By: Paul Fritschner ~Staff Writer~
Saturday, Coach Mack answered questions for about 10 minutes in his postgame press conference. He was giving thorough answers reflecting on the day’s game and where the team stands as a whole when he completely shifted gears.
After answering the final question, he reached across the table, grabbed a piece of paper and delivered an unexpected announcement to Musketeer fans: Myles Davis, after a 129-day, 15-game indefinite suspension, would be reinstated to the basketball team.
“I think he needs to continue to make good choices in order to keep his standing within our program,” Mack said. “He’s obviously had a long road to this point, and his role on our basketball team will be no different than the other 14 guys in our locker room. He’s going to earn everything he gets from this point forward.”
As classes began Monday, Davis took his place on a Xavier team that is just rounding into form.
The future of Davis’ career in a Xavier uniform was in jeopardy when he was suspended early in the school year after being charged with a misdemeanor criminal damaging charge. As the days progressed, Mack stated that the terms for Davis’ return were specifically defined and outlined to him, and it was up to him to fulfill them.
While all the details regarding his case were never disclosed, Davis is ready to be back and contribute to the program.
“I am appreciative of the chance to return for the remainder of my senior season,” Davis said in a statement. “I am looking forward to playing my part in helping Xavier compete for a Big East Championship and much more. There isn’t any place I’d rather be at to finish my college career.”
He’s coming off a season where he averaged nearly 11 points per game and was generally considered the leader on one of the best teams Xavier has ever seen.
What will now be interesting is to see how playing time develops and if/when he returns to the starting lineup. The minutes Davis receives could come from a variety of places: Edmond Sumner might have some of his enormous workload relieved, Quentin Goodin may see reduced action or Davis may take minutes here and there from other guards as the lineups constantly switch.
He has 15 games remaining plus tournaments, so he will have to gear up quickly to make the most of the time he has left. There have been reports by WCPO reporter Shannon Russell that he has looked good in limited action since returning to the court and that he had been working out by himself during his time away from the team.
Davis will be thrown into the fray of conference play, as the Musketeers begin their crucial five game stretch against high-quality opponents. After Tuesday’s 79-54 loss to Villanova, Xavier moves on to play Butler, Creighton, Georgetown and Cincinnati. Excluding Georgetown, the other four teams are all ranked in the Top 25. Around 11 p.m. on Jan. 26, we’ll have a fairly accurate picture of where this team is and what heights they can reach.