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Crimson Corner: J.D. Davison has Arrived

Davison is the Crimson Tide's highest-rated signee since Collin Sexton and is looking to make an impact on the program in his freshman season.

It's been a long time since this much excitement ahead of an Alabama basketball season. While there was certainly a degree of anticipation ahead of the 2020-21 season, this season has fans rearing for the Crimson Tide to take to the court.

Following Alabama’s SEC regular-season and tournament titles and a trip to the Sweet 16 last season, anticipation has reached its peak. However, last year’s success is not the only reason why Crimson Tide fans are so excited this year.

One of the gems of the 2021-22 Alabama men’s basketball team is freshman guard J.D. Davison. If you take a look at his tape from Calhoun High School, you’ll quickly see why. Davison combines speed and athleticism with a degree of showmanship that made him one of the most exciting players to watch in last year’s recruiting class.

And this season, he’ll finally make his debut in a crimson jersey.

On Tuesday afternoon, Alabama held its first open practice session of the season with the media. To no one’s surprise, Davison was on the court and playing particularly well and his quickness resulted in several fast-break baskets in the limited media viewing time.

While Davison wasn’t available to speak to the media, Oats took time to address Davison and what he’s seen from him so far as a true freshman. Prior to the season beginning, Oats was impressed by Davison’s IQ despite him being more on the quiet side during recruitment.

“Like all freshmen, there are going to be some inconsistencies,” Oats said. “They have to realize what it takes at this level on a daily basis but I’ll say this, he’s a quiet kid. He didn’t talk much during the recruitment. [Alabama assistant coach Antoine] Pettway had done a great job building that relationship before I even got here and we continued to work on it and we’re fortunate to have him here.”

“If a guy doesn’t talk a ton in the recruitment, you’re not sure if their basketball IQ is going to be all that. His basketball IQ is actually pretty high and he’s very coachable. You always wonder if a guy is rated that high, how coachable are they going to be. Do they think they have everything figured out? He’s the opposite of that.”

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Davison heads into his time with the Crimson Tide as the program’s highest-rated signee since Collin Sexton. At 6-foot-3 with length and quickness, Davison fits perfectly into Oats’ fast-pace, blue collar style of basketball.

Being named the state of Alabama’s Mr. Basketball following his final season in high school and being at the top of the high school basketball scene, one would understand if Davison didn’t respond well to coaching due to him thinking his game doesn’t need improvement. This is the case with a lot of highly successful athletes, with their response to coaching not going as well as head coaches would like.

According to Oats, though, Davison has shown the opposite attitude.

“He wants to be coached,” Oats said. “He wants you to make him better. He’s more talkative than you think and his IQ is pretty high. So the combination of all that to go with his athletic ability and the skill level that he’s got, he’s going to be really good for us. I’m pretty happy with where he is right now.”

Alabama’s annual Tide Tipoff event takes place this Friday evening, where the team will be formally introduced to the public for the first time. On Sunday, a charity exhibition with Louisiana will be the first opportunity for fans to see the Crimson Tide compete inside Coleman Coliseum.

After that, it will be just a couple of short weeks until Alabama faces Louisiana Tech in the season opener on Nov. 9 (8 p.m. CT, SEC Network). With basketball fever at the Capstone at an all-time high, it’s safe to assume that Davison and his teammates will be ready to go for the challenge.

One of the things that Oats referenced that Davison needed to improve on was his aggressiveness on the court. However, Oats also said that the young guard is coming along just fine in that department.

“We have to get him being more aggressive,” Oats said. “I thought he was more aggressive [on Tuesday]. We’ve got to get him playing more athletic on the offensive and defensive end. I thought he had some of that today so he’s coming.”