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Davis Named to NJCAA Basketball All-America First Team

April 18, 2012

Ryun Davis  
Sophomore forward Ryun Davis was named to the NJCAA
All-America first team.

St. Louis Community College men’s basketball coach Randy Albrecht knew he’d need a lot from Ryun Davis at the season’s outset.

The burly sophomore forward, who had a strong freshman season for Albrecht at Meramec, was one of only three returners for the 2011-12 squad, the first time that STLCC competed with districtwide teams. Despite his team’s future having such uncertainty, Davis turned down offers from other Region XVI colleges to play for a second year with Albrecht. The return engagement turned out superbly for both parties.

Davis was the offensive catalyst all season for an Archers team that won 22 games and was ranked 15th nationally in the final NJCAA poll. For his efforts, Davis was named to the NJCAA All-America first team, joining Eric Lytle as the only Albrecht-coached players at STLCC to gain first-team honors in the NJCAA Division II era.

For the year, Davis averaged a team-best 17 points and eight rebounds per game. For Albrecht, what stood out about Davis’ season was his ability to produce consistently, even when opposing teams double or triple-teamed him in the paint.

“He just had to produce for us to be successful,” Albrecht said. “If he didn’t go out and play well, our chances of winning were really slim.”

While Albrecht would have liked to limit the minutes for his sophomore forward, the Archers’ lack of depth at the forward position made that unfeasible.

“We had no other size, and we didn’t have much bench,” Albrecht said. “He had to play way more minutes than he probably should have. I think, in certain stretches, that probably wore him down a bit, but that makes his last game against Penn Valley (when he scored a career-high 33 points) even more impressive.”

Stepping up

Despite the uncertainty at the season’s outset, Davis was no stranger to winning. As a freshman at McCluer North High School in 2007, the Stars won a state championship. As a freshman with Meramec, the Magic collected 29 wins and earned a trip to the national tournament. That experience translated naturally to a leadership role for Davis.

It wouldn’t take long during an Archers practice or game this past winter to see where the balance of authority was among players.  Davis led, both vocally and by example, and his teammates were quick to follow.

“Guys listened to him,” Albrecht said. “He knew we always had to work harder.”

For Davis, the accolades were never part of his motivation.

“I didn’t expect all this,” Davis said, referring to his bevy of postseason awards. “I didn’t expect to be first-team All-American, didn’t expect to be Player of the Year. I just want to play ball, and I was blessed to be in this situation.”

Instead of clearing space on his mantle for his new haul of awards, Davis simply views the accolades as an opportunity to continue playing the game he loves.

At the outset, Davis thought this season could very well be his last on the court. As an All-American, his prospects of continuing on to a four-year school have brightened.

“I was thinking that this was kind of the end,” Davis said. “But being an All-American, a lot of coaches see that, and might be more likely to give me a chance. I’m going to take it as far as I can.”