The UAlbany men’s basketball program had success last year recruiting from the Division II ranks.
This time around, the Great Danes and head coach Dwayne Killings are trying to see if they can replicate that good fortune with a player from the Division III level.
Da’Kquan Davis announced his commitment Monday to the Great Danes with a social media post. A 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard, Davis’ prior playing experience at the college level was with Division III Arcadia in Pennsylvania.
“It was a great feeling,” the 23-year-old Davis said of accepting the Great Danes’ offer to “pursue my dream” to transfer to UAlbany to play Division I basketball.
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Davis didn’t play during the 2021-22 season to preserve his final year of playing eligibility “to take a chance” to play Division I basketball next season. Currently, he is finishing up his degree in sport management at Arcadia.
During his senior season, an abbreviated 11-game campaign due to pandemic-related restrictions in 2020-21, Davis averaged 23.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
In 93 career games with Arcadia, Davis scored a program-record 1,825 points. He shot 34.7% from 3-point territory, 46% overall from the field and 76.8% from the foul line.
At one point, Davis had been committed to join Division I North Texas for the 2021-22 season, but he ended up staying at Arcadia to finish up his degree. Besides UAlbany, Davis said he had given consideration to joining Coastal Carolina during this current recruiting cycle.
A Philadelphia native who played at the city’s Roman Catholic High School, Davis was coached for his senior year of high school by current UAlbany assistant coach Matt Griffin. Davis also played with and against several members of UAlbany’s 2021-22 roster, which had several players with connections to the Philadelphia area.
Davis is the first player to commit to join the Great Danes since the conclusion earlier this month of a school investigation into the men’s basketball program that “substantiated that there was inappropriate physical contact between Coach Killings and a student-athlete during a pre-game hype circle immediately prior to a road game,” last November. The school’s investigation “concluded that this was an isolated incident,” but Killings was suspended for the first five games of the 2022-23 season and directed to pay a $25,000 fine to be donated to a local not-for-profit organization.
Davis attended several Great Danes games this past season, and said he’d developed a “good relationship” with Killings prior to UAlbany formally extending him a scholarship offer last week. Davis said the investigation and its findings were “not really” a concern for him.
“I’m the type of person where I don’t judge people off one mistake,” Davis said. “I feel like he [Killings] is the right person to help me take that next step.”
Davis is capable of playing with or off the ball, and there is ample playing time available in the Great Danes’ backcourt. All five members of the UAlbany starting lineup either exhausted their playing eligibility or entered into the NCAA transfer portal this offseason, including guards Jamel Horton and Matt Cerruti, who each averaged more than 30 minutes per game.
Horton was a second-team all-conference selection and the America East Defensive Player of the Year, while Cerruti was a third-team all-league pick.
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Before playing one season at UAlbany, Cerruti had played at Division II Lock Haven. Since his hire in March 2021, Killings has said his coaching staff would recruit experienced players from the Division II and III ranks as transfers.
Like Cerruti, Davis will join the Great Danes after not playing on a team the previous season. Davis said he’s maintained a rigorous workout routine throughout the last year to stay ready for a Division I opportunity.
“I just kept telling myself that nothing comes easy,” Davis said.
Davis is the third incoming player to commit to UAlbany and the first transfer. Previously, Jonathan Beagle and Marcus Jackson had committed to join UAlbany as freshmen players for next season.
Beagle is a Hudson Falls native and will be on scholarship with the Great Danes, while Jackson — an Amsterdam native — is expected to join UAlbany as a preferred walk-on.
With Davis’ addition, UAlbany has four open scholarships for next season.