Davis at home with OSU

On College Hoops
by: COURTESY OF OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, A star player at Jefferson High, Brittney Davis left Minnesota after two seasons and has become a key player for Oregon State.

After two years of building, Oregon State coach LaVonda Wagner finally has a full roster of scholarship players - including former Jefferson High star Brittney Davis.

Davis, a member of two NCAA Tournament teams at Minnesota before transferring to her home state, says the Beavers, with their depth and talent, should think big.

'We can be top four or five in the Pac-10,' says Davis, one of OSU's leading scorers. 'We have a team full of strong players.'

The Beavers were 6-4 heading into Thursday's home game against Texas Southern.

The 5-10 Davis scored 15 in their previous game, a 70-57 win at Hawaii. She scored in double figures in six consecutive games, averaging 14.5 points while shooting 49 percent from the field. Overall, she was at 10.6 points and 43.8 percent (.333 on 3-pointers) after 10 games.

A good defender who is athletic and quick, Davis has been playing mostly the off-guard spot, although she spells Mercedes Fox-Griffin at the point. Generally, Davis has been happy to be in position to play her game.

'Teammates set screens for me, helping me get shots, and I'm slashing to the basket,' she says. '(Wagner) will let me attack more, take more shots I'm comfortable with.'

Not unlike many other transfers, Davis left Minnesota 'because I felt it wasn't the right fit for me, basketballwise. Coaches and I didn't agree on certain things like my type of play, how I'd be playing.'

Davis played in three games in her first season at Minnesota, 2004-05, sitting out the rest of the schedule, mostly because of mononucleosis. She played in 24 games for the Gophers in 2005-06 and played in the NCAA tourney. But she wanted out, and Wagner wanted her, so she transferred and took her redshirt year without losing any playing eligibility.

'I'm grateful to be home and playing again,' says Davis, who has befriended other Portland students, including ex-Jeff buddy Lathen Wallace, an OSU men's player.

Ashley Allen, another 5-10 guard and former transfer from Oregon, leads the Beavers in scoring at 20 points per game. 'A great leader, a great slasher also,' Davis says. 'You have to play her honest, she can do everything - attack, shoot a midrange jumper or a 3-pointer.'

• Ex-Lincoln High point guard Omar Leary continues to excel as the starter at Oklahoma (8-3). He is averaging 7.4 points and shooting .500 from the field (.455 on 3-pointers). The 5-10 junior had 12 points in a recent 83-72 win over Arkansas. Signed by the Sooners from the junior college ranks, partly because prospect Jai Lucas couldn't get into school, Leary fits into coach Jeff Capel's lineup well. 'I think our guys really enjoy playing with him. I think they have a lot of confidence in him,' Capel tells The Oklahoman. Capel says Leary still has lapses of good judgment. 'It's just different demands for a point guard at this level - a louder environment, more adversity, bigger and faster players.'

• Former Wilson High guard Ian Andersen hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 17 points for North Carolina-Charlotte in a 75-63 loss to Tulsa on Tuesday. The 6-5 sophomore is averaging 18 minutes and eight points a game. He is shooting .400 (20 of 50) from 3-point land for the 49ers (6-4).

• Washington 7-foot sophomore Joe Wolfinger, a former Portland resident and Aloha High player, sat the entire game against Portland and played only two minutes Wednesday versus Portland State, after starting against Pittsburgh and hitting two 3-pointers and scoring 12 points against Texas A and M.

Husky coach Lorenzo Romar, looking to improve his team's defense, replaced Wolfinger with Artem Wallace in the starting lineup, and Ryan Appleby returned from an injury to start and shoot 3-pointers.

• Seth Tarver continues to lead Oregon State. The 6-5 sophomore Tarver is averaging 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds, while shooting .514 (.411 on 3-pointers). Senior forward Marcel Jones has given the Beavers 14.2 points and 8.0 rebounds but is shooting only .397.

Coach Jay John says the improved play of Tarver, from Jesuit High, 'could be summed up in 'night and day.' Seth's always been a gym rat, but in high school, he was never defended by people who were like him; he was the biggest guy on the team. He had a learning curve (at Division I last season). What's most impressive is Seth never wavered in his confidence or work ethic.'

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