Not many improved their recruitment or national standing more this summer than RJ Davis. The big-time shot-maker takes his seat as one of the very best scorers in the nation.
Upon completing his summer with the New Rens program - where he averaged over 20 points and two made 3-pointers per game - Davis is now preparing for his senior season at Archbishop Stepinac. Before the games begin, he is hoping to make his college decision.
Sitting down with the top 65 guard, Corey Evans talked to Davis about his national ascension, feelings for his college finalists that feature Georgetown, Marquette, North Carolina and Pitt, and when his commitment might be made.
Corey Evans (CE): What has the past few months been like, becoming a top target for a number of national programs?
RJ Davis (RJ): It has been a blessing. From being unranked and coming into this past AAU season, I just had a mindset of going out every game and competing. I played with a chip on my shoulder, so I wanted to play with the best of the best and I am just grateful for the opportunity that I had this past summer, and obviously it worked out well.
CE: Let’s go down your final four, and start out with North Carolina. You visited last weekend. How was that?
RJ: North Carolina was a great visit just like all of my other ones. I got a chance to hang out with the guys, which was my main priority going into that visit, to just get a feel for them and get a sense for what they are like. I got to watch them practice and spend time with the coaching staff to just understand how I would fit in with their recruiting and their school.
CE: Talking about your fit. Did they talk to about the need for scoring and also playing alongside Caleb Love?
RJ: Coach Roy (Williams) emphasized that he wants to play with two point guards and he isn’t taking three; he wants to play with two point guards and he feels like playing with one point guard with Coby White was a downfall last year. Going into next year and the following years, he wants to have two point guards like what he had with Joel Berry and Marcus Paige. He felt like he was more successful that way.
CE: Before that, you visited Marquette, which was your second time there. What has been their pitch to you throughout?
RJ: So, they are losing Markus Howard, who is basically their do-it-all kind of guy. They feel like I could come in and have the opportunity to play and follow that lead that Markus left and do it all in my own way.
CE: What do you think of that? He is potentially the national player of the year this year.
RJ: It means a lot. Just to see that spot up for grabs. It is not given and you have to earn, but to have that opportunity, it is a blessing.
CE: You visited Georgetown and Patrick Ewing has made you a priority from the start. How was that there and what do they mean to you?
RJ: They are a great school and I have a great relationship with them. They preach highly on the academic part just as well as their basketball team. They feel like I could play alongside of (James) Akinjo and (Mac) McClung, but also rebuild and get Georgetown to where it once was.
CE: Another program that has been there from the start was Pitt. What are your feelings like for them and how was that visit?
RJ: It was a good visit there. I got the chance to bond with the team and spend some time with Xavier (Johnson),Trey (McGowens) and Justin (Champagnie), as well as the rest of the guys. It was a great visit and Cape (Jeff Capel) and the rest of the coaching staff is just preaching how big of a priority I am for them and they are really in need of a point guard. They are gathering bigs and wings and just need that missing piece and they feel like I am that difference-maker within their program.
CE: What is that relationship with you and Jeff Capel?
RJ: Cape is a good guy and really genuine. He is passionate and his confidence in what he sees and believes, he feels like we can do a lot of great things now and down the line and in the future. He is a relationship kind of guy that likes to get to know his players a little better than others.
CE: Are you all done with visits now?
RJ: Yes, that was my last visit.
CE: How far away are you from making your decision?
RJ: I don’t have a timetable yet. I want to get it done before my senior year starts, but I am not sure when I will be ready to commit. This week, I am just taking my time to stay to myself and go over each school thoroughly with my family.
CE: The signing period is Nov.13-19. Are you planning on signing then?
RJ: Yes, if I have my mind made up, then yes.