The buzz about Saginaw Arthur Hill sophomore guard Eric Davis has been palpable from the moment he stepped onto the high school basketball floor last season. And while such early hype is generally reserved for physically precious youngsters that exhibit high flying or high scoring antics, Davis has commanded attention because of his mature floor game. His ability to run his team during his freshman campaign last season drew raves from across the state. This year, however, he has been asked to elevate his team in a different way. Greater point production has been added to his duty sheet, and he has responded.
Said Davis, “[I’m] more of a facilitator… [I’m] a better leader, better scorer. Better all-around player.”
“The season is going great. We’re really playing well. We’re picking it up a lot. We’ve got to keep growing as a team, as a unit. I’ve got to keep leading us to success.”
The slender floor general has piloted the Lumberjacks to a 15-2 record, with the only two defeats coming at the hands of perennial state powers Romulus (last Saturday) and Detroit Country Day (yesterday). John Beilein was on hand for Davis’ 27 point showing in his club’s 82-71 loss to Romulus. The Michigan headman’s presence definitely made its mark.
“Kind of excited,” responded Davis when asked to describe his reaction to seeing Beilein in the crowd. “I mean, he took his time out to come to my game. They had a tough game (last Saturday) at noon. They played against Wisconsin and [he] flew back and came straight to my game. That shows a lot about Michigan. They really like me.”
The Wolverines were able to express their interest face to face while hosting the 6-2, 160-pounder on a couple of campus visits in the last six months. The first came during a football game last fall and the second during the basketball team’s thrilling victory over Ohio State last week.
“(The football game) was a great experience,” he said. “I got to talk to all the players and see the environment. The fan base is great.”
“(The basketball game) was pretty awesome.”
“They were telling me that I could come in and be the next Trey Burke and (asking me) am I ready to take over the team.”
Such talk is exciting to say the least, but the connection he is forming with the staff in Ann Arbor has been more impactful.
“Coach (Beilein) is just a great guy,” said Davis. “He could be like another father to me. He’s a great dude all around. I really like him.”
That said, Beilein isn’t the only coach that has made a favorable impression. The rising sophomore reported interest from Michigan State, N.C. State, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Oregon, and Iowa. He also indicated that Michigan State and North Carolina State are pursuing him as hard as Michigan. For his part, though, he isn’t ready to name any favorite.
“I’m just enjoying the process,” he explained. Just looking forward to visiting all of the schools and talking to the coaches. I like all of the schools. I’m just a fan.”
Davis plans to continue keeping an open mind for the foreseeable future. He plans to take his time so as to make sure the school he ultimately chooses meets his criteria.
“First, academics,” Davis said, describing the factors that will help determine his choice. “(Also) seeing how well the team is doing and just really the fan base."
“I don’t know (when a decision will come). I’m just enjoying the process. Just waiting, keeping my options open.”
If you missed the highlights of Davis' 27 point performance versus Romulus, click here. To view the video interview, press play below.
Video interview by Roscoe Hill.