Davis, No stranger to bad breaks

No stranger to bad breaks, Banneker big man Mike Davis was on the bench in street clothes for his team's 78-60 win over Wings Academy of the Bronx in the PSAL Quarterfinals at Hunter College in Manhattan on Sunday.

The 6-foot-9, 235 pound senior spent some time in the hospital this weekend with a throat infection, and had to go to the Emergency Room last Sunday morning for his illness.

Despite the void in the middle, Banneker dispatched Wings convincingly last weekend, led by junior guard Jaytonah Wisseh, who stepped up, tallying 38 points.

In a 76-53 loss to Lincoln in the PSAL semifinals on Tuesday, Davis contributed 3 points and eight rebounds, looking somewhat sluggish. He platooned with some of Banneker's other frontliners, missed a couple of turnarounds, and was reasonably active on the glass.

Many questions have been raised about Davis' playing future. After spending three years at Xaverian High School, Mike enrolled at Bridgeton Academy in Maine after his expulsion from the Brooklyn school last summer. That did not work out, and he left Bridgeton after only a few weeks. Eventually he landed at Banneker, a formidable Brooklyn PSAL team whose most famous recent alum is Virginia sophomore Gary Forbes.

During his junior season at Xavierian, Davis made a verbal commitment to Pittsburgh as a member of the class of 2005. However, sources say that Mike will need to do at least a year of prep school. Banneker coach Wendell Saunders insists that Davis is in good academic standing and that his commitment to Pittsburgh- while not set in stone- is still something he is considering.

"Academically, he's doing fine," said Saunders. "Pittsburgh is still an option. He hasn't closed that door. Pittsburgh is still an option, and I would say they're number one on his list right now."

It remains to be seen how Pitt's latest verbal commitment- 6-foot-8 power forward Herb Pope- from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, out of the class of 2007- will affect their interest in Davis.

Saunders said that a couple of high Division I programs have called to inquire about Davis' availability, but he didn't want to name them. On the floor, the coaching staff has been encouraged with Davis' progress.

"He's been much better in practice," said Saunders. "He's been moving well, using his right hand. It's the new and improved Mike."

A strong-bodied lefty with a good set of hands, Davis played sparingly on the AAU circuit last summer, instead catching up in summer school. The biggest knock on him has been a lack of energy and intensity. Sporting a nice touch around the hoop, a strong frame, and being lefthanded- always a desirable trait in a post player- Davis was seen as player with a good deal of upside. At the moment, it is tough to gauge where he'll be next fall, and whether or not he will fulfill that potential.

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