Providence landed their second commitment in the class of 2020 earlier this week when Sanford (DE) High School forward Jyare Davis made a verbal commitment to Ed Cooley.
Davis was once one of the most celebrated underclassmen in the northeast. He played on his high school team as an 8th grader, was selected for the Under Armour Rise Game that preceded the Elite 24 under the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge prior to his freshman year of high school, was selected for the USA Basketball trials ten months later, and returned for the USA Basketball Junior National Team Mini-Camp in the fall of his sophomore year.
St. John’s became the first school to offer him a scholarship in October of his freshman year. Florida followed the next spring and Miami in July. Seton Hall, Rutgers, DePaul, and Temple had all jumped onboard prior to his junior year.
His recruitment started to plateau around that time though and an injury that cost him the entirety of his final grassroots season only made things more complicated.
Davis was an early-bloomer physically. He was measured at 6-foot-6 and 204 pounds with a 6-foot-9 wingspan in the summer before his sophomore year. He was strong with an almost thick natural build at an early age that needed to be further defined as he got older.
Athletically, Davis might have stood out in the local Delaware ranks, but in settings like USA Basketball, where he was being measured against other top national prospects, he was smoother than he was explosive. In fact, at that level, the game could get too fast for him at times.
2020 combo forward Jyare Davis just verbally committed to Providence. Why the Friars? Here’s the full report on @FS1: pic.twitter.com/is3fTVzEgT
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) January 6, 2020
However, he was somewhat skilled as an underclassman relative to his age and size. He had a pretty naturally soft shooting touch, was able to make threes off the dribble, and attack close-outs with long-strides going through the lane. He also had a pretty good I.Q. for the game at an early age with the reputation for being a high character kid.
Those early USA Basketball settings are where many national scouts, myself included, got the majority of their evaluations on him. Few saw him during the last high school season in Delaware and the closest he got to the floor last spring and summer, was beginning the pre-season on the bench of the New Jersey Playaz, where he planned to team with Blair Academy forward Jabri Abdur-Rahim.
Davis never got the chance, and while he missed the EYBL, the scholarship offers stopped coming in. That’s not to say that the schools who were already recruiting him weren’t still keeping tabs, but that they were eager to see him return to the court, especially after a perceived plateau even prior to the injury.
He’s returned to the court this season and already taken part in high-profile events including the City of Palms and Slam Dunk to the Beach, with an appearance at the Spalding HoopHall Classic on tap for next week. With the limited number of quality prospects still left on the board in 2020, his recruitment was bound to surge again in the coming weeks.
Now, it won’t have the chance. Providence, led by Cooley and assistant coach Jeff Battle, maintained their interest in Davis throughout the summer, hosted him for an official visit in November when most had yet to see him play, and have now landed his commitment.
God I thank you 🙏🏾 it’s been an awesome day…. Go Friars too btw 😉
— Jyáre Davis (@jydavis13) January 6, 2020
While Davis will need to continue to sculpt his frame, at 6-foot-7 and 200+ pounds with a solid skill-set, he fits a prototype that has thrived under Cooley in recent years. He should be able to see time at both forward positions (his ability to defend wings and rebound with fours will like determine exactly which one), and be a mismatch problem offensively who can eventually stretch the floor, attack bad close-outs, and score over the top of smaller defenders with his pull-up or in the mid-post.
In short, his commitment didn’t receive an overwhelming amount of national fanfare but could end up being a sneaky good one, not unlike those of LaDonte Henton and Rodney Bullock, who weren’t nationally ranked prospects, but ended up having great careers for the Friars.
CATCH BIG EAST ACTION ON YURVIEW WHEN DEPAUL TAKES ON ST. JOHN’S ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 11 AT NOON. YURVIEW IS COX CHANNEL 4 IN RHODE ISLAND.