Former Ole Miss guard Terence Davis surprisingly went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
After several impressive outings at various scouting events and an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine, Davis saw his name climb up prospect rankings and mock drafts. The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors were intrigued enough to invite him in for an extra workout.
Most mock drafts had Davis being drafted around the middle of the second round, so it came as a surprise when he was left out after 60 picks.
This is, however, not the end of Terence Davis’ basketball career. He signed with the Denver Nuggets as an undrafted free agent last week and he’ll play in the NBA Summer League, which starts in July. Davis will compete alongside young players like Micheal Porter Jr. and Bol Bol in at least five games to solidify a spot on the roster. The first game is scheduled for July 5 at 10:30 p.m. against the Phoenix Suns on ESPN.
Many undrafted players sign with teams quickly after the draft and players like Raja Bell, Udonis Haslem and Ben Wallace carved out amazing careers after being undrafted. Fred VanVleet was just a key piece on the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors after going undrafted in 2016. Other notable undrafted free agents signed in this class are Tacko Fall, Luke Maye and Naz Reid.
Davis’s best chance to get a spot in the NBA would come if he shows the ability to make plays off the ball like he did so often for Ole Miss and answering the call when someone other than the superstar has to score. Hustle and hard-nosed defense are his bread and butter and that’s what NBA teams need from players with limited minutes off the bench. Three-and-D guards like Davis are a premium position of need for teams looking to win now.
If we know anything about the NBA from the last few weeks, we know that it is ever-changing. Rosters are always being shaken up and with consistent production, Terence Davis can find himself playing a role with an NBA squad very soon.
““TD is going to know exactly what his job is [in the NBA],” Kermit Davis said. “It doesn’t matter what role they put him in, he’s going to accept it. That’s a big part of his success. He’s going to live in the gym and hang on every word they say. There’s no doubt he’s talented enough to play in the NBA.”
Davis arrived in Oxford for the 2015-16 season, which came as a surprise for most that were following him. The 6-4 guard was a also standout receiver at Southaven High School and was expected to have real promise on the gridiron in college.
Instead, Davis elected to take his talents to the basketball court for Andy Kennedy and the Ole Miss basketball program. There was talk that he had mede the wrong decision after a less-than-spectacular freshman year, averaging only 1.8 points in 20 games under Stefan Moody and Sebastian Saiz.
His minutes per game jumped from 6.6 to over 25 in his sophomore season as he took his spot as the focal point of the Ole Miss offense. In the last three years he averaged 14.9, 13.8 and 15.2 points all while grabbing over five rebounds a game.
Davis also improved his production on the defensive end, especially with Kermit Davis in his ear. What was a weakness became a strength as he became one of the more electrifying two-way playmakers in the SEC. Davis started to limit questionable decisions that led to turnovers.
His play fueled the Rebels to a resurgence last season as they went from last in the SEC a year earlier to an NCAA Tournament.