Former BYU basketball player Brandon Davies blossoming in the NBA

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Brandon Davies has found a home in Philadelphia.

Brandon Davies defends the hoop in a recent Philadelphia 76ers game. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Brandon Davies defends the hoop in a recent Philadelphia 76ers game. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The former BYU power forward, who anchored the post in the Marriott Center from 200 to 2013, is now the second-leading scorer on the Philadelphia 76ers. While his five-game experience is a small sample size to base a season off of, Davies has shown potential to stick around in the NBA for a long time.

But Davies’ path has been far from easy.

Davies finished his collegiate career in 2013 and was passed over by every team twice in the following draft. The LA Clippers picked him up for the season but dropped him only a few weeks later. The Philadelphia 76ers took a chance and signed him.

Davies played sparingly his first season, appearing in 51 games and averaging 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.3 minutes of mostly garbage time. Davies saw that limited playing time as an opportunity, however.

“Last year was a step forward,” Davies said in an interview with 76ers radio broadcaster Tom McGinnis. “I got a long ways to go, but every year I think I’ve shown that I’ve progressed in one way or another, so I use last year as a stepping-stone and use it as motivation to improve.”

The 2013–2014 version of the 76ers was a mess. Among trades, adds and drops, 23 players were on the team throughout the season, and only 12 are allowed on an active roster at a time. Of those 23 players, only three of them made it onto the 2014–2015 roster.

Brandon Davies was one of those three players.

Keeping Davies meant the 76ers saw potential in him, and they have let that potential shine through so far this NBA season. In the first five games of the season, Davies is averaging 12.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.2 steals in only 20.2 minutes. Davies has also evolved into a stretch-four, a shooting big-man. He already has made three three-pointers this season, after making only six his entire collegiate career.

“(Last year) I put a lot of pressure on myself that didn’t need to be there,” Davies told McGinnis. “Being a second-year guy now, I’ve been able to relax a little bit and let the game come to me. Last year I tried to do everything perfect and play exactly how they wanted me to, and that caused me to get a little sped up at times.”

The 76ers also inserted Davies into the starting lineup in the fourth game of the season. Davies played the best game of his career against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, pouring in 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. He is also shooting more than 60 percent from the field, good for ninth in the NBA this season.

The 76ers are 0-5 so far this season, but that’s no fault of Davies’. He recognizes that he is playing on a young squad and is optimistic about the growth of the team.

“We’re all growing together; it’s fun to see,” Davies told McGinnis. “We’re a young team, and we all push each other to be better every single day. It’s a big group effort; it’s a family.”

BYU students will have the opportunity to see Davies in action this season, as the 76ers will travel to Salt Lake City to face the Jazz on Dec. 27.


What others are saying about Davies

Davies’ mini-breakout across the first five games has been the story of the NBA season

Davies approaches every day in the NBA as if it could be his last, because that’s his reality.

The more I question it, the more I can’t help but think that my sarcastic remarks of him being a “folk hero” will actually become a reality.

Brandon Davies relentless in pursuit of making Sixers

 

 

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