To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Pepperdine PF Stacy Davis about leading his team in rebounding as a 6’6″ freshman.
You lost both of your leading scorers from last year in Lorne Jackson and Jordan Baker. How will you be able to fill the offensive void left by the departure of these two stars? We have some good freshmen and transfers so I feel that we reloaded. Not a lot of people know what we have out here, but there is more talent at each position so there should not be much of a drop-off. We should be able to push it a lot more with our PG and get some more rebounds.
Your non-conference road schedule includes a trip to Washington State. How do you prepare to face a team from a high-major conference? Knowing that we beat them last year is a key factor because it lets us know that we can play with them. Basketball is basketball no matter what conference you are in. We are athletes just like them.
What are your expectations for the upcoming season? I make a checklist every year. Our first goal is to win more games than last year. We also want to be over .500 and I honestly think we can compete for a top five spot in the conference depending on injuries.
You grew up in the great state of Arizona. What made you choose Pepperdine? It is in a great location in Malibu right on the beach, they offer a great education, and I felt like I fit in right from my official visit.
You play for Coach Marty Wilson; What makes him such a good coach and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him? He brings a lot of intensity to practice and you can tell that he has a passion for teaching us about basketball as well as life. He just wants the best for us and wants us to play hard. One of his sayings is “no sniveling”. Even if things do not go your way you just have to roll with the punches.
Last year, you were named WCC Newcomer of the Year. How were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? I just told myself that I was one of the bigger guys on the team and one of the quicker ones at my position, so I wanted to make an immediate impact and focus on rebounding. As the season went on, I had more calls made for me as I matured a lot. I wanted to get some quality experience rather than ride the bench. Last year a janitor told me that I am here for a reason, so why not make it a good reason?
You had a team-high 7.3 RPG as a freshman despite only being 6’6”. What is the key to being a good rebounder? You have to be really physical. Some guys do it through finesse but you have to be in the right place at the right time: if you jump at the wrong time you will not get it. You have to give effort, be tough, and box out.
Your sister Syerra played college basketball and your cousin Hakim Warrick plays in the NBA. Who is the best athlete in the family and do you credit at least some of your success to genetics? That is a tough one. My sister used to be more athletic than me and would beat me handily in one-on-one until I got to high school. I am confident so I will stick with my guns and say that I am the best athlete! I think genetics does play a role in it. My dad is a really big guy but was naturally strong. I was like that so I never lifted in high school, but after working with our strength and conditioning guy I feel stronger and leaner.