Basketball's Jermain Davis to transfer

BY SCOTT MILLER | MARCH 26, 2009 7:40 AM

Jermain Davis confirmed early Wednesday evening he will transfer from the Iowa basketball program to Minnesota State-Mankato.

Calling his time in Iowa City “frustrating,” the junior, who said he made this decision some two months ago, alerted head coach Todd Lickliter of his intentions on Monday.

“I think mostly it was unhappiness and not understanding my role,” he said in a telephone interview. “I didn’t know if I was going to be on the floor one game or not.

“I just felt like … I wasn’t here mentally.”

Though he started 11 contests for the Hawkeyes, Davis, who averaged 4.5 points per game this past season, contended Lickliter’s slow-paced offensive system didn’t fit his talents and that he would be better suited taking his high-paced game to another program.

“[I’m] more [of an] up-and-down [player]. … [I like to] pressure the ball handlers, jump passing lanes and stuff,” said Davis, who will retain his last year of eligibility by playing for the Division-II Mavericks.

The 6-4 guard came into Iowa this year as a junior-college prospect from Kirkwood Community College, where he averaged slightly more than nine points per game. At Iowa’s media day on Oct. 13, Davis showed off his teethy grin as he spoke about the upcoming season.

“Oh, man I can’t wait — can’t wait,” he said at the time. “The excitement is building. It’s really building.”

But from that point forward, the junior’s season was anything but exciting. At times, Davis, preferring to play at a faster pace, forcing the issue. Other times, he settled for guarded jumpers in the half-court set.

As a result, his playing time was as sporadic as his streaky 3-point shot.

On the season, Davis was 42-of-123 (34 percent) from the field, including 17-of-69 (25 percent) shooting from 3-point range.

Davis’ time in the Black and Gold, however, wasn’t always rocky. His best game came in a Dec. 12 win over Iowa State, when he contributed 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

“It is fun to watch guys who don’t get caught up in what their role is,” Lickliter said about Davis on Dec. 12. “They just want to contribute, and he has been that way.”

But by the time Big Ten season was in full force, Davis’ lack of a role was one of the main factors that heavily contributed to his transferring.

“I kind of had time to go home, and talk to family and stuff, and just really look at the facts,” he said. “I think it was disappointing a little bit. I felt like we were really close in games and stuff. … On a personal basis, I thought I would be more of a contributor than I was.

“We were young and stuff. I didn’t really know my role. … I kind of didn’t want my senior year to be like this.”

Reports of other Iowa basketball players potentially transferring have not been confirmed by The Daily Iowan.

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