By MATT JESSEN-HOWARD
Special to ZAGSBLOG
MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Davis, a highly coveted 6-foot-10 center from Plano (TX) West, didn’t play high school basketball this year.
Texas’ governing body of high school sports, the University Interscholastic League, ruled that he transferred from Frisco Liberty to Plano West for basketball reasons, even though his family moved. Davis also hurt his knee the summer before, so he missed a full year of basketball.
“It was tough,” he told SNY.tv in an exclusive interview at EYBL Session 4. “You never want that to happen. For me, it was real tough to sit out and watch my team play. It hurt my game, but at the same time, I have time now to get back in it.”
Davis is more motivated now than ever.
“If you’re willing to work hard, you’ll get right back into the game and pick up where you left off,” he said. “I’m working on my touch around the basket and all the stuff that I used to have down every game. It’s kind of coming back. This session, I’ve felt really comfortable.”
Right now, Davis is high on Baylor, but declined to name the Bears his favorite.
“I’m probably hearing the most from Baylor,” he said. “I talk to Arizona and have an offer from them, but the place I’m hearing from the most is definitely Baylor. They really like me. They’re definitely one of my favorites.”
Davis plays on the AAU circuit with the Texas Titans and has become good friends with 2015 Plano West small forward D.J. Hogg and Baylor commit King McClure of Dallas Triple A Academy. McClure heading to Waco is a major attraction.
“Me and D.J. have always wanted to go to college with King,” he said. “I mean, that’s a big thing.”
Davis reports that the most important factor in his recruitment is his relationship with coaches.
“A coach with a good personality — someone that actually cares — not just a coach who is going to recruit me and then change their whole mind,” he said. “I don’t want a coach like that. Those are the kind of people I don’t really want to be around. And then just are they going to develop me and get me to the next level.”.
Davis went on to talk about Baylor head coach Scott Drew, who apparently fits the bill.
“Coach Scott is such a great coach, and that’s why I have such a good relationship with him,” Davis said. “Baylor does a good job with everyone. I think Coach Drew has everyone work. They did a great job this season.
“Cory Jefferson was their leading scorer. He came there and was only averaging 3 or 4 points (as a freshman), but he was their leading scorer this year. I think they do a great job of developing their bigs.”
Kansas and Arizona are two other schools in pursuit of the 5-star center.
“Kansas is there, and me and D.J. are looking at Arizona together,” Davis reports. “D.J.’s not a big Kansas person, though, but at the same time I like Kansas. They develop their bigs well. When I go to college, that’s one of the big things — a place that will give me a chance to go to the next level.”
Davis reports that he’ll be taking official visits soon, either before Peach Jam or shortly after. In the time being, he wants to keep his mind on EYBL.
“(The package deal) could happen, but it might not,” he said. “We’re just focused on EYBL right now. We’re trying to win Peach Jam. This is our last year, and we want to go out and win. We won Peach Jam freshman year, and we want to do it again. It would be cool to do it twice.”