But the star-rating system is inexact and far from scientific. The better barometer is the list of schools that offer a player. The higher the number of offers, and the more prestigious the programs that extend the offers, the better that player is likely to be. With that in mind, here are the schools that are reported to have offered Shawntrez Davis a basketball scholarship: Clemson, Connecticut, Georgia, Texas, Maryland, SMU, Georgia State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Providence, West Virginia, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Tennessee, LSU and Florida.
Including Texas Tech, that is 18 offers from major programs. Tech beat three other Big 12 schools, five SEC schools, two American Conference schools, three ACC schools, one Big East program, two from the Big Ten, and one school from the Sun Belt Conference. Ten of the programs that offered Davis made it to the NCAA tournament last season, and Connecticut, of course, was the national champion only two seasons ago.
Turning to Davis’ specifics, he is most commonly listed at 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds. His hometown is East Point, Georgia just southwest of Atlanta, and he played his high school ball for Sound Doctrine Christian Academy in LaGrange, Georgia. For his senior season he averaged 21 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots per game.
The available evidence suggests Texas Tech is getting a generally skilled player. He has the frame of a legitimate power forward, but has the mobility of a three. Tech head coach Tubby Smith likes long, rangy players and that is exactly what he is getting in Davis who has the size and wingspan to be a very disruptive defender.
Davis is a player who looks comfortable in transition, has good hands, and shares the ball well for an individual of his size. All indications are that he is a formidable rebounder on both ends of the court, and he appears comfortable shooting the ball out to about the 17-foot mark. He will help Tech most immediately on the glass and on defense, and the suspicion is that his offensive game will develop over time.
The presence of Davis—who reportedly still needs to improve certain test scores to guarantee eligibility—immediately shores up Tech’s frontcourt. He joins sophomores Norense Odiase, Isaiah Manderson and Zach Smith as bona fide bigs with legitimate Big 12 talent. Davis’ presence, along with that of 6-foot-8 Aaron Ross, provides insurance against foul trouble, which in turn, will allow the Red Raider big men to play more aggressively.
What’s more, the wealth of big players will allow Tubby Smith to deploy truly gargantuan lineups featuring three players 6-foot-8 and up on the front line, along with 6-foot-6 Justin Gray at shooting guard and 6-foot-3 point guard Keenan Evans.
Given Tubby Smith’s predilection for size, he probably can’t wait for next season to begin. Neither can this observer.