SMU star Kendric Davis cuts list to final five

SMU star Kendric Davis cuts list to final five

One of college basketball’s best guards is looking for a new home via the NCAA transfer portal. Train SMU star Kendric Davis told CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein that he has cut his list to five schools: Kansas, Texas Tech, TCU, Houston and Memphis. Davis was the American Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year in 2021-22 and is a three-time All-Conference selection who averaged 19.4 points per game last season to lead the league.

Davis could also enter the 2022 NBA Draft while maintaining his collegiate eligibility, as he did last year before returning to the Mustangs. SMU narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament during the 2021-22 campaign before head coach Tim Jankovich later announced his retirement. The Mustangs since hired Georgia State’s Rob Lanier as his replacement.

Multiple outlets pegged Davis as a preseason All-American, and he delivered another strong campaign. An impressive shot-maker off the dribble who can blow by defenders while also making plays for his teammates, Davis would be a strong candidate for preseason All-Big 12 honors if he chooses the Jayhawks, Red Raiders or Horned Frogs. But Houston and Memphis continue to make strong pushes as well and are both coming off NCAA Tournament appearances.

Davis’ career has yet to feature an appearance in March Madness. He started his career at TCU before transferring to SMU, and the Horned Frogs narrowly missed the tournament during Davis’ lone season playing for Jamie Dixon, though the team received an NIT bid and reached the semifinals before losing to Texas that spring. SMU won 19 games during the 2019-20 season upon Davis’ decision to join the Mustangs, but the NCAA Tournament was not held that year due to COVID-19.

Davis previously told Rothstein that Texas and Gonzaga were also in contention, but he appears to have eliminated the Longhorns and Bulldogs. Kansas could use reinforcements at point guard with Remy Martin out of eligibility, although Dajuan Harris is expected to return to Lawrence for his junior season. Texas Tech and TCU are likewise coming off strong seasons and are expected to comfortably make the NCAA Tournament again in 2023. Houston is a perennial Sweet 16 team at this point, and Memphis might be the biggest question mark of the bunch with key pieces departing coach Penny Hardaway’s program after a run to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this spring.

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As a recruit, Davis signed with TCU out of Houston (Texas) Sam Houston High School in 2018 as a three-star prospect in the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Player Rankings. He was the No. 25 point guard in the nation for his cycle.

Will Backus and Dean Straka contributed to this report.

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