Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Davis Adds New Dimensions to Eagles ; Junior's Return Creates Depth and Versatility

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Davis Adds New Dimensions to Eagles ; Junior's Return Creates Depth and Versatility

Article excerpt

The return of Austin Davis has added depth to a University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team that was already long on player combinations. But the 6-foot-8 junior also brings another dimension: a forward who can play at guard.

"We were playing him more on the perimeter and the wing early, before he was injured," said coach Rodney Watson. "Now we're playing him more as a forward than as a guard. But since he's so smart, we can still play him on the perimeter."

Davis didn't even practice for a month and a half after suffering a high ankle sprain to his left ankle the Wednesday before the Nov. 19 season opener at Kentucky Wesleyan. He returned to practice on Dec. 30 and played his first game of the season at Rockhurst, then continued on Sunday at William Jewell.

He'll be back in the lineup Thursday night when the eighth- ranked Screaming Eagles (10-0, 2-0 Great Lakes Valley Conference) host Missouri S& T (5-6, 0-3) for a 7:30 game at the Physical Activities Center.

Davis scored six points, going 2-for-4 from 3-point range and passing out three assists, in the victory over Rockhurst. Then he totaled five points, sinking his only 3-point shot, in the win over William Jewell.

"It's still a little sore," Davis said of the ankle, which sustained two torn ligaments and a bone bruise. "But I can pretty much do everything."

But he's still getting used to game situations.

"The first couple of minutes (of his first game back) I was winded," he said. "But once I got past that, I was fine."

He still knows what's expected of him: shoot and hit 3-pointers when he's open.

"With the inside pressure, it's definitely a shot we need to make," said Davis. "With Aaron (Nelson) and Wisch (Taylor Wischmeier) getting double-teamed, that will be required."

Watson is certainly happy to have him back.

"I think just keeping it simple and not complicating stuff is important," he said. "Orlando (Rutledge) is more of a guard than a forward, so Austin can play the forward more. …

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