The Texas A&M Aggies surprised some basketball pundits by winning 24 games last season and posting the fourth best record in a very strong Big 12 conference. A major factor in the success of A&M was the play of the frontcourt, led by rising senior Bryan Davis who posted careers bests in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. If the Aggies are to compete in another loaded conference this season they will need the upperclassman to take his game to an even higher level something that would also greatly benefit the big man in the eyes of many NBA scouts.
Physically, Davis works fine as a center in college, but he leaves a lot to be desired as far as the next level is concerned. At 6-9 (possibly 6-8), he is too short to be a true post player in the League and having lost some weight since last season, he is too thin to really prevent from getting backed down consistently by bigger frontcourt players. In many cases, undersized big men are able to compensate for their lack of bulk with great athleticism or versatility, but Davis does not stand out here either. Conditioning has always been an issue for the Dallas native, but again, he does appear to have lost some weight, so we will have to wait and see how he fairs this season. A lack of explosiveness and quickness really hurt his stock as a pro player though. Davis plays primarily below the rim, even at his size and doesn't have the quickness to step away from the block on either end of the floor with much success.
Davis's game is built almost exclusively around his ability to operate with his back to the basket, something he does on about 40 percent of his touches according to Synergy Sports. Texas A&M really likes to get him the ball here quite a bit and he does a nice job of establishing position. Davis's back to the basket game is built primarily around trying to overpower defenders with very basic power moves to the rim. Again, his lack of quickness and leaping ability often result in him getting his shot blocked or severely altered by players who can match him physically.
He does show a very soft touch on his shot, something that allows him to finish more shots than he probably should around the cylinder. Davis likes to catch and face up on the block quite a bit and while he isn't going to beat anyone off the dribble or elevate over them, he can hit a contested jumper from time to time, but only from about eight feet and in. While he can do this at the college level with modest at best success (he converts 43 percent of shots in the post) he is probably too flat footed to be able to operate in this manner against NBA defenders who will be much bigger and more athletic than the ones he sees in college. As it stands, he is already quite turnover prone at the collegiate level.
The rest of his points come primarily from offensive rebounds and cuts around the basket when teammates can get him the ball. Davis actually does a pretty good job on the offensive glass thanks to his hustle, wide frame and good length, but again, too many of these put backs fail because he plays below the rim. He also shows very few signs of being able to step away from the paint whatsoever, even to spot up as a mid-range shooter. He hasn't attempted very many shots from this spot on the floor, but his 64 percent free throw shooting should be a pretty good indication of where his abilities as a shooter are.
On the defensive end, Davis is the classic tweener: not strong enough or big enough to cover NBA centers, but not quick enough to cover anyone else. He lacks great lateral quickness and as a result gets beaten by opposing players when left to cover them in isolation situations. Davis actually blocks and alters a fair number of shots given his wingspan and solid timing, but it's questionable whether this part of his game would translate to an NBA setting. As it is, he is already quite foul prone, which limits the amount of minutes he plays. Often times it is defense that makes or breaks undersized big men, and Davis just might not have the physical tools to cover any one position effectively in the NBA.
Overall, Davis has his work cut out for himself in order to make the NBA, looking more like a solid prospect to play professionally overseas, where his style of play would work quite well.