James Davis Gets College & NBA Interest

James Davis, a 7-foot-0 center who signed with Minnesota in the early signing period before running into legal problems, is off to a strong start this season for the preseason #11 Schoolcraft (MI) CC. GoldenSports.Net caught up recently with Ocelots head coach Carlos Briggs to learn the latest on Davis' recruitment and about the NBA interest that he has received.

James Davis has led Schoolcraft to a 4-0 start this season. The Ocelots opened their season with a 109-77 win over the St. Francis JV as Davis had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Davis had 28 points and 18 boards in an easy 115-51 victory against Fanshawe.

Davis had 14 points as he made five of seven from the field and added three blocked shots in a 98-45 win over Rochester JV.

Davis failed to reach double figures as Schoolcraft improved to 4-0 with a 98-84 win at home against Division II Kellogg.

James Davis had told GoldenSports.Net this summer that he is still loyal to the Gophers. However, Minnesota and other schools are taking a wait and see attitude with the former Minneapolis North center to ensure that he takes care of his academics and stays away from off-the-court incidents.

Schoolcraft head coach said that Oklahoma has continued to recruit him throughout the process. When asked about Minnesota, Briggs replied "not really."

Briggs admitted that the Gophers could be at a disadvantage as the academics requirements make it harder for junior college players to gain admission to Big Ten schools.

Briggs said that seven NBA teams have called about watching Davis at the Daytona Beach Battle of the Beach that will held from Nov. 24-26 which includes #3 Indian Hills (5-0), #11 Schoolcraft (4-0), host Daytona Beach (6-0), 2005 NJCAA Tournament team Iowa Western (8-1) and South Georgia Tech (5-2). Briggs said that several NBA teams, such as Portland and Toronto have called and want to keep tabs on Davis, if he is unable to be academically eligible to play Division I basketball.

However, Briggs feels that Davis needs more seasoning.

"He needs a year of Division I basketball, He has the ability to play in the NBA, but the question is longevity. The track record of JC players going to the NBA (Kedrick Brown, Qyntel Woods and Donta Smith) is not great. He would help himself by going to a Division I school. However, he has the size and skills that will intrigue teams."

Davis committed to Minnesota after visiting the campus last September. He left Garden City (KS) CC after an altercation with Broncbuster teammate B.J. Walker.

Davis had averaged 11.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game as a freshman for the Broncbusters in 2003-04. He left Garden City and attended Los Angeles Southwest (CA) CC for a week before returning to Garden City.

Davis did not play as a high school junior, but emerged as one of Minnesota's top seniors. Davis helped lead the Polars to the Minnesota Class AAAA state championship as he averaged 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Davis, who was expected to help fill the void left by graduating senior Jeff Hagen, was arrested March 10 for carrying a gun without a permit. Head coach Dan Monson said he met with Davis and concluded that "he needs next year to meet his academic requirements and sort through his personal affairs."

Davis had weapons charges against him dismissed in Hennepin County District Court. Judge John Q. McShane ruled that police had no probable cause for the vehicle stop and search that resulted in Davis being charged with a gross misdemeanor.

Davis told GoldenSports.Net this summer that Minnesota showed how much they want him with the support they have shown him.

"I'm still loyal to Minnesota. I went through a lot of turmoil last year and they were there for me. The coaches came to court for me and showed love for me."

Schoolcraft is one of the top junior college programs in the country and the Ocelots are hoping to return to the NJCAA Tournament next March after missing the tourney after three consecutive appearances.

Davis played this summer for the Sabes/Petters team in the Pulley Summer League and scrimmaged with the current Gophers during the summer.

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