The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Brandon Davies withdraws from school, but plans to be back at BYU

Ryan Greene
The Dagger

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BYU basketball is headed into the post-Jimmer Era, but got a potentially big boost late this week that should soften the blow.

Sophomore forward Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team in early March following a violation of the school's honor code that involved engaging in premarital sex. The matter quickly turned into a national hot-button issue.

According to reports, Davies completed his winter semester work on Thursday, then withdrew from school. However, he said he hopes to re-enroll and again join the team in the fall.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said that Davies is working with the dean of students, attempting to meet certain conditions that would allow him to be back on campus as a student and power forward.

"There's a pretty long list of people that I'd like to thank who are helping me through this difficult time," Davies said in a school-released statement. "It's been very hard emotionally, but thanks to the love and support of many, I'll be able to get through it. There's a plan in place, and I intend to follow through and return to BYU in the fall. I'm looking forward to coming back to school to continue my education and getting back on the court."

Davies had an interesting journey to both Provo and BYU, and as a sophomore, the 6-foot-9 forward truly began to break out within the Cougars' uptempo system. He averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in 29 games before missing the team's final eight.

His absence left BYU thin up front and one-dimensional overall, though star guard Jimmer Fredette was able to mask many of the team's deficiencies at times. BYU went 27-2 with Davies, but was just 5-3 without him, ultimately falling to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen, 83-74. {YSP:MORE}

After the season, BYU lost its top two scorers — Fredette and fellow guard Jackson Emery — to graduation, then saw its associate head coach and 'offensive coordinator,' Dave Rice, take over as the new head coach at UNLV. Also, rapidly-improving freshman swingman Kyle Collinsworth is off to Russia for a two-year Mormon mission.

Even after his dismissal, Davies sat on the BYU bench and traveled with the team, signaling that he was still committed to the program and would likely return if he was allowed to be reinstated.

The Cougars are off now to the West Coast Conference, where they'll try to stay relevant nationally and try to find their way in an up-and-coming league with the likes of Gonzaga, Saint Mary's and surging Santa Clara.

If by some chance Davies is not re-admitted, a number of schools would be lining up immediately attempting to lure him, including Rice at UNLV.

But, frankly, BYU needs Davies next season to stay afloat. You have to wonder how much that will factor into the school's decision.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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