Confidence is key for Delaware’s Marvin King-Davis

Marvin King-Davis. Photo Credit: Mark Campbell / Delaware Athletics

It had been a stop and go season – filled with potholes and speed bumps — for Delaware forward Marvin King-Davis up until Jan. 28. That’s when the red-shirt junior found a second – and third, fourth and fifth – gear, shooting – and driving, dunking, up-faking and bulling his way – to a career-high 31 points at James Madison.

“Marvin has a wonderful skill set as far as his ability to face the basket, shoot the ball, his rebounding,” said Delaware head coach Monté Ross during Tuesday morning’s CAA coaches conference call, adding “It was a big, big game.”

During his first three seasons in Delaware, red-shirting as a true freshman, and playing as a rotational big as a red-shirt freshman and sophomore, King-Davis showed explosive athleticism and flashes of brilliance, but remained rough around the edges and far from a polished product.

But hot off the heels of last year’s NCAA trip, and with the graduation of several key players coupled with King-Davis’ experience playing in March Madness, and expectations were high for the Richmond, Virginia native.

“His experience, having been through it (four years of college ball) really, really helps us,” said Ross.

And after scoring 11-points in 21 minutes in the season opener, he appeared ready to elevate his game.

But then an injury forced him to the sidelines for the next six games, and he had been struggling to work his way back into game shape ever since.

“When he first came back we were only able to play him in short spurts,” explained Ross of King-Davis, who reached double figures just three times in his first 10 games back. “I think the biggest thing for him was just conditioning.”

But King-Davis started to turn the corner in a big Jan. 21 win versus William & Mary, scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting, to go with six rebounds and two steals. He followed it up with 11 points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes against Elon, before his explosion at James Madison.

“He’s rounded [into] and [that’s] what’s allowed him to be very effective the past couple of games,” said Ross.

According to Ross, King-Davis return to game shape has provided a big boost for his confidence, and his game has followed suit.

“Confidence is such a big thing – it’s a big, big thing. Some people would say sometimes the difference between a low-level Division I player and a high-level Division II player is confidence.”

Ross is hoping that King-Davis can harness that confidence and ride it out for the remainder of the season.

“When a player has a break out game like that, a lot of times there confidence is sky high and they can ride that wave.”