Brandon Davies Returning to BYU Next Year

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 13: Brandon Davies #0 of the Brigham Young Cougars grabs the ball in the second half while taking on the Iona Gaels in the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 13, 2012 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It's not as if there was too much doubt, but Brandon Davies made it official last night after BYU's season-ending loss to Marquette that he will return to Provo for his senior season:

"There's a lot I have left to accomplish at BYU. It's not just for me. I owe it to my teammates, my coaches and everyone around me. It's what I want to do and the people around me want to do."

Davies averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game as a junior.

I find his short statement rather insightful. "I owe it to my teammates, my coaches..." It seems clear Davies feels some part of gratitude for how he was treated during last season's suspension.

Aside from that, the decision is correct for Davies. He has progressed very well over his three years, but doesn't have the ready look yet. Not only that, but he isn't really on the scouting radar (For example, he does not appear on the Draft Express Top 100 list).

I am excited to see Davies progress even further as a senior. His improvement was marked under Mark Pope this season -- remember at times even as a sophomore, he struggled to stay out of foul trouble, but this year that was hardly ever an issue. I was particularly impressed with him down the final stretch of the season. Over the final seven games, which includes conference and NCAA tournament play, Davies averaged 19.7 points on 52-87 shooting (59.8%), 7 rebounds (including 15 and 12 in the NCAA tourney), 2 blocks, and nearly 2 steals per game. It left a promising mark for next season.

Davies has seemingly all the tools to be great, and has shown flashes of absolute brilliance (like the 21-point, 22-rebound outing against Portland), but he does have a few things on which to improve -- namely, free-throw shooting and turnovers.

In his increased role this season, Davies stepped up in many ways. But while his free-throw attempts rose to six per game, his percentage slightly declined from 67.4% (already needing help) to 66.2%. He also averaged three turnovers per game. Improved ball security in the post will go a long way to help him and next year's team.

But overall, I am excited to see what he can put together for his final season. If he has a junior-senior transition like Noah Hartsock, I think we're in for something special.

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