Busting Brackets

Illinois Basketball: Rising Sophomore Jake Davis enters the mix for Coach Underwood and the Fighting Illini

Mercer transfer Jake Davis elects to play in the orange uniform within the Big 10 during the 2024–2025 season.

Coach Underwood has obtained a shooter in the rising sophomore.
Coach Underwood has obtained a shooter in the rising sophomore. / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

It was a successful season for Illinois, making it to the Elite 8 but being defeated by the national defending champions, UConn. Nonetheless, it was an accomplishment and their first appearance since 2005 to play in the fourth game of the NCAA Tournament.

It's offseason time, meaning transfer portal duties for coaches all over the college basketball land. As of April 1st, the Fighting Illini have collected their first commitment for this coming basketball year.

Jake Davis, out of McCordsville, Indiana, averaged nine points, five rebounds, one assist, and 42 percent shooting, as well as 39 percent from deep, for the Mercer Bears.

Davis was a part of Mercer's 16-17 season as they finished 7th overall in the Southern Conference. He tied the team in three-point percentage with Robby Carmody but led in minutes throughout the 33 games he played.

Standing at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, Davis can be played at either the guard or the wing positions for Coach Underwood within the lineup. He will be joining a roster that accumulated 35 percent from three this past year. The super-senior Terrence Shannon Jr. headlined the team with 77 3PTs made.

The rising sophomore possesses a quick trigger from downtown and mainly converts from the catch-and-shoot position. This skill will be deadly in Illinois' offense once the season is underway.

Davis' season-high in points came on December 9th versus the Georgia State Panthers, as he punched in 26 points on 10-13 FG and 4-7 3PT.

There's no way around it; this guy can score the basketball.

It will be beneficial in the offseason for him to work on creating his shot around the perimeter. That will only take his game to greater heights moving forward during his collegiate career. The shot is there, without question, and having a few tricks up his sleeve will not hurt one bit.

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Huge pickup for the Fighting Illini, and there should be more to come.