Syracuse Basketball: Why 4-star Jyáre Davis committing is big pick-up for front court

Delaware 4-star forward Jyáre Davis will transfer to Syracuse basketball. Here's why this is huge for the team's front court.
Delaware 4-star forward Jyáre Davis will transfer to Syracuse basketball. Here's why this is huge for the team's front court. / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

Delaware senior forward Jyáre Davis, a four-star transfer prospect, has committed to Syracuse basketball, and this is a pivotal get for the Orange coaching staff.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Davis, who has one year of collegiate eligibility left and visited the Hill this past weekend, is a versatile player who can play either small forward or power forward. His pledge to the 'Cuse provides the team with critical depth in the front court ahead of the 2024-25 season.

The current transfer-portal window opened on March 18 and will run for 45 days. Thus far, at least six players from the Orange's 2023-24 roster have hit the portal, and sophomore point guard Judah Mintz is heading to the 2024 NBA Draft.

Regarding departures via the portal, the 'Cuse has lost sophomore power forward/center Maliq Brown and junior forward Benny Williams, who was dismissed from the program in early February and has transferred to Big 12 Conference school UCF.

Given some of these transfers out of Syracuse basketball, a key priority for Orange coaches this off-season was to secure additional depth at the forward spots, and the 'Cuse has done just that in landing Davis.

Experts praise new Syracuse basketball commit Jyáre Davis for his athleticism, strength and versatility.

The Orange still has scholarships available ahead of 2024-25, but as it stands at this juncture, the team's position group at forward includes sophomore Chris Bell, Davis and Donnie Freeman, a 2024 five-star player from Washington, D.C.

I have no idea what the team's starting rotation might entail next term, given that head coach Adrian Autry and his staff are still likely to bring in more players this off-season.

Bell was a starter in 2023-24, so I would assume he will start again in the upcoming stanza. Whether Freeman or Davis is in the starting rotation isn't all that important to me, because both of them will receive a sizable amount of run in Autry's rotation.

The pivotal component here is that Davis is an experienced, productive player who creates a strong trio of forwards within the Syracuse basketball 2024-25 line-up.

In 2023-24 as a senior for Coastal Athletic Association ("CAA") member Delaware, Davis averaged 17.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while making 46.6 percent from the field, 81.4 percent from the free-throw line, and 25.6 percent from 3-point land.

Top national analyst/scout Jamie Shaw of On3 said this to me on Monday evening, not long after Davis said on social media that he was transferring to the Orange: "Jyáre Davis is a productive and experienced player. He has a strong frame with good length and nice size. Davis had nine games of 20+ points and nine double-doubles this season. He’s scored over 1,300 points in his three seasons playing at Delaware. He is at his best working from the midrange in where he shows nice touch. He knocks down his free throws and he rebounds his position well. He has consistently produced."

In a separate evaluation on Monday, 247Sports director of scouting Adam Finkelstein wrote in part that Davis "provides a versatile, inside-out, scoring threat who has a strong frame and physical style. He can operate with his back to the basket on the block or in the mid-post, where he goes right into contact. Davis is a threat to attack the rim off the bounce, or score over top of smaller defenders in the mid-range area. He also flashes a solid passing instinct, especially when cutters move for him on his post catches, with a 15% assist rate. ... Davis shot just 25.6% from the three-point line last year, but shot a ball with good loft and decent touch when he had room and rhythm. He also converted 81% of his free-throws and had an effective field goal percentage of 53.6 in spot-up situations, so there is potential there, and if he becomes a more reliable floor-spacer it would help his game go to new levels. ... Defensively, Davis is more four than three right now, with his physical strength, but he rebounds the ball plenty well enough for that spot."

I think that the trio of Bell, Davis and Freeman will be a strength of the 'Cuse in 2024-25. Bell is a knock-down shooter from deep, although he's not as physical. He's an athletic wing, and both his defense and rebounding improved in the second half of last season.

Freeman is a highly touted incoming freshman who is ranked No. 10 nationally in the 2024 class by On3. He's a physical player who finishes well in transition, rebounds with proficiency and has vastly improved his 3-point shooting. But he's also an incoming freshman who will have to adjust to the college game.

Davis, by extension, will want to improve his shooting percentage from beyond the arc. To reiterate, though, he's a high-level scorer with prowess in both the mid-range and in the interior. His physicality is huge as it pertains to suiting up at power forward, while his athleticism and versatility will enable him to also get playing time at the three as a small forward out on the wing.

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