Assessing Terence Davis and D’Marcus Simonds
November 19th, 2017
by Alan Lu
I decided to catch the Mississippi-Georgia State contest on WatchESPN, as they played this past Friday, though it was on at the same time as the Saint Louis-Providence title game in the 2K Classic. I took the time to watch Mississippi’s junior guard Terence Davis and Georgia State’s sophomore lead guard, D’Marcus Simonds, as both scored the basketball quite often in this match. Here are my thoughts on how they played, as well as how their games may project to the NBA. Mississippi’s 6-4 junior guard, Terence Davis played very well, as he is a skilled, two-way player that possesses very good athletic abilities. He can shoot and score the basketball, as he can knock down numerous long-range jumpers, and he is also a good shot blocker, especially for a player his size. Davis is a good shooter that can make many spot-up threes from beyond the arc. He can get his shot off quickly, and he was able to knock down numerous outside shots after he was left open by defenders. Plus, Davis also used a step back move to calmly make a pull-up three after having made several long-range jumpers off of spot-up opportunities. In addition, he also showed a good ability to garner scores off the dribble. Davis is a high riser that possesses an adequate first step, and he can excel at attacking the basket if he has his footing. There was one play where he managed to throw down a thunderous dunk off of a high post drive. However, sometimes he can be called for traveling, and he also committed a charging foul when attempting to pass out of a drive another time, as Davis may not always display great footwork, ball handling, nor change directions very well. He also can score on hustle plays. Davis was also able to score on a strong put back in traffic, and he also managed to draw an extra free throw afterwards. However, he showed below average playmaking skills. For the positives, Davis would look to make the extra pass, and he generally would throw them accurately to his teammates. However, he also committed too many turnovers in this game, as he would commit traveling violations on drives to the hoop, and he also committed a charging foul after trying to kick it out off of a drive. Davis also had a ball taken away from him after dribbling it up the floor off of a defensive rebound, and he can look to improve his ball handling skills, and court vision moving forward. Plus, he also rebounded the ball well. Davis showed a knack for hauling in tough boards on both ends of the floor, and he can quickly leap up to collect them for his team. Also, he showcased above average defensive skills. Davis is a very good shot blocker for a player his size, as he possesses a great blend of leaping ability, timing and instincts to do so. He is a rangy defender that can cover a good deal of ground, and he can quickly rotate to swat numerous shots to force misses. Davis will aggressively contest numerous shots to force misses, and he also managed to rip a ball away from an opposing ball handler to obtain a steal. However, he can be a bit undisciplined defensively. Sometimes, he will over-help in the paint, which can lead him to give up too much space to his man to allow three-point baskets. Other times, he may get beat off the dribble, or commit fouls on drives, and one time, he bit wildly on a pump fake while trying to aggressively close out on a shooter, which led him to foul is opponent. Even despite this, Davis’ solid help defense skills and gifted ability to block shots can make it difficult for his opponents to get good shots up. Overall, Terence Davis is a very athletic combo guard that could excel as a two-way player at the NBA level. He excelled at knocking down threes, blocking shots, and at making hustle plays on both ends of the floor to help get his team the win. Right now, it may be too early to get a feel for where his true draft stock should be, but he did play very well against Georgia State. If Davis can continue to play well, especially against top notch competition, Davis could end up being a legitimate candidate to go in the first round for the 2018 NBA Draft. Georgia State’s 6-3 sophomore point guard, D’Marcus Simonds also put forth a satisfactory showing, as he was almost able to help get his team a win against Mississippi. He is a solid athlete that excelled as a scorer for his team, and at times he was able to help out as a facilitator and defender. Though his team lost, his strong play was a key factor in helping his team stay in the game all the way until the end. Simonds really excelled at getting scores on strong, aggressive drives to the basket. He has a very good first step to the hoop, and he can simply bull his way to the hoop due to possessing great speed, deft handling skills, as well as body control and shooting touch once he gets his way to the paint. He can use quick dribble moves as he can finish plays with either hand, though he seems to prefer scoring with his right hand. His best play of the game was when he threw down an emphatic, two-handed dunk in transition. Also, Simonds can also finish plays in traffic, though sometimes he can miss wildly or get his shots blocked on occasion due to looking to overtly force the issue. Plus, he also can score on hustle plays, as he was able to do so off of a put back, and he also managed to draw free throws off of a cut to the hoop. However, he will need to improve his jump shot. He had trouble consistently knocking down jumpers, though he didn’t take them that often, as he would usually look to get all the way to the hoop to score off the dribble, but Simonds did manage to utilize a quick jab step and step back move to make a nifty pull-up three from beyond the arc, so he may have the potential to develop into being a good shooter over time, but he also displayed below average playmaking skills. For the positives, Simonds is a speedy player that can deftly handle the basketball, and he can be a solid playmaker when he plays with patience and doesn’t look to overtly force the issue on offense. He can make an assortment of passes, and he can kick it out to shooters off of quick drives to occasionally show his ability to make reads. However, he was quite turnover prone in this game. Simonds can be too predictable on offense at times, as he may tend to try to bullishly drive his way to the hoop too often, so defenders may be able to time his tendencies to get him to commit charging fouls, and they can rip balls away from him. Also, he may tend to force passes in traffic, which can end up getting deflected and intercepted by defenders. He also was able to garner his fair share of boards when he was on the floor. Simonds will fight to get rebounds, and he did manage to jostle a ball away from an opponent to help his team get a defensive rebound. Also, he showcased above average defensive skills. Simonds is a quick, instinctive player that can force turnovers to help his team come away with steals, and he will also look to actively look to contest jumpers to force misses, but sometimes he can be too aggressive on the defensive end, which can lead him to commit reach-in fouls when defending his opponents off the dribble. Sometimes, he can get beat on dribble moves, which may cause him to allow scores on occasion. In general, D’Marcus Simonds is an athletic, skilled lead guard that can score the basketball. But he will need to improve in the finer points of the game, as he will have to improve his jump shot, playmaking skills, and position defense. If he can do these things, he could increase his chances to end up being a potential first round pick in the future. Other Notes: Mississippi’s 6-4 senior combo guard, Markel Crawford is a very athletic basketball player that excels at attacking the basket to garner scores and draw many free throws. He can get numerous scores on strong drives to the hoop, and he also managed to throw down a thunderous dunk in transition. But sometimes, he would commit careless turnovers on offense, but still, Crawford put forth a solid performance in his team’s win over Georgia State, and he is a player that could potentially end up being invited to Portsmouth in 2018, which could help him increase his odds to end up on an NBA summer league roster.