Passion of Dayton fans keeps Darrell Davis coming back for Red Scare every year

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The Basketball Tournament: Press conference at UD Arena on June 22, 2022

Former Flyer will play in The Basketball Tournament for the fourth time this month but for the first time at his old college home

Darrell Davis created a legacy with the Dayton Flyers as a 1,000-point scorer — he surpassed that milestone in his final game — who bridged the gap between the Archie Miller and Anthony Grant eras. He’s building a new legacy in his post-graduate career as one of the most loyal Flyers.

At a press conference for The Basketball Tournament on June 22, Davis walked out of the tunnel at UD Arena with two other former Flyers, Scoochie Smith and Ryan Mikesell, and a former Wright State guard, Joe Thomasson. They will unite later this month as members of the Red Scare, a Dayton alumni team playing in the TBT at UD Arena.

A crowd of close to 100 fans applauded the four players, all now in the prime of their professional basketball careers but still close enough to their college days to remember the feeling of playing in front of hometown fans. The Red Scare has 10 players on the roster, including seven former Flyers, but only one who will be playing on the team for the fourth time — Davis, a 6-foot-4 guard from Detroit who played for three NCAA tournament teams and two Atlantic 10 Conference champions in his college career.

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“What keeps you coming back every year?” Davis was asked.

“It’s the fire from the fans and the love from the teammates and the appreciation,” Davis said. “I’m committed. We’ve always been a piece away from winning. That’s what keeps me coming back. I know that we have the chemistry. Now we have the attitude, the mindset and the character to win it all.”

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The Basketball Tournament: Press conference at UD Arena on June 22, 2022

Members of the Red Scare will arrive in Dayton on July 19 and start practice that afternoon at the UD Rec Plex. The team will hold a total of five practices, along with shooting workouts and walk-through drills, before its first round game at 3 p.m. July 24 at UD Arena.

The Red Scare is the No. 3 seed in the eight-team Dayton Region and will play No. 6 seed CitiTeam. The Red Scare could play as many as six games at UD Arena if it keeps advancing because the final three rounds of the tournament will be played at the site.

The tournament begins this week with regions in Omaha, Neb., and at Rucker Park in New York City starting play Saturday.

Davis led the Red Scare with 19.0 points per game last season. He made 6 of 12 3-pointers. He averaged 11.0 points and made 6 of 16 3-pointers in 2020. In 2019, he averaged 13.3 points and made 9 of 23 3-pointers.

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In 2019, when the Red Scare fielded a team for the first time, Davis played with former Flyers Kevin Dillard, Devin Oliver, Vee Sanford, Kendall Pollard, Kyle Davis and one non-Flyer, Ohio Northern All-American Ryan Bruns, at Capital University.

That team lacked depth because Josh Cunningham and Dyshawn Pierre withdrew from the roster days before the event. The seven-man group still won two games before losing to Ohio State’s team, Carmen’s Crew, in the third round.

In 2020, the Red Scare played in a quarantined environment and a scaled-down tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Darrell Davis joined Kyle Davis, Oliver and four former Flyers making their TBT debuts: Rob Lowery; Jalen Robinson; Ryan Mikesell; and Trey Landers.

The team also included former Louisville guard Ryan McMahon and former Ohio State center Trevor Thompson. The nine-man team won two games again, reaching the semifinals, where it lost to the Marquette alumni team, the Golden Eagles.

Darrell Davis returned to the Red Scare roster for the third time in 2021. Oliver played for the third time and Pollard, Mikesell and Landers for the second time. Three former Flyers — Jordan Sibert, Brandon Spearman and Devon Scott — made their TBT debut. Thompson played for the Red Scare again as did one other former Buckeye, guard CJ Walker. That team won big in the first round before losing in the second round to a Miami Hurricanes alumni team, Category 5.

The four iteration of the Red Scare has something the other teams lacked: a true point guard. Scoochie Smith, who played with Davis for three seasons (2014-17), will fill that role.

The Red Scare also has a big man Davis knows well: Josh Cunningham. Davis and Cunningham played two seasons together (2016-18). Davis ranks 49th in school history in scoring with 1,008 points. Cunningham ranks 54th with 964 points.

“I love Josh,” Davis said. “Playing with Josh, it’s always easy. He reads the game. He picks and rolls, rebounds. He’ll do all the dirty work for us. He’ll take charges. He’s a guy that’s willing to go out and get his nose dirty for his teammates.”

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Since his Dayton career ended in 2018, the Detroit native Davis has played overseas. He played in Hungary and then the Netherlands and Bosnia before splitting last season between the Czech Republic and Kosovo, where he averaged 21.0 points in nine games for KB Prizreni-16. He’s not sure yet where he’ll play next year.

“They offered me a contract to go back,” Davis said, “but I haven’t decided.”

Davis hopes to land in a bigger league at some point. He has a new agent who also works with Justin Tillman, a friend and former college rival at Virginia Commonwealth. Asked to evaluate how his pro career is going overall, he said, “It’s going to pretty good. There are always ups and downs in life, trial and error. It’s time for me to make a jump, though.”

Davis has enjoyed the journey every step of the way.

“It’s a blessing to get away from U.S. soil,” he said. “I’ve been able to see different coaches and try different things and see different views of the world. It’s always a blessing. I take nothing for granted.”

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Darrell Davis, of Red Scare, dribbles against Category 5 in the second round of The Basketball Tournament on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at the Covelli Center in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Credit: David Jablonski

Darrell Davis, of Red Scare, dribbles against Category 5 in the second round of The Basketball Tournament on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at the Covelli Center in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Credit: David Jablonski

Combined ShapeCaption
Darrell Davis, of Red Scare, dribbles against Category 5 in the second round of The Basketball Tournament on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at the Covelli Center in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

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