As Josh Davis embarks his junior season, he can only hope to duplicate the strides he made between his freshman and sophomore years.
During the 1998-99 season -- in which Davis was plagued by an ankle injury -- he averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27 games. He shot 47 percent from the field, 28 percent from three-point land and just 57 percent from the free-throw line. Not bad numbers for a freshman, but certainly nothing that stood out.
The 1999-2000 campaign was a whole different story for Davis, as he made significant increases in all three categories, despite being forced to move to center to fill in for the injured Ugo Udezue. Starting all 31 games and playing 27.2 minutes per contest, he led the Cowboys with 14.3 points and 8.7 rebounds. He also improved all aspects of his shooting, making 50 percent of his shots from the field, 46 percent of his three pointers and 64 percent from the charity stripe.
"Josh Davis really became a player last year," says Cowboys coach Steve McClain.
The impressive season did not go unrewarded, either. Davis, who will move back to his natural poward forward spot this season, earned first team all-conference honors and was named by Mountain West media members as the most underrated player in the conference.
Davis should provide fits for opposing teams attempting to guard him this year. At 6-8, he can run the floor exceptionally well for a big man but can also hurt teams in the half-court game, thanks to his newly polished shot.
-- Jimmy Traina