On Wednesday night, Roy Williams extended a scholarship offer to rising senior R.J. Davis. It was the fourth UNC offer to be announced after this past weekend’s evaluation period concluded on Sunday, after Paolo Banchero, DJ Steward, and Patrick Baldwin. After a successful showing at the NBPA 100 camp last month, Davis continued to impress at the nation’s premier AAU showcase.
Listed at just 6’0 and 160 pounds, Davis put the recruiting world on notice this past weekend. Playing for Team Renaissance at Nike’s EYBL Peach Jam tournament, he averaged 21.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. He only shot 38% from the floor, but hit 38.7% from three and 82.6% from the free throw line. His performance was strong enough that he started receiving attention on Wednesday night, and maintained his presence through the weekend. Here is a timeline of tweets from various sources.
Another terrific performance for #iubb target and @NYRhoops guard RJ Davis. 35 points and 10 rebounds. 15-for-19 from the free throw line! #PeachJam— Alec Lasley (@allasley) July 11, 2019
Renaissance beats Expressions Elite in OT, 79-76.
RJ Davis went for an electric 22 points and 7 rebounds in a win over Phenom U tonight at Peach Jam. After dropping 35 against Expressions earlier today, he hasn’t taken his foot off the gas. Lets other guys do their thing while staying aggresssive himself. pic.twitter.com/KyZzTQvCNQ— Trent Markwith (@TMarkwith14) July 12, 2019
This explains the type of TOUGH, RUGGED, RESILIENT MFer that RJ Davis is...@NYRhoops up 3 w/ their Peach Jam lives on the line, @ariidavis_ knocks down a ridiculously clutch runner, corrals the ensuing defensive rebound & calmly DRILLS his FT’s...GAME OVER!— The Hustle (@TheHoopHustle) July 12, 2019
STONE COLD ASSASSIN! pic.twitter.com/PDy4I2RWhG
Despite Davis’ natural scoring abilities and obvious scorer’s mentality, his shorter stature likely slots him into a point guard role for high-major programs. Though 247 Sports lists him as a “combo guard”, that’s just a nice way of way saying he can really score the ball, but will play point guard in college. Rivals and ESPN rate him as a point guard. That shouldn’t worry Tar Heel fans, as the Heels have relied on score-first PGs for the last decade.
Regardless of whatever semantics you prefer (and I’ll reiterate my belief that “combo guard” is overused and often misapplied), if the below video is any indication, Davis is capable of facilitating to teammates as well. Check out these highlights from the NBPA 100 camp in April.
And these from the Peach Jam.
Just to prove that this past weekend was no fluke, in 13 games on the EYBL circuit prior to the Peach Jam, Davis averaged 20.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. He shot 49.7% from the floor and 46.9% from three. All stats come from D1Circuit, and AAU games may not have the *most* accurate bookkeeping, but you get the point. While not the most physically imposing athlete, Davis has a well-developed all-around game with plenty of room to improve.
Currently ranked just outside of the top 100 on both 247 Sports Composite and Rivals rankings, he’s likely to join the ranks of recruits who used their final summer sessions to boost their stock before their senior year. ESPN actually is the highest on him, slotting him as the 62nd best player in the country. As always, these rankings will work themselves out.
However, as we mentioned when Anthony Harris committed, players in and around the bottom half of the top-100 tend to be prime candidates as multi-year players. With Cole Anthony expected to be on campus for just one year, UNC will be staring at a different starting point guard for the fourth straight year in 2020. A little stability in the backcourt will be a welcome change of pace. With Jeremiah Francis’ long term health still an unknown, a player like Davis would help at the position.
Davis plays his high school ball for Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, NY. There is no known timetable for his decision. He is now the 17th recruit to hold an offer from UNC for the class of 2020. In-state 5-star center Day’Ron Sharpe is currently UNC’s only commit for that class.