Devo Davis puts on magical March performance in win over Kansas

When Arkansas needed him most, Davonte Davis delivered in Saturday’s upset victory over 1-seeded Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

A junior guard and one of two scholarship players who returned from last year’s roster, Davis shows what head coach Eric Musselman wants in a basketball player. After playing a key role in back-to-back Elite Eight runs, Davis again played an important role for the Razorbacks, who are tied to Sweet Sixteen after a 72-71 win over the Jayhawks at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. , Iowa.

The Jacksonville native scored a game-high 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and he added eight rebounds and a block. Davis scored just four points in the first half, but his 21 second-half points played a crucial role in the Razorbacks’ victory.

After his team was down a game-high 12 points in the first media timeout in the second half, Davis took matters into his own hands. At 15:17, he had just seven points for a team struggling to attack the basket and expose the Kansas big men who were at fault.

“He’s doing exactly that in March,” first-year guard Anthony Black told reporters. “He’s been doing it since (he was) a freshman. He’s been great for us today and he’s been great for us all year.”

The ‘March Devo’ legend is well known to Razorback fans after averaging 33.8 minutes, 14.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in four tournament games as a rookie in 2021, and he played a pivotal role as a lockdown defender, averaging 31 minutes per game. in the 2022 post-season race.

When his team needed him the most, Davis turned him on and “March Devo” was once again a household name in the college basketball world.

After that under-16 media timeout, Davis made his next three shots to score seven points and help cut the deficit to eight at 12:14. Less than two minutes later, he had scored four more, including two from the free throw line that gave Kansas a 51-49 lead.

“Yeah, Devo pretty much had the second half,” said guard Ricky Council IV. “I was in the first half and Devo had the second half, and I was in the corner ready to bounce back if he missed and he didn’t miss.”

In the next six minutes of play, Davis tied the game twice and made two trips to the line to hit three free throws, while playing his top defense on the other end.

“It didn’t matter if he was on the pitch, scoring, shooting three, making a bucket or coaching on the bench, he had a big impact on the game and he had a big impact on the win,” rookie Jordan Walsh told reporters. .

He told reporters he didn’t feel obligated to return to play, he was just doing what Musselman told him to do.

“Not really, just playing in the stream because Coach Muss said get down,” Davis said. “He was speaking within the whole group.”

Despite committing a foul at 1:56, Davis was still dragging his teammates as he left the field. He was seen screaming from the bench throughout the final two minutes, virtually handing Arkansas another coach on the sidelines.

Naturally, he credited everyone but himself after the big win.

“I feel like we all did something to help us win and I’m glad we did,” Davis said. “Ricky (Council) knocked down some big free throws, we had Nick (Smith) coming in and playing really good defense late in the game.

“Everyone contributed, Coach Muss even substituted the right way and things like that to help us. Even the coaches and the team contributed in one way or another to help us win. “

Musselman has said many times that he and Davis think on the same page, and it often shows during games. He was definitely on display when Davis said the job wasn’t done.

“I don’t know how to react, you know, but I know it feels good and I know the guys who haven’t been part of something like that, I know we feel like we’re on top in the world and we want to keep going and improving,” Davis said. “Like coach Muss was saying, we’re not done yet and I think we can keep improving as the season progresses.”

In the post-game interview on CBS, Davis’ emotions were on full display as he realized how much all his hard work had come to fruition thus far.

“This team struggled,” Davis said. “And we got it. And I’m glad we did it at the right time and hopefully we keep doing it.”

With the Sweet Sixteen on the horizon and a lot of work to do, the Razorbacks are lucky to say they have Davis on their side.

“I’m going to say this about Devo because I know a lot of people are talking about him or whatever,” Kamani Johnson told reporters. “Devo Davis is a pro. He’s a dog. And he’s going to win. He’s a winner.”

Leave a Comment