The guard corps for the Texas Longhorns took another hit on Wednesday with the news that Eric Davis Jr. won’t return to the program after he was withheld from competition for allegedly accepting $1,500 from ASM Sports associate Christian Dawkins.
Davis was advised by Texas to retain legal counsel and missed the final six games of the season as a result. And even though the NCAA didn’t provide much direction to the school’s compliance departed in regards to the allegations, Davis likely faced further suspension during his senior season if the investigation determined that he did accept the payments.
Now Davis will avoid that possible suspension and any further legal fees associated with the allegations as he embarks on his professional career.
Here’s the statement he released through the school:
My experience as a Longhorn has been everything that I could have ever hoped for. I am truly grateful to be a University of Texas student-athlete, and I want to thank Coach Smart, the coaching staff and the athletic department for all of their support and assistance with my growth academically, athletically and personally. I especially want to thank my teammates who I grew side-by-side with. Last but not least, I want to thank all of the UT students, alumni and fans who made this journey so amazing!
While I will no longer be an active UT student-athlete, I remain committed to earning my degree, and I will continue to support the Longhorns as a Texas Ex!
Thanks again and Hook ‘Em,
Eric Davis Jr.
A consensus four-star prospect in the 2015 class, Davis originally signed with former head coach Rick Barnes before deciding to remain a member of the Longhorns recruiting class when Shaka Smart took the job. He was ranked as the nation’s No. 52 prospect overall, the No. 13 shooting guard, and the No. 2 player in Michigan, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Davis quickly made an impact, scoring 7.4 points per game as a freshman in 20.6 minutes per game, including two starts. In shooting better than 38 percent from three-point range and close to 80 percent from the free-throw line, he showed significant promise for his sophomore season.
Instead, he regressed, seeing his scoring average drop despite playing six more minutes per game and his three-point shooting drop by 12 percentage points. Basically, Davis spent the entire season mired in what was likely the worst shooting slump of his career.
This season, however, he was able to bounce back despite dealing with several nagging injuries early. Davis averaged 8.8 points per game and his long-range marksmanship rebounded to 34 percent.
Elements of inconsistency remained — Smart labeled him a “feel-good player” who needed to see a shot go in early to be effective and Davis had an odd propensity to miss open shots and make more difficult shots while guarded.
Now the odds of Texas having a senior guard next season go down with the possibility that classmate Kerwin Roach II will also jump to the professional ranks. The Longhorns also recently lost Jacob Young to transfer.
“We’re grateful for the contributions Eric has made to our program,” Smart said. “We wish Eric and his family the very best moving forward.”