how did that visit go?
Davis: It was an unofficial visit. I went right and talked with the coaches, who told me how they felt about me. I saw the arena. You can feel the energy right as you step into Carver. I saw the locker room, the team rooms, all the team stuff. There are really no individuals; it's all about the team. Individual success comes with team success. Then I went to the football game, and saw all the energy, I saw how crazy the Hawkeyes are about their athletics. I came back and watched practice. He didn't try and do anything fancy or different for me, he ran it the way he would normally run it. I liked that, I liked the way he ran his practice. He expects his guys to compete for an hour and a half, maybe two. He believes you're in college, school comes first. He gets his guys in there, gets what he needs to get done, and lets them go.
Q: His current players talk about him be a real genuine guy, was that what you saw?
Davis: He's a real up-front guy. He's going to tell you what he thinks. He's a real up-front guy. He's going to tell you what he thinks. He's not going sugar coat it, try and do any magic, anything like that. I like that. I don't like coaches that beat around the bush. Fortunately, I've never had that. I don't like coaches that beat around the bush. He didn't promise me anything. He didn't say, 'If you come here, you can start right away.' He just said, 'Come here, and I can see you contributing if you keep doing what you're doing.' I could tell they were sincere. He wasn't just telling me what I wanted to hear.
Q: Who else was recruiting you?
Davis: Wisconsin was in the picture a little bit. They wanted me to do some stuff in the spring. I did my research, and I respect Coach Ryan, but I don't think the Swing would work for me. Utah State, Central Florida, Wichita State. A lot of organizations still thought I was still committed to UNI.