A 6-foot-4, long, athletic point guard with excellent court vision, slashing ability and a jump shot, Davis had the potential to play in college.
That potential became reality last week as Davis signed to play at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn.
“I talked to the coach the other day, Mario Stowers, and he’s really excited to have Ryan,” Cartersville head coach Mike Tobin said. “I think it’s really going to be a good situation for him.”
“Coach Stowers just talked to me like he understood where I was coming from,” Davis said of choosing Roane. “He talked to me like a father figure or a brother and made me feel like I could fit in.”
Davis had an outstanding career for the Purple Hurricanes, who went 54-5 in his junior and senior seasons, won three state playoff games and two region championships.
Davis was named both The Daily Tribune News Co-Player of the Year and Northwest Georgia Tipoff Club Co-Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014. He was the Rome News Tribune Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2012 and was selected to the all-tournament team in 2013.
He made three all-county teams, two all-region teams, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class-AAA All-State Team in 2013 and the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association’s Class AAA North All-State Team in 2013.
Davis emerged as a starter his sophomore year and would go on to score 1,355 career points.
“He was an outstanding player. I always look at our record with him as the starting point guard the last two years,” Tobin said. “He just expected to win and he was a gym rat and a great leader for us.
Davis was unstoppable driving to the hoop and scored 17.5 points per game his senior year, but his play was emblematic of Cartersville’s unselfishness as a team and averaged 6.7 assists per game. On a team with an undersized front line, Cartersville’s point guard also helped on the boards, averaging 6.2 rebounds per game.
“What he did, to me, that was most impressive was how he finished in traffic,” Tobin said. “A lot of guys will draw the foul, but he did such a good job of finishing. He would get bumped and got the three-point play instead of just shooting two free throws.”
“I have nothing but good memories of my high school career,” Davis said. “My favorite moment was probably this past year when we played St. Pius in the second round in the rematch of last [year’s loss in the same round] and we beat them.”
Davis had 15 points, six assists and five steals in the 19-point Cartersville victory.
His best game, statistically, was when he had a triple double against Gordon Central on Jan. 8 with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists while only playing 2 1/2 quarters.
His most impressive performance, however, came in Cartersville’s quarterfinal loss to Buford. Davis finished with 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds to keep Cartersville in the game, scoring 11 of his team’s final 15 points.
Davis proved he could play with Division I players in the game against Buford and is hoping to do the same at the next level and eventually move on to a Division I program.
“[Roane] created a spot for him. It’s a JUCO and his goal is to play D-I,” Tobin said. “Early on, Clayton State (Division II) offered him, Newberry (Division II), but the thing is, if you go D-II, you have to sit out a year if you transfer to D-I. He had a lot of D-II schools interested in him, but he wanted to go D-I. That’s been a goal for him, so I’m just pumped for him now that he’s going to have an opportunity to do that.”
“I just wanted a place where I could go play and prove myself,” Davis said of choosing Roane. “I feel like I got overlooked, but I feel like this is my place and now I have to go through it and see where it takes me.”
Davis will join one of Tobin’s former players at Woodland, Greg Murphy, who just completed his freshman year at Roane.
“Greg Murphy, he’s a heck of a player, so it’ll be fun to see those two play together,” Tobin said.
“I felt good about going to play with Greg Murphy from Woodland,” Davis said. “We played with and against each other a few times, and we just became friends.”
Davis is an unusual point guard for college basketball in that he is 6 foot 4. Still, Davis hopes to play the position at the next level.
“A lot of these schools had concerns about him being a point guard because they expect their point guards to be ultra quick and not his size,” Tobin said. “[Stowers] said he’s going to be playing point guard for Roane State, so he should be good to go.”