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Seth Davis is a college basketball analyst and writer for Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports. He graduated from Duke University. Seth was kind enough to take the time to speak with us!
360: As a Duke University grad AND a college basketball analyst, you must be following the team extra close. Do you think that this season’s recruiting class of Jahlil, Tyus, Grayson, and Justise could go down as one of the best in recent memory? How do you think these guys will mesh, and how will the team perform next season?
SD: I’ve seen all those guys play, and while it is probably the best recruiting class in the country for next season, I’m not ready to put them on that historic pedestal just yet. To me, recruiting classes need to be judged in the rear view mirror, not through the windshield. The best part about the class is that all of those guys play different positions and do different things, so it’s not hard to envision them playing well together. That is not always the case with highly-ranked classes.
360: Who do you think the most overrated and underrated prospects are in this upcoming draft class?
SD: I don’t consider myself a recruiting expert, so I’m not really qualified to answer this question. I’m not a big underrated/overrated guy anyway. I always ask: Who’s doing the rating?
360: Who is the best college basketball player that you have ever seen?
SD: The best player I ever saw live was Len Bias. I was a teenager growing up in Maryland when he was playing for the Terps. He’s still the best combination of power, grace and skill that I’ve seen. Such a tragedy what happened to him. He could have been one of the alltime greats.
360: I have many friends who go to Camp Equinunk in Pennsylvania, and I know that you’re a proud alum of this summer camp. What kind of role did Equinunk play in your life?
SD: Wow, an Equinunk question! That is really cool. Please tell them to come say hello to me on visiting day or during color war. I actually wrote a book about Equinunk, which was published back in 2001. That place is very special to me. My parent met there, I spent 14 summers there, and now two of my sons go there. (My youngest will go when he’s old enough.) Of all the experiences in my life, my time at Equinunk did the most to shape my character and personality. Summer camp is a great place to come of age. You have to learn how to deal with all kinds of people and personalities, and your strengths and weaknesses get laid bare for all the world to be. Most of my best friends are still my camp friends. It was a very special time in my life, which is why I feel like I never left.
360: There has been a recent buzz in the NBA about raising the age limit one year, effectively eliminating the one-and-done practice of NCAA basketball. Are you in favor of this proposition? Why or why not?
SD: The buzz you refer to came after Adam Silver said publicly he was in favor of raising the age minimum to 20. I was surprised at the reaction because this was the position that David Stern always held. My personal view is that there should be no age limit at all. If NBA teams don’t want these young players in their league, they should stop drafting them. Even though the age minimum has been a huge benefit to college basketball, which means it has benefited me personally, I don’t believe it is right to limit a young person’s ability to maximize his potential in the marketplace. With the stroke of a pen, he can drastically impove the living conditions of himself and his family. I would never want to deny him that opportunity.
360: How did you go about becoming a college basketball analyst? What did you do when you were young to prepare for this job?
SD: There’s a saying that writers are born, not taught. I believe I was born to be a writer. I also love sports, so it makes sense that I wanted to write about sports. Sports makes for wonderful storytelling. I went to Duke, so it was natural for me to fall into college basketball, but that also resulted in the opportunities I found in that space. This was especially true when I first got to Sports Illustrated at the age of 25. There was no Peter King-like presence on the college hoops beat, so I fell into that naturally. I also have long aspired to be on television. When I was at Duke, I hosted and produced my own show at the student TV station. I have worked very hard, but to be honest, I have also been extremely lucky. I’m a big believer in luck!
360: Finally, who do you have in the NBA Finals? Who do you think will win it?
SD: I had the Heat from the first day of the season, and I see no reason to change horses now. It’s not that I believe necessarily that the Heat is the best team, but they’re the two-time defending champs and they have the best player on the planet. You gotta beat the champ to be the champ, and until someone beats them, they’re my pick. But this is as wide open as I can remember the NBA postseason being in a long, long time, and the opening round has been terrific. I can’t wait to find out what happens!
Follow Seth on Twitter! @SethDavisHoops