Davidson emerges as Waukegan's all-purpose leader
The DeShawn Davidson transformation is now complete -- and he's playing to rave reviews.
The Waukegan guard has officially arrived as an all-purpose backcourt star: a versatile, do-everything performer who's as effective at running a team and setting up an offense as he is pouring in buckets from all angles and areas of the court.
Bulldogs Coach Ron Ashlaw always knew it could be this way, even when their learning pains were clear and apparent to most everyone who watched them last season.
"Last year, as a junior it was more of an adjustment," he told the Lake County Gazette. "He was a scorer being slammed into a point guard role. We knew that we had a setup year to get things more ready for this year. That experience has made him a better basketball player this year.”
Waukegan is a vastly better team as a result -- evidenced by its 6-3 start -- winning two of the first three in the tough North Suburban Conference.
“It has a lot to do with me learning to be a better leader,” said Davidson, averaging 15 points while also orchestrating the Bulldogs’ offense. “On our team, everyone can score, so now when I do it just makes us better. For me, being the point guard has not been so much about thinking more, just faster.”
Whatever the scheme calls for, whatever the Bulldogs need to conquer their challenges -- Ashlaw said Davidson can provide it all.
“He’s a high IQ guy and our motion offense lets him play the game and be the basketball player I knew he could be,” Ashlaw said.
The veteran coach feels as he’s never felt before and, with Davidson, could be on the verge of achieving one of his greatest dreams.
"I don't know if I've ever had that in my coaching career, where I have had this much balance and potential scoring," Ashlaw said. "It's a fun problem to have, for sure.”
Meanwhile, the buzz surrounding Davidson and his being a Division 1 player waiting to be signed continues to build.
According to Ashlaw, recruiting calls and letters regarding the 6-1 spark plug are rising, and how well he performs during the Holiday Tournament season could help seal the deal for him.
“We tell him just play the game, all the schools have trained guys that can see he can do it all,” he said.
For now, Davidson will continue to focus on matters at hand, namely the Bulldogs’ season and running the team’s high-octane offense.
“It means a lot to me that coach trusts me enough to put the ball and the job of running our offense in my hands,” Davidson said. “My job is to be the best I can be for my teammates, and I don’t want to let them down. Everything after that will have to take care of itself.”