Posted On: 01/16/20 3:56 PM
St. Frances has been a powerhouse high school basketball program in Baltimore, Maryland for some time now. When a school establishes itself as such, there tends to be an influx of interest from prospects who want to prove their worthy enough to play on that level. For 2021 guard Elijah Davis making the move from DeMatha Catholic (a national powerhouse in D.C.) to St. Frances wasn’t as big of a shock as it is for others. Davis was used to being around some of the best players in the country, but he still had his work cut out for him when it came to cracking the Panthers’ rotation.
A lot of times in life, when you keep your head down, stay focused and stay true to believing the process, things fall into place. As we approach the midway point in the schedule, Davis is starting to see that come into fruition. 2020 guard Jordan Toles recently left St. Frances to enroll early into LSU and begin his football and basketball career in the SEC. 2020 wing Jahmal Banks also left school early for Wake Forest to begin his football career in the ACC. Those are two key rotational pieces who played bulk minutes in the early goings of the season. With them out of the picture, it leaves room for others to step in.
Davis has proven to be one taking advantage of the opportunity. He has built trust with head coach Nick Myles because of his commitment to pressuring and guarding not only in games, but in practice as well.
“I would say it started clicking for me in practice,” Davis continued, “I was just competing and putting my effort into guarding more. It started translating into games and I started getting time.”
St. Frances preys on teams with their aggression on-ball defense. It often tends to speed the opposition up and force them into mistakes, which ultimately means fastbreak opportunities for the Panthers. Fortunately for Davis, that mindset fits his game perfectly.
“Defense has always been apart of my game. Playing with Team Thrill, they preach defense and I know that’s what I have to do in order to stay on the floor. Just pressure the other team’s point guard and make life hard for him,” Davis said.
On this St. Frances roster, they’re equipped with enough players who can score the basketball It shows maturity in Davis that he realizes he must do other things not only to find minutes in the rotation, but to also standout in a more quiet way.
“I’m just focused on improving by getting everyone involved and not just looking for my shot,” Davis said as he reflected on his uptick in minutes as of late. “I have to get guys like Boog [Jamal West] the ball in his spots and looking ahead to next year, I’ll have to do the same with JuJu [Julian Reese]. Getting those guys going will open things up for me as games go on.”
The Panthers currently sport a 22-2 overall record heading into a huge game against Mount St. Joseph Friday. The adjustments to the roster may have some people writing off St. Frances as the top team in Baltimore. Guys like Davis are there to secure those critics don’t become reality. So far, he’s done his job and can begin making a name for himself.