Tyler Davis burst onto the College Basketball scene in the 2015-2016 season. As the highest ranking recruit in the best freshman class that Texas A&M had seen in years, Davis piloted the Aggies to their first top 5 ranking in school history. The team looked poised for excellence, but the 2016-2017 season held nothing but disappointment for the fans in College Station, as the basketball squad finished just 16-15 on the year. This season, Texas A&M boasts a top 25 ranking and a veteran corps. With Tyler Davis as their leader, the Aggies will look to climb back to college basketball relevance.

A glance at Davis' past seasons and an examination of his strengths and weaknesses show why he is one of college basketball's best this year.

2015-2016, Texas A&M finished 28-9

In the 2015-2016 season, Tyler Davis headlined an amazing Texas A&M recruiting class. D.J. Hogg, Admon Gilder, and Elijah Thomas joined Davis as the most elite group of players that coach Billy Kennedy had ever recruited in College Station. This looked to be the group that could bring A&M back to the relevance it experienced in the Acie Law days. They did not disappoint. The Aggies rattled off five straight blowout wins to start the season, earning them the number 25 ranking. Two games later, A&M burst onto the national scene with a resounding win over tenth-ranked Gonzaga.

Davis was huge in this win. While he wasn't close to being the leading scorer, he did an amazing job of containing the Bulldogs' giant Przemek Karnowski. This game was just a stepping stone for Davis, as he improved upon that performance for a stellar finish to his freshman season. He averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks that year.

As Davis improved, so did the Aggies. Texas A&M went on a tear in the rest of the regular season, reaching a ranking of 5 by January despite the sudden transfer of freshman Elijah Thomas. The Aggies didn't stay ranked fifth for long, but they did go on to claim a share of the regular season SEC title and make an appearance in the SEC championship game (they lost to co-season champ Kentucky).

All of this success earned Texas A&M a 3 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Aggies breezed by Green Bay in their first game, but hit a snag against Northern Iowa in their second. The Panthers outplayed the Aggies the entire game, holding a twelve point lead with forty-four seconds to go in the game. It seemed like Texas A&M's season was over. Then the unthinkable happened. A series of quick stops, inbound steals, and altogether crazy plays saw the Aggies tie the game up and send it to overtime. The Aggies went on to win the game, capping off one of the greatest comebacks the NCAA tournament has ever seen. Sadly enough for Texas A&M, that would be the last high note of the season, as Oklahoma blew them out in the sweet 16 to end their incredible season.

2016-2017, Texas A&M finished 16-15

While the 2016-2017 season did begin with the Aggies having to bid farewell to seniors Alex Caruso, Jalen Jones, and Danuel House, another solid recruiting class looked to ease the pain of that loss. Billy Kennedy brought in a top-notch power forward in Robert Williams and a solid pass-first point guard in J.J. Caldwell. Things didn't quite work out as planned. Caldwell was forced to sit out the entire season due to an NCAA ruling regarding his high school academics. Without Caruso, Admon Gilder, a natural shooting guard, was forced to play the point. D.J. Hogg was moved to the off-guard to replace Gilder. While Hogg is an incredible shooter, his lack of skill handling the ball really showed.

Gilder struggled at the point, as well, as his dribbling lagged behind and his court vision wasn't fully developed. The team was severely crippled without a true point, and it showed. The Aggies limped through the season to a 16-15 record, failing to make even the NIT tournament.

The two bright spots this season were Tyler Davis and Robert Williams. Williams looked NBA-ready from the start, averaging 11.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game. Davis upped his averages to 14.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 0.9 blocks per contest. A&M had their own set of twin towers, but it looked like the duo could be short-lived. Robert Williams thoroughly impressed NBA scouts.

He came out of the NBA combine projected to go tenth in the draft. It seemed as if a disappointing season would end with the loss of one of the Aggies' best young players. As proven with their tournament comeback, however, things aren't always what they seem with Texas A&M. Much like Michigan State's Miles Bridges, Williams shocked the world by withdrawing from the draft and returning to College Station.

What's in store for 2017-2018?

Texas A&M returns Tyler Davis, Robert Williams, D.J. Hogg, Admon Gilder, J.J. Caldwell, and a slew of other veterans this year. Billy Kennedy brings in his third solid recruiting class featuring the likes of T.J. Starks, Isiah Jasey, and Savion Flagg. The Aggies looked ready to dominate, but questions about their potential arose when the NCAA announced that Caldwell would have to sit out one more game before becoming eligible.

That game was the season opener against number 11 West Virginia. Analysts went as far as to say the Aggies wouldn't score 55 points in that game with Gilder at point. They said Hogg couldn't just shoot his way out of a bad game. They were very wrong. Gilder played amazingly well at the point guard spot, showing off improved dribbling and passing ability. Hogg showed improvement in his ball handling and slashing game. But Tyler Davis topped them all. Davis absolutely dominated the West Virginia frontcourt, torching them for 23 points and 13 rebounds. Behind Davis' monster game (as well as incredible performances from Gilder and Hogg), the Aggies walloped the Mountaineers 88-65.

If Davis can continue to lead this team the way he did against West Virginia, the Aggies will be a tough team to beat.

Add a solid point guard to an already deadly team, and you have a winning machine. It looks to be a redemption year for Texas A&M, and Davis will be at the forefront of that movement.


Davis is a solidly built, aggressive back-to-basket center. He began his college career a bit out of shape, but has conditioned his body nicely over the years. As he has become more toned, his vertical has increased, and his arsenal of moves under the basket has expanded. Davis is a phenomenal rebounder who continues to get better. He's incredibly good at using his large frame to get in position for otherwise unreachable rebounds. This helps him pull down some of the highest offensive rebounding numbers in the country.

Davis is just as capable under the rim on defense as he is on offense, as well. His 7'1" wingspan on top of his 6'10" 265-pound body makes him a nightmare for opposing players looking for easy layups. His shot blocking will only continue to improve with his fitness.


While Davis is a workhorse under the rim, the ways in which he can score are slightly limited. Davis heavily favors the right side of the basket, causing him to become too one-dimensional at times on offense. His discomfort on the left side shows, as he struggles with double teams and often turns the ball over on that side. Davis has struggled with double teams in general. He panics when the defense turns up the pressure and either forces bad passes or gets tied up with the ball.

On defense, while a good shot blocker, his positioning needs work. He often fails to engage his match-up early enough under the basket, which allows the offense to back him down close to the basket far too easily. Although it will improve this year, Davis also struggles guarding the pick and roll. He struggles to hedge far enough on the guards and is just a step too slow recovering onto his man. This shows most against stretch forwards.

Overall analysis

Tyler Davis is a solid player who just keeps getting better. Every season he has played at Texas A&M has seen his scoring, defense, rebounding, and conditioning improve. His sheer determination and work ethic, along with his size and talent, will catch the attention of many NBA scouts.

As of right now, Davis projects as a mid to late second-round pick in the NBA draft. He reminds many of a poor man's Shawn Kemp/Antonio McDyess, although he's also drawn comparisons to former UNC star Sean May. The NBA may come soon for Davis, or it may have to wait another year. Either way, we can count on Davis to continue to improve and show the world why he is one of college basketball's best players.