While playing in consecutive NCAA tournaments helped, it’s the work put in by Raasean Davis that has allowed him to work out for some NBA teams.
Davis, the 6-9 big man who anchored the post for N.C. Central the past two seasons, put up impressive numbers during his two-year tenure in Durham. And even though he was able to play on a national stage twice - two NCAA First Four appearances - his stats during the regular season showed his skills.
It might be a long shot for the Chicago native to be taken in the NBA draft, but it won’t be because of a lack of opportunity to play in front of NBA teams.
Davis, a two-time All-MEAC selection, worked out for the Charlotte Hornets on May 26. He is scheduled to work out with the Washington Wizards next week.
“I’m just trying to use every opportunity that I can to become a better basketball player,” Davis said via phone on Wednesday morning. “I’m trying to become a complete player, I’m just enjoying it and taking it for what it is.”
It’s been seven years since a player from the MEAC has been picked in the NBA draft. Former Norfolk State big man Kyle O’Quinn, who was drafted in 2012 by the Orlando Magic in the second round, played last season with the Indiana Pacers. O’Quinn, who’s 6-10 and 250 pounds, has a similar build to the 6-9, 240-pound Davis. The potential is there for pro scouts who work the MEAC to see Davis having the type of career O’Quinn has had.
During his senior season, Davis averaged 14.8 points per game and 9.1 rebounds, while shooting 64.5 percent from the field, sixth in the NCAA. Twice last season he shot 100 percent from the floor. He was also third in the league in blocks with 1.2 per game.
Davis ended his NCCU career with 20 points and 16 rebounds against North Dakota State in the NCAA tournament.
He has both the fourth- and fifth-most field goals made in a single season at NCCU with 233 in 2017-18 and 213 in 2018-19.
Davis’ coach at NCCU, LeVelle Moton, said his big man did plenty over the last two years to earn invites to NBA workouts.
“The tournament has a lot to do with it,” Moton said, “but these people do their homework. It’s more of his body of work as opposed to being a one hit wonder. He possess all the qualities and he is more than capable and he held his own against better opponents.”
The Hornets brought in six players, including Davis, for a workout on May 26. The other five players were from Maryland (Bruno Fernando), St. John’s (Justin Simon), Penn State (Lamar Stevens), Ohio State (Keyshawn Woods) and Temple (Shizz Alston), all more well-known programs than NCCU.
Davis, though, said he didn’t approach the workout like he had to prove himself because he was coming from a smaller Division I school.
“Honestly, I don’t even look at it like that,” Davis said. “I compete with everybody the same regardless of what school you come from because a lot of times that doesn’t even matter.”
Davis spent two seasons at Kent State, appearing in 46 games, before he transferred to NCCU, where he became one of the best big men in the league. Once conference play started, Davis rarely saw one-on-one action, and made teams pay over and over again when they dared to defend him with one player.
“One-on-one, I don’t think there are too many people that can stop him,” Moton said. “He’s shown that throughout his life. Professional basketball might be easier for him because that’s all professional basketball is.”