With the shot clock approaching zero and every Seawolf on the court well -guarded by the Humboldt State defenders, junior James Davis had no other option than to take the shot. He set his feet behind the three-point line, kept his eyes on the basket, and let the ball roll off his fingertips. Swoosh.
Not only did his teammates on the side of the court stand up on their feet and praise his effort on Saturday night at the Wolves’ Den, his head coach, Pat Fuscaldo, did too.
“The shot clock was winding down and I didn’t want him to pass the ball,” said Fuscaldo. “He shot it and he buried it. It was a big play.”
But, this tricky shot came as no surprise. This season, in just three games and 78 minutes of play, Davis has shot .625 (10-16) from behind the three-point line and .621 (18-29) everywhere else. A concussion kept Davis from competing in the first two games of the regular season, but his first game back against Dominican University, Davis recorded a career high of 36 points, playing all but six minutes.
“He is a really good all-around player,” said Fuscaldo. “He is a truly confident young man. He wants the ball in crunch time. He wants to take the shot. He wants to go to the free-throw line. That’s really been a big help.”
Davis grew up in San Lorenzo, where he attended and played basketball at Arroyo High School. Growing up, he said that his biggest motivators were his parents and his sisters, who have been supporting him throughout his athletic career. He also attributes much of his success to one of his former teachers, Mr. French.
“My fifth-grade teacher really stepped up when I needed him in life,” said Davis. “I am thankful for him and he really taught me values and how to be a teammate.”
Davis started off his collegiate career in 2012 as a freshman at Northern Colorado University where he appeared in a total of 19 games for the Bears. After deciding to transfer schools in the spring of 2013, he was offered a spot on the Seawolves’ 2013-14 roster and has now found Rohnert Park to be a place that he calls home.
Davis found the transition between the different schools, and different divisions, to be a tough one. He admitted that the difference in coaching styles was the most difficult change to adapt to. However, Davis said that one thing that was not hard for him to do when he became a Seawolf was develop close friendships with his teammates. “It was an easy transition as far as teammates go,” said Davis. “Every guy in that locker room is my brother, which is what you want with a team.”
Fuscaldo said that he is “tickled pink” to know he has Davis for another year. “I feel blessed,” he said.
The men’s basketball team has gotten off to a tremendous start in these first few weeks of their season. Sporting a 4-1 overall record and a 2-0 record in conference, it would seem as though the team has come full circle since last season, which Davis is thrilled about.
“I have never really been on a winning team,” said Davis. “So, right now, it feels great to actually pile up some wins.”
Fuscaldo attributes their success this season to their remarkable team chemistry, which he says Davis is a big part of.
“They laugh together. They fight together. They play together,” said Fuscaldo. “They don’t let their egos get in the way of the team and that’s the difference why they are where they are right now and why they are 2-0 in conference.”