Hill-Murray basketball finds its way under new coach

After winning just six games last season and returning only one player with varsity experience, the Hill-Murray boys basketball team faces a bunch of unknowns this winter. The Pioneers are heading down that unknown road with a new coach.

Trevor Davis is a Minnesota native who graduated from Farmington High School, where he played baseball, basketball and football. He attended Hamline University and was on the Pipers’ football and track and field teams.

“We’ve got one player back with varsity basketball experience,” said Davis.

Simeon Davis is that one player and he showed that he can be a force offensively by scoring a career-high 46 points in the season opener. Hill-Murray traveled to Cannon Falls on Dec. 1 and came away with a 71-67, overtime victory.

After Simeon Davis, the question marks start.

“You’ve got a stud who you know what you’re getting every night and kind of a lot of unknowns right now,” Trevor Davis said. “Every single day is an evaluation.”

Trevor Davis has Hill-Murray focusing on playing an up-tempo offensive style.

“We want to control the tempo of the game,” Davis said. “We want to really push hard and get easy buckets. The easiest offense is in transition.”

Davis said there are times each game when you need to be able to run a half-court offense, so there is an emphasis on that as well for the Pioneers.

“The game is going to slow down and we want to be able to execute,” Davis said. “We want to be up-tempo, but we have to be able to put our sets in and we have to be able to execute.”

The defense can also be used to kick start the offense.

“Everybody’s got to rebound,” said Davis. “That’s cliché and you hear it all the time but we’ll win a lot of games because we rebound. Rebounding and defense go hand in hand. You can be a heck of a defensive team, but if you can’t rebound and get one-and-done, you’re in trouble.”

“I just want to see these kids better every week,” Davis added. “I want to see them learn the game and have fun playing the game. If they can do that, we’ll be just fine this year.”

In addition to coaching basketball, Davis also teaches physical education at Hill-Murray.

Following the Cannon Falls game, Hill-Murray hosted Menomonie, Wisconsin on Dec. 2, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

This week’s schedule includes a pair of games against St. Paul City Conference teams. The Pioneers host Highland Park on Dec. 6 and travel to Central on Dec. 8.

 

The new coach

While in college, Davis coached the 10th-grade basketball team at Farmington. After college, he headed south and was a graduate assistant coach at Northwestern State in Louisiana. He followed that up with one season as an assistant coach at Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana and one season as an assistant coach at Blinn College, a junior college in Texas.

Returning to Minnesota was a no-brainer for Davis.

“It’s home, Minnesota’s home,” Davis said. “I was no longer enjoying my experiences where I was at and with what I was doing.”

Coaching at the college level is more about recruiting and less about teaching the game.

“You’re recruiting around the clock and you don’t really get to teach the game,” said Davis. “I want to focus on the kids, focus on teaching them the game.”

Davis did not play basketball in college but looking back wishes he had. 

“There was a lot of pressure to play football, but my first love was basketball,” said Davis.

There is plenty of football history in his family. His father played collegiately at Florida and he had grandfathers who played at Auburn and Oklahoma. His brother was a starting center at the University of Minnesota.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

2016-17 Hill-Murray boys basketball schedule

Dec. 1 at Cannon Falls 7 p.m.

Dec. 2 vs. Menomonie 7 p.m.

Dec. 6 vs. St. Paul Highland Park 7 p.m.

Dec. 8 at St. Paul Central 7 p.m.

Dec. 15 vs. St. Paul Washington 7 p.m.

Dec. 29 at Fergus Falls tournament TBA

Dec. 30 at Fergus Falls tournament TBA

Jan. 3 at St. Thomas Academy 7 p.m.

Jan. 5 at St. Anthony Village 7 p.m.

Jan. 10 vs. Hastings 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 vs. South St. Paul 7 p.m.

Jan. 17 at Tartan 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 20 at Mahtomedi 7 p.m.

Jan. 24 vs. North 7 p.m.

Jan. 27 vs. Henry Sibley 7 p.m.

Jan. 31 at Hastings 7 p.m.

Feb. 3 vs. Simley 7 p.m.

Feb. 7 vs. St. Thomas Academy 7 p.m.

Feb. 10 at South St. Paul 7 p.m.

Feb. 11 at River Falls 3 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. Tartan 7 p.m.

Feb. 17 vs. Mahtomedi 7 p.m.

Feb. 21 at Henry Sibley 7 p.m.

Feb. 24 at North 7 p.m.

Feb. 28 vs. Blake 7 p.m.

Mar. 3 at Simley 7 p.m. 

 

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