Former Ole Miss guard Terence Davis doesn’t have to wait much longer.
The 2019 NBA Draft is set for Thursday at 6 p.m. CT. Davis is vying to become the first Rebel to be selected since Terrico White in 2010. Davis started 82 games for Ole Miss and led the Rebels to the NCAA Tournament last season, their first in four years. He was named second team All-SEC.
He’s seen his stock skyrocket since April, when Davis was ranked as a Top 80 prospect. He’s climbed into the Top 40 after impressive pre-draft performances in the G League elite camp and the NBA Combine after initially not be being invited to the latter. He impressed during the two-day event in Chicago, scoring a combine-high 19 points on day two of the scrimmages. He made the All-Tournament team of the Portsmouth Invitational.
“The process has been long for me, but it’s been great, honestly,” Davis said Wednesday. “Been able to take advantage of the opportunities God placed in front of me with getting invited to the G League elite camp and then being able to take my talents into the NBA Combine. That’s all I can ask for — the opportunity to showcase my talents in front of (NBA general managers). At the end of the day, that’s what did it for me in this process.”
A number of teams have checked in on Davis. He’s worked out for, among others, the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns.
And the feedback he’s received has been overwhelmingly positive. He expects to go in the 22-40 range and doesn’t foresee a scenario where he falls beyond the Los Angeles Clippers at pick No. 45. The Clippers recently contacted the Ole Miss coaching staff and indicated they don’t believe Davis will be available to them when they’re on the clock. He’s had interest from the Milwaukee Bucks, too, which is notable. They have only one selection, No. 30.
“God has been opening doors for me, and I’ve been taking advantage of them,” he said. “Teams like my toughness and things of that sort. They like the way I carry myself off the court. Interviews have been going really well. I think that’s the most important part. If the interviews are going well and your on-court performance is going good as well, there’s nothing else you can really ask for.”
Davis will spend draft night with his friends and family in Southaven. His son — born June 14 — will be there, too. He doesn’t have a preference for where he’ll land, though the Celtics have proven to be one of the more aggressive teams pursuing him. He met with general manager Danny Ainge when he explored declaring for the draft following his junior season, and Ainge and the organization had him in for multiple visits over the last few months. The Celtics hold three first-round picks, the last being No. 22.
Davis appears destined for the last-first or second.
“All those teams’ picks are in the same range of each other,” he said of the aforementioned teams. “That’s good for my draft position, I think. That’s definitely been a help and been a key. Humble as I try to be, I honestly don’t think I get past 40 based on the feedback I’ve been receiving. If I do get past 40, I won’t get past 45. I’m just excited about this whole process and what goes on tomorrow.”
Regardless of where he ends up, Davis will never forget where he came from and the dream he realized in playing four years at Ole Miss. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound Davis — who possesses a 6-foot-8 3/4 wingspan — averaged 15.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a senior. He had nine 20-point games and four double-doubles for the Rebels in 2018-19.
“My freshman year when I came here, I looked at the last time Ole Miss had an NBA player or put an NBA player in the draft,” Davis said. “I think it was like 2010. Nine years later, to be able to call myself an NBA player from the University of Mississippi, that would mean a lot, honestly, for the state of Mississippi and for our university and for the people of this state. I know a lot of people are behind me. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. This has been my plan — attending Ole Miss and keeping my talents in the state of Mississippi and representing Mississippi at the highest level.”