Mike Davis has done a nice job competing in the SWAC at Texas Southern by taking on transfers that many other coaches wouldn’t think twice about.
The former Indiana coach might not be able to recruit high-level athletes and talented players out of high school to the low-major program, but he’s made a big mark taking risks on certain players.
After having recent success with SWAC Player of the Year Aaric Murray, a former La Salle and West Virginia transfer, Davis told Scott Gleeson of the USA Today that he’s added a few more risky transfers with checkered pasts for the 2014-15 season.
Davis has added former Nebraska guard Deverell Biggs and former Marshall guard and five-star prospect Chris Thomas to Texas Southern this season.
The 6-foot Biggs was the third leading scorer for Nebraska last season at 9.9 points per game before he was dismissed from the team after only 15 games for multiple offenses. Biggs missed multiple film sessions that led to benchings and also had some run-ins with the law thanks to a few driving issues.
Thomas, a 6-foot-5 native of Colorado and former highly-touted five-star prospect, will also get another chance at Texas Southern as well. At Marshall, Thomas averaged 12.7 points and 4 rebounds per game as a sophomore before being dismissed from the program in June for violating team rules.
Both Biggs and Thomas have had multiple issues but Davis has been a steady presence for players looking for a final opportunity to play college basketball. Thomas, in particular, is the interesting case to watch here. The talented wing can really get rolling as a scorer, but he’s had multiple issues at a lot of programs.
Thomas went through a handful of prep schools, ended up at Chipola Junior College and later decommited from Xavier. While Chipola was in the postseason in 2013, Thomas missed the run while he spent time in jail. Thomas then signed with Manhattan but the team pulled his scholarship before he played a game due to a positive test for marijuana.
If Davis gets these two guys to buy in with the rest of the team, he’ll have two of the most talented players in the SWAC at his disposal and Texas Southern could be the favorite in the league.