Sports

Stanford's Davis pointing toward success on basketball court

 

Daejon Davis knows he's going to have some rough days but that's not going to deter him from pressing on and learning his craft at the college level.

The freshman point guard has been thrown into a jumbled situation in which he has to be a floor leader without much experience at it. He's facing defenses he never saw at that the high school level.


Daejon Davis/Stanford Athletics
"He's a tough kid," Stanford coach Jarod Haase said after Stanford ended a four-game losing streak with a 70-54 nonconference victory over visiting Montana on Wednesday night. "He's a talented player and he will continue to get better. The growing pains will pay dividends."

His last time out, Davis suffered an 11-turnover game. Against the Grizzlies he cut that to five. He's also had games in which he's played 26 minutes and turned it over just three times.

"He's been put into a big role and this is what we want him to do," Stanford's Reid Travis said. "You can see he's growing every day and he has all the tools."

Davis hasn't let it affect his offense. He scored a season-high 17 points against Montana, his fourth double-digit game in his last six. His continued efforts in practice are beginning to show during games.

After an 8-of-16 performance on the foul line over his last two games, Davis made all six on Wednesday night.

"Everybody believes in me so I have to believe in myself," Davis said. "If I just go out and play hard, things will fall into place."

The game was a lot closer than the final score would indicate. Montana led, 50-44, with just under 10 minutes to play and the Grizzlies were within 56-54 with just over three minutes left.

Davis hit a jumper that sparked a 14-0 run to end the game and gave the Cardinal a comfortable margin of victory.

Montana missed its last nine shots and was 2-of-19 over the final 10 minutes.

"Defense was a big point of emphasis," Travis said. "Coach said seven of the last eight possessions we had stops. We know we can defend. It just has to be a collective effort."

Travis led all scorers with 20 points to go with nine rebounds. Michael Humphrey contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds. Robert Cartwright added 11 points and has scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the first time this season. He also had a team-high five assists against one turnover.

Haase also had good things to say about Blake Pagon and Josh Sharma, who combined for 11 rebounds, six points and two assists.

"If I had a game ball I'd probably give it to Blake," Haase said. "He gave us a ton of value in what he's supposed to do. He's always in the right place. When Josh plays with that kind of energy, good things happen."

Montana turned 18 Stanford turnovers into 21 points and outscored the Cardinal 14-9 in second-chance points.

Marcus Sheffield and Dorian Pickens are still out and won't be available when the Cardinal travels to Long Beach State for a 3 p.m. game Sunday.

Stanford goes on a two-week break, returning to host Denver at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15.

"The goal is to get them back before the conference season," Haase said. "After the break, we'll reevaluate and see where we are."

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