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Former coaches detail the player Rutgers has in Jamichael Davis



Photo credit Aaron Breitman

Rutgers officially announced the arrival of incoming freshman Jamichael Davis on Monday. The 6’2″ guard from Powder Springs, Georgia began summer workouts with the program last week.

“We’re so excited to add J-Mike to The Knighthood,” Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell said in a release. “J-Mike is an explosive guard with terrific vision. He plays with tenacity on the defensive end and is a great teammate. He can do a lot of things on the basketball court, and he is one of the great competitors. We’ve added another great basketball player with an exciting family to Rutgers Nation.”

The 3-star recruit was ranked the No. 16 prospect in Georgia, No. 33 point guard and No. 221 recruit in the country in the 2023 class per 247 Sports composite rankings. With Paul Mulcahy and Cam Spencer gone, Davis will have more opportunity to make an impact next season than previously expected.

“I’m a player who’s a hard worker and who prides himself on bringing energy on defense,” Davis said. “I bring speed, the ability to create shots, and getting my teammates involved. I want to help bring Rutgers to the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully win it someday. I want to continue to build chemistry with the guys and develop my game at the college level.”

Grad transfer Noah Fernandes and sophomore Derek Simpson should be a great help to Davis in his transition to high major college basketball. In last week’s appearance on The Scarlet Faithful podcast, Simpson discussed how he and the rest of his class have spoken to Davis and fellow freshman Gavin Griffiths about what to expect in their first season in the program.

As for former coaches of Davis, they went into great detail on the type of player Rutgers now has in the freshman.

Before starring at McEachern high school with childhood friend and Rutgers 5-star commit Ace Bailey, Davis became the all-time leading scorer at Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School. When he arrived at McEachern last year, he made an immediate impact.

“When he left all of that there in Tennessee, he came up here and the first thing he did was gather all the guys together in a room,” McEachern High School head coach Tremayne Anchrum Sr. said. “Instead of just talking, he took action. After that, he became the leader of this team. Leadership is his biggest strength on the floor.” He added, “He’s an amazing person and an amazing player. He’s a selfless, hard-working, dedicated player. If you could build a basketball player, you couldn’t build a better one than Jamichael Davis. As good as he is on the court, he is better off the floor. He’s a leader and brings people together. He can be a leader on the court without even talking.”

Davis excelled at McEachern this past season. He averaged 22.0 points, 13.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. He earned First Team All-Region honors after his standout senior season.

Despite flourishing in multiple areas in high school, it shouldn’t surprising that Davis should help the program continue to build defensive identity at Rutgers.

“His defense is second-to-none,” Anchrum Sr. said. “If you are talking about his biggest strengths, his defensive game leads the way. He’s picking the best guys up; he’s getting in the passing lanes, and he knows defensive positioning. He understands court spacing, he
uses the court to his advantage, and knows how to play help-side defense. He understands the defensive end of the floor and I think that will help him compete in the Big Ten right away.”

“He likes that Rutgers plays defense and plays hard,” Anchrum Sr. said. “Rutgers isn’t one of those pretty teams, plays like a gritty team and will win anyway. Rutgers can win games where the team scores 80 and win in games where they score 60. He looks forward to playing in both of those games.”

Prior to his move to Georgia, Davis played six seasons for We Get Buckets, Chattanooga’s premier youth basketball program.

“He’s a very humble kid who’s willing to work every day to get better,” WGB head coach Cedric Dozier said. “He’s very athletic and can get to his spot to get his jump shot off. He can create for others andmakes the game easier for the entire team. He’s improved the most at being a true point guard. He was so athletic and was able to score a lot at first. The last few years he has improved at being able to get his teammates involved.”

In addition to learning how to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, Dozier said that the athleticism of Davis will be an eye opener for Rutgers fans next season.

“I think he’ll bring a lot of hype to the team because he can jump out of the gym,” Dozier said. “He is going to be a game-changer. He is going to be one of those kids that a lot of people did not know about, but they are going to learn a lot about him in the next few years.”

Davis joined Athletes of Tomorrow once he moved to Georgia. The AAU program plays on the Adidas circuit and Bailey also stars for them. His coach there harped on many of the same qualities that Davis’ other coaches identified in him.

“I think he brings the ability to be an outstanding athletic point guard to Rutgers,” A.O.T. head coach Damon Wilson said. “He can get to the basket, he has a great jump shot, but he makes plays for others, and he is a great on-the-ball defender. He improved from a leadership standpoint in the way he expresses himself on the court.”

“I think he’s a kid who has a little bit of an unknown as far as a national perspective,” Wilson said. “I think you will fall in love with him at Rutgers as he’s a hard hat type of kid.”

After working out with the program for a week, Davis’ development is underway. By all accounts from his previous coaches, Davis sounds like a player that will not only embrace the program’s strong culture, but enhance it as well.

“It’s been great to get in with my teammates and start to build the chemistry with the guyson and off the court,” Davis said. “It’s been great to get on the court with the coaches. They have been showing me a lot of pointers to get me prepared. I just got here, but it’s been smooth and I’m loving it.”

You can watch highlights of Davis during his senior season at McEachern below.

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  1. InPikeWeTrust

    June 26, 2023 at 7:41 pm

    As we all know, the biggest hurdle to getting on the court for freshmen is to learn Pike’s defensive system and to gain his trust on that end. You listen to the coaches that have worked with this young man and it sounds like he’ll have a shot at getting into the rotation this year. Even if it’s in a Jalen Miller-type role as a defensive stopper. Pair him with Noah or Derek and let them run the show. Sounds like he’s the type of athlete that will finish in transition and isn’t afraid to go rebound with the big boys. Great D, rebound and get out and run would be enough for him to see PT the way the roster is currently constructed.

    • BataliBoli98

      June 26, 2023 at 10:12 pm

      Great call on the Jalen Miller comparison. As I read Aaron’s article I thought on multiple occasions that Davis sounds like a more skilled version of Jalen Miller. While we all appreciated Jalen’s tenacity on D, he was too much of a liability on offense and ultimately not a B1G player. As another point of comparison, Derek Simpson was ranked the 40th best PG and #247 in his class so that should bode well for Jamichael. Go RU!

  2. thevinman

    June 27, 2023 at 11:13 am

    He sounds like a very good addition to the team.

  3. pj43

    June 27, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    What’s not to like about this guy? Everything said about him in the article is music to my ears! Sounds like he can be am impact player immediately.

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