Terence Davis may get the call a Rebel hasn’t taken in nearly a decade Thursday night.
A call from an NBA team ready to draft him and make him a pro after four years of consistent production and growth at Ole Miss under former coach Andy Kennedy and for Kermit Davis last season.
It’s not a done deal just yet, but mock drafts have Davis going anywhere as early as 34th to the Philadelphia 76ers to as late as 47th to the Sacramento Kings. What those teams are most likely seeing is exactly what Rebel fans have seen the last four seasons in Oxford from Davis — an incredibly gifted athlete with a great motor who, just by sheer will, has gone from a wide-eyed freshman to a team leader on an NCAA tournament run in his final year in Oxford.
It's @NBADraft week, and @TerenceDavisJr is all over mock drafts!— Ole Miss Basketball (@OleMissMBB) June 17, 2019
The Athletic (@Sam_Vecenie) - 34th to @sixers
ESPN (@DraftExpress) - 40th to @SacramentoKings
CBS Sports (@MattNorlander) - 45th to @DetroitPistons
SI (@JeremyWoo) - 47th to Kings #HottyToddy #NBADraft pic.twitter.com/3zDTgKzRbb
The Southaven, Miss. native has done more than enough apparently in the summer to catch the eyes of scouts and front offices alike. Tony Jones of The Athletic mentioned earlier this month that after some strong performances, proving his ability to create his own shot and play defense, Davis earned call-backs from the Bulls, Celtics, Jazz, and Warriors.
Matt Norlander of CBS Sports was extremely complimentary of Davis’ spring and summer and how he has positioned himself to have a banner evening.
I’m not sure any player since the start of April has done more good for his draft stock than Davis, who would be a stunner if he went undrafted. From the Portsmouth circuit to elite camp for G League to shining at the NBA Draft Combine and continually impressing in workouts, Davis has been an inspiring story the past 10 weeks.
You can’t teach athleticism.
There is no denying Terence’s athletic ability and affinity for getting to the rim. NBA teams have always just been concerned with his ability to use it on the other end of the floor.
6-5 + 22 year-old #OleMiss SG prospect @TerenceDavisJr averaged career-highs in PPG (15.2), APG (3.1), SPG (1.6), 3PM per game (2.0) + 3FG% (37.1%) in 33 GP as a senior with the #Rebels. He has been one of the big risers during the pre draft process + is 40th spot in our top-100 pic.twitter.com/fJ2mqzGh5i— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) June 12, 2019
The need for a “3-and-D” type player in this day and age’s association is something that separates the good and elite teams. You need someone who can come in off the bench, give you 10-15 hard-nosed minutes, and lock down a primary shooter or volume scorer. And Terence proved enough to scouts, general managers, and coaches that he is someone who could do that.
Oh, yeah. Terence Davis had one of the best dunks this year and now the entire city of Knoxville is his. Rules are rules. pic.twitter.com/5KIXQ388Xk— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) February 28, 2019
He has skyrocketed up draft boards over the last few months and all his hard work and patience while in an Ole Miss uniform could all come to fruition Thursday night during the 2019 NBA Draft.
The potential is there.
If he can stay healthy, continue to improve his jump shot, and improve his decision-making, he could easily enjoy a long and profitable career domestically, instead of going overseas like most figured he would. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that, many before Terence have done that and are currently enjoying a nice professional career.
Davis has seen his stock rise due to his ability in the summer to utilize his athleticism to create his own, work off the ball on offense AND defense, and during his last few years in Oxford he was someone who could be counted on in pick-and-roll scenarios. If he can be that kind of guy off the bench in the league, he has a great shot of hearing his name called tonight.
His strengths outweigh his weaknesses.
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo has Terence going 44th to Atlanta via a trade from Charlotte. He spoke very highly of Davis’ summer vacation and mentioned how his highs being heavier than his lows has gotten NBA teams’ attention.
The Heat acquired this pick from the Hawks via trade on Wednesday afternoon. Davis fits the mold for what they often look for in role players. He’s tough, physical, and has done enough for himself over the course of the predraft process to solidify himself as draftable. He played well at the G League Elite Camp and in the combine, showing he can knock down shots and plays with energy. He’s not particularly big for a two-guard and has no elite skill to sell, so a team would be betting on his tools and aggression paying off and turning him into a usable role player. His shot selection might eventually become an issue if he doesn’t make an adjustment.
The size thing, to me, is a bit overplayed. Davis is a legit 6’5, 200-pounder who, when 100% helathy and coming off the bench fresh, can provide a ton of meaningful minutes. If he is chosen by the right organization, he can thrive in the right system because of his size:speed ratio and overall athleticism that causes so many tweeners like Davis to thrive in the NBA.
The end-goal is and always will be the National Basketball Association for Ole Miss Rebels. And as of the last decade, former Rebel Terrico White is the last guy to hear his name called on draft night that called Oxford home. It now appears that that drought is going to end, per most NBA scouts and analysts.
Here’s to our large, high-flying son potentially seeing his dream come true this evening.