Freshman makes his presence felt



Feb. 15, 2003

This story originally appeared in the Times Picayune on February 15, 2003.
Reprinted by permission.

By Fred Robinson, Staff writer

Back in August, Tulane forward Brandon Brown saw something in freshman Quincy Davis that made him believe the Green Wave's post play was about to get a quick boost.

It has taken six months, but the help in the middle that Brown anticipated is finally arriving.

"He's a great player," Brown said. "He's always had the ability, but he's a freshman, and his focus wasn't always on what it needed to be on. He's coming around and he's realizing what he needs to do."

Davis, a 6-foot-9 forward/center from Mobile, Ala., posted career highs in the Wave's 58-57 loss to Memphis on Thursday. Not only did Davis play 16 minutes, but he was on the court during the final minutes and had a chance to hit the go-ahead basket with a minute remaining.

"I was very shocked to be in the game at that stage," Davis said. "When I saw Brandon (Brown) coming into the game I thought he was replacing me. I started heading to the bench when I saw him."

What kept Davis on the floor was his ability to rebound with Memphis' post players. He led the Wave with nine rebounds and four blocked shots.

"He gives us presence in the middle and rebounding," Tulane coach Shawn Finney said.

When the Green Wave takes on Texas Christian tonight, getting considerable playing time shouldn't come as a shock to Davis or his teammates.

"I think we'll probably use him the way we have the last two games," Finney said. "I can see him getting between 10 and 20 minutes."

What Finney said is unusual about Davis is the manner in which he has worked his way into the rotation.

"This is the first time I've ever seen a player earn his way to playing through practice in January," Finney said. "You don't see that happen very often in college basketball.

"Other guys have done it in games, but Quincy wasn't having an opportunity in games to show himself. He had to prove it in practice."

During the past few weeks, Davis, who had given Brown trouble in pickup games this past August, was again becoming a menace in practice for the Wave's veteran post player. He was getting physical, getting rebounds and blocking shots.

For Davis, it has been about getting back into a comfort zone.

"I'm beginning to feel very comfortable," he said. "I think I overexaggerated all the things I needed to learn and do. I just needed to relax and let it come to me."

No one could be happier than Finney, whose teams have lacked a big inside player.

"Four weeks ago, you could see Quincy absorbing what we were doing. He was starting to apply it in practice," Finney said. "I always knew Quincy was going to be good, it was just a matter of when it was going to click for him. It's clicking."