The Floyd Street Tribune: The value of Dre Davis's intensity, plus schedule thoughts and more
Inside: How Louisville wing Dre Davis evaluated his freshman season and why his role is critically important to the Cardinals. Plus, schedule thoughts and a new podcast.
Thanks for reading The Floyd Street Tribune! Missed the previous newsletters? That’s OK. With a paid subscription, you can access all of ‘em here. In the past week, I laid out practice thoughts and observations from the Red-White scrimmage.
The matchup’s intensity commanded attention. Rep by rep at Louisville’s practice two weeks ago, freshman wing Mike James and his sophomore counterpart, Dre Davis, worked against each other with the kind of energy and vigor an observer might expect in a February ACC game.
There might be louder voices on Louisville’s squad. There might be more talented players on Louisville’s squad. But no players better embody the tenacity and toughness Chris Mack wants his team to have than Davis and James. That’s why James’s season-ending Achilles’ tendon injury is such a bummer, but it’s also why Davis’s role is so important this season for Louisville.
“That’s something that’s always been a part of me and a part of my game,” said Davis, a sophomore from Indianapolis. “It’s something Coach Mack wants to keep bringing out of me. I want to take that challenge head on and be an energy-giver for this team.”
I’ll be honest: Earlier this offseason, I wasn’t sure what kind of role Davis would have this season. Louisville returned Samuell Williamson and Jae’Lyn Withers as the likely starting forwards and the two favorites to have breakthrough campaigns after the departures of David Johnson and Carlik Jones. Miami transfer Matt Cross, a 40-percent 3-point shooter and former top-100 prospect, committed to the Cards in February, before the season even ended. James, another four-star prospect, signed out of the 2021 prep class, too.
Where would there be room for a 6-5 small forward who — while emerging as a strong defender and promising post-up option — shot 25 percent from 3 last season, struggled with turnovers and posted the lowest defensive rebounding rate on the team?
Yet in watching two practices and the annual Red-White scrimmage, the answer is pretty obvious to me. Louisville has to find time for Davis. He is too valuable.