Within one year, Davin Guinn went from walk-on player to scholarship player on perhaps the most talented BYU Basketball team Coach Rose has ever assembled. A native of Murrieta, California, Guinn played his freshman season at UC Riverside before serving a two-year mission in Mexico. Wanting a change in environment and to be closer to his family (one of his sisters attends BYU and another sister is committed to play soccer here), Guinn transferred to BYU, not even intending to walk on. But after talking with his Dad, Guinn tried out last September and made the practice squad, quickly drawing the attention of the coaches.
Once Jake Toolson left the team and Cory Calvert announced his intention to transfer, Guinn was promoted to the official team roster and made his way into nine games. He played a total of 26 minutes last season, with his best game coming against San Diego when he scored nine points in eight minutes. When he did get on the court, it was obvious that his teammates cared a lot about him as they enthusiastically celebrated his successes.
This off-season, Davin Guinn put in a lot of time working on his ball handling and outside shot, as well as his defense and rebounding. Recognizing his competitiveness and drive to improve, Coach Rose awarded Guinn a scholarship over the summer, and likely hopes he’ll be able to provide the same sort of lift when needed that guards like Craig Cusick and Skyler Halford did in the past.
With LJ Rose and Elijah Bryant out with injuries, Guinn got the start in the Seattle Pacific University exhibition game, contributing four points and four rebounds in 16 minutes. Sometime in the 10 days between exhibition games, Guinn broke his nose but wouldn’t let it keep him off the floor—he’s sported a protective facemask ever since.
When Guinn does get on the floor, his contributions are noticeable. Although he struggled from the field against Coppin State, he did make a three pointer and two free throws, and picked up a steal and an assist on a Payton Dastrup three. In the Cougars’ win against Coastal Carolina, Guinn made back-to-back three pointers in seven minutes of play. Against Saint Louis, Guinn played 15 minutes and chipped in seven points, made all three of his free throws, and pulled in five rebounds.
In what was probably the Cougars’ biggest game so far this season, Guinn gave Coach Rose exactly what he was hoping for. In 13 minutes all in the second half against Valparaiso, Guinn scored 11 points on 4-4 shooting, including three big three-pointers that kept the game close and even gave the Cougars a two point lead with three minutes to go.
DAVIN HITS THE THREE TO GIVE THE COUGS THE LEAD!!#BYUhoops— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) November 24, 2016
What Guinn brings every time he’s on the court is effort and toughness, particularly defensively. As a 6’ 5” wing, Guinn can cause opposing teams problems with his length and aggressiveness. On offense, expect to see Guinn shoot (and make) well-timed threes, or to set a tough screen and slash through the key. He’s got some nifty moves around the basket too, which were showcased in the Cougar Tipoff (his spinning reverse lay-up reminded me of BYU Football’s Colby Pearson).
Davin Guinn may not be the most recognizable name on the court, but don’t count him out. As we have seen already this season, he has the trust of his coaches and a determination to help his team win. When they need him, he’ll deliver.