Introduction of Greg Davis, presented by Eric Savage, Class of 2020 and Men's Basketball Team member
In the winter of 1982, Tufts Head Men’s Basketball Coach John White was working on two things – winning a NESCAC Championship for Tufts and recruiting student-athletes to fill the shoes of some very talented upperclassmen. The centerpiece of that recruiting class was one of the most highly-touted basketball recruits in the State of Connecticut, a captain of the Loomis Chaffee team named Greg Davis who led the Pelicans to a 16-4 season and an appearance in the finals of the New England tournament that year.
Expectations were high when Greg arrived at Tufts. But even on a team laden with talented seniors like Bill Ewing, Troy Cooper and Charlie Neal, Greg made his presence felt from the start. He scored 25 points in his freshman debut against Curry College, he put up 27 later that season against Babson, and he finished his first season averaging 11.3 points per game on the veteran Jumbo team.
And from there, Greg would develop into one of Division III’s most dominant scorers over the next three years. He recorded three straight seasons averaging more than 20 points per game – 20.4 as a sophomore, 23.8 as a junior and 21.2 as a senior. He scored 597 points during his junior season, which still ranks as the second-most ever for a season at Tufts. That included 43 points versus Curry, which was the Jumbos’ single-game record at the time. Greg surpassed 30 points eight times that season, which included a remarkable 34-point, 20-rebound outing against Wesleyan. He also had 47 blocks that season and averaged 11 rebounds per game.
Rod Davis, who became Greg’s coach at Tufts in 1983 and is here with us tonight, said, “Greg had an unstoppable array of post moves and deft outside shooting. There were many nights when no one in the gym could stop Greg.”
As a senior, Greg was the captain of the basketball team and received the Athletic Department’s Pop Houston Award as best male athlete. An outstanding leader and teammate on and off the court, Greg was a two-time NESCAC Player of the Year for the Jumbos and is sixth on the Tufts all-time rebounding list. He totaled 1,785 points in his career and held the program’s all-time scoring record for more than 20 years. He averaged an extraordinary 19.2 points in his 93 career games. And since the three-point shot wasn’t introduced until the year after he graduated, it’s worth noting that every one of Greg’s 716 career field goals, which is also a Tufts record, were two-point baskets.
Current Tufts Head Coach Bob Sheldon was Greg’s assistant coach for two seasons. In addition to claiming credit for most of Greg’s achievements, Coach Sheldon had this to say: “Like all great players, Greg had an outstanding presence about him on the basketball court. Often he was the most talented player and dominant player on the court, and by combining that with his outstanding leadership, Greg made Tufts basketball great. His hard work, mental toughness, and commitment to the team made Greg an absolute pleasure to coach.”
As a current member of the Tufts men’s basketball team, it is my honor to introduce Greg Davis and welcome him into the Tufts Athletics Hall of Fame.