Texas A&M Basketball: Assessing Tyler Davis’ 2018 NBA Draft stock

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M basketball junior Tyler Davis officially declared for the 2018 NBA Draft today, but does he have a place in today’s NBA?

Immediately after the men’s Texas A&M basketball team lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16 this year, forward Robert Williams declared for the 2018 NBA Draft. It was not shocking to anyone who follows college or pro basketball.

However, judging by both talent and what the experts say, not many believed anyone else from this talented roster would leave for the NBA.

That may have changed when Tyler Davis officially declared for the 2018 NBA Draft today.

Although the circumstances with Davis are different than with Williams. 44 is definitely gone. He is likely to be a first round pick and could sneak into the lottery after his dominant play in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.

Davis did not hire an agent, meaning he is still eligible to return if he wants. He is simply testing the waters so he can speak to teams and gauge whether or not he would actually be drafted.

Davis was a top 50 recruit coming out of high school and one of the prized acquisitions of Billy Kennedy’s 2015 class. He started immediately as a freshman, mostly thanks to his incredible work ethic and ability to put the ball in the bucket. He made the SEC All-Freshman team and helped the Aggies in their run to the Sweet 16.

He averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds in his junior year and was awarded with First Team All-SEC honors. He assumed the leadership role after most of the 2015-16 squad graduated and was by far the most consistent player on the team this year. Davis’ play was a major factor in their run to the Sweet 16 in 2018.

Despite being one of A&M’s best players in his three years with the squad, there are limitations to Davis’ game and how his game translates to the NBA in general that could prevent teams from falling in love with him the way Aggie fans did.

For one, Davis is limited athletically. He can score against almost anyone with his back to the basket, but will be a liability on the defensive end due to lack of lateral quickness and foot speed. Michigan exploited this to perfection. He also won’t wow anyone with his vertical leap.

The NBA game has changed over the years. Teams no longer value a player’s ability to score from the block or in the mid range. You have to be able to shoot threes or defend to earn meaningful minutes and Davis doesn’t do either particularly well.

He only shot 7-for-26 (27 percent) from three in his career, and shot only one of those before this season, so he’s obviously making an effort to add that to his game. Coming back for a year and honing that craft would do wonders for his draft stock.

Next: Likelihood each Aggie enters 2018 NBA Draft

There may eventually be a place for Davis in the NBA if he continues to improve his jump shot and increase his range. Without that, he may have to resort to playing overseas.

Current projected draft stock: 2nd round to undrafted.

Jeff Shull is a Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.