In preparation for the 2008-09 basketball season, I will be profiling key contributors for the Tar Heels. Today’s profile looks at sophomore C-F Ed Davis
Weight: 215 lbs
2008-09 and Career Stats: 38 gms, 6.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg
What Happened Last Season
Ed Davis was a part of the class of players that was largely seen as supplements to the existing team. UNC lost Alex Stepheson to transfer so having Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller come in would effectively cover the loss of Stepheson. Then Zeller was injured in the 2nd game of the season which meant Davis was ultimately the only frontcourt reserve UNC had. Davis ultimately did not disappoint and once the NCAA Tournament rolled around, Davis' role expanded. His play in the NCAA 2nd Round game versus LSU was key on the defensive end. We saw enough of Davis for him to be considered a top five draft pick had he opted for the NBA.
Outlook For This Season
Strangely enough, Davis may be the hardest one to get a bead on for this season. Davis is a player with so much potential which in turn places a great deal of expectation on him to be a dominant inside player. There is no doubt he is probably the most talented player on the team with the possible exception of John Henson. The question is whether he will live up to expectations? Davis does not strike me as having the temperament to be "the guy." Yes he has the talent to be a dominant player especially on the defensive end but whether that translate into him being the go to guy on or the focus of the offense remains to be seen.
The primary concern with Davis is the development of his offensive game. He showed flashes as a scorer last season but beyond short baby hooks and gratuitous dunks of the nasty variety, Davis' offense was not necessarily anything special. The caveat there is he did not need to be. UNC usually had four other options on the floor and Davis' role was to clean up on the glass and block shots. This season Davis must be one of the offensive options, possibly option #1 depending on how much his game has matured. As stated above, it is uncertain if he can seize upon that role.
15 ppg, 10 rpg, 2.5 bpg.
It is important to remember that his stats last season were predicated on only 18 minutes per game and his offensive rating exceeded Deon Thompson's though not by much. With the increased minutes, Davis is going to see an increase in production anyway. Beyond that Davis' offensive efficiency needs to improve and as he becomes one of the main cogs in the offense I expect it will. In the end it all rests on the kind of attitude Davis brings to the floor. At times he can come off as soft spoken, almost meek off the court. Something on the opposite end of that when he is on the court is in order if Davis wants to really produce this season.