By Tom Ballato
Will Davis II did it all in college for UC Irvine. He rebounded, defended, and scored. He made an everlasting impact on the program, helping them reach their first ever NCAA Tournament in 2015. To add to his collegiate accolades, Davis II was also named the Big West Defensive Player of the Year for the 2012-2013 season.
The 6’8″ forward played four season with UC Irvine and put up averages of 10.4 points and 6.4 rebound per game. He finished 9th all-time on UC Irvine’s scoring list, is their 3rd leading rebounder in school history, and ranks 1st in blocks.
In 2015, Davis II was named the Big West Tournament MVP when UC Irvine won their conference tournament and clinched a berth to the NCAA Tournament. This is a memory that Davis II still brings up when talking about his time at UC Irvine.
UC Irvine was a #13 seed in the NCAA Tournament who were matched up against #4 Louisville. In the final minutes, fans could feel that there could be an upset with the game close in score. Fans were also amazed all game long of the size of UC Irvine’s frontcourt that features Davis II and 7-foot-6 center, Mamadou Ndiaye. They almost pulled off the upset, but came up short 57-55. In the game, UC Irvine were able to compete for 40 minutes against a Louisville team that featured NBA talent in Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell. That game was a testament just how far UC Irvine had come in the four years Davis II was with the program. They waited almost 40 years to make it to the tournament and they almost made history again in their first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Davis II finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds against Louisville. “I was extremely proud of my team. Nobody expected the game to be that close besides us. We obviously would have loved to win, but we still made history for UC Irvine.”
His professional career began with a year in Greece in 2015-2016. After a successful rookie season, Davis was drafted by the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League in the 2nd round with the 6th pick. Spent parts of two seasons with Reno before being traded to the Windy City Bulls (Chicago Bulls affiliate).
In 2018 the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G-League selected Davis II in the first round (6th pick), but he didn’t report to camp. Instead he went to Canada to play for the Edmonton Stingers. After a 1-2 start to the season, the Stingers released him. He found work quickly and signed to play in Cyprus.
Davis also spent time playing basketball in Dubai for two months. In February of 2019, the Capital City Go-Go traded him to the Long Island Nets. He finished the season out for the Nets and in 10 games, averaged 11.5 minutes, 4.6 points, and 2.9 rebounds.
In his short professional career, Davis II has developed mostly in the NBA Developmental League (G-League). He spoke about his development in the G-League and said, “I think just the high level of play in the G-League it helps playing against all competition. The coaches I have had helped develop different aspects of my game. Playing in the G-League definitely is a place to develop your game because the three organizations I have been a part of have given me different things I can add to my game and I am grateful.”
Since going undrafted in 2015, Davis II has worked on building his game. He is an athletic big that is a good pick and roll player that runs the floor extremely well. He spoke about improving on his 3 point shooting going into this season which would allow him to stretch the floor.
He spent this past summer playing in the Drew League and in The Basketball Tournament. In late September, Davis II signed to play with CSA Steaua Bucuresti in Bucharest, Romania.