The Washington Post

Maret’s Steffen Davis turns heads on summer hoops circuit

Steffen Davis (right) leads a trio of seniors in Drake Goddard (left) and Jalen Barnes who look to help Maret repeat as MAC champs (Doug Kapustin/The Washington Post).

The signs have been there for some time now surrounding Steffen Davis‘s potential as basketball player.

Figuratively swirling in the Maret senior’s DNA are the basketball genes of Jeff Baxter, the former Maryland standout who played alongside Len Bias and happens to be Davis’s uncle. Then there’s the way Davis closed out this past season. The 6-foot guard nailed 10 three-pointers and averaged 16.7 points in his last three games, helping the Frogs win their first outright Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference title.

Still, it wasn’t until May that Davis received his first offer from Quinnipiac. In the meantime, the sharpshooting guard has garnered interest from American, Fairfield, Iona, Kennesaw State, Robert Morris, Siena, UMBC and UNC-Greensboro while starring for Mid-Atlantic Select on the AAU circuit.

“Steffen is really blowing up this summer. He’s been doing the exact same things as before but it’s just people are starting to take notice,” Maret Coach Garrett O’Donnell said. “His shot has always been there and he’s one of the best finishers I’ve seen at the rim. He’s a hard worker, competitive and really matured as a leader.”

Part of this maturation is due to Davis’s increased focus on becoming a point guard who can create off the dribble. Last year, Marlon Beck served as floor general, but with Beck now at Binghamton and the Frogs boasting a strong returning nucleus, the onus is on Davis to lead the team.

“I’ve tried to develop myself from being a shooter to being a scorer with both my AAU team and our summer league team with Maret,” said Davis, who averaged 9.3 points and knocked down 40 three-pointers this past winter. “My focus is getting my teammates involved so I look less like a small shooting guard and more like a point guard who can score and create for his teammates.”

As Davis evolves his skills, he welcomes the helpful advice of his uncle. As a slim, 6-foot-1 guard during his days at Maryland in the ’80s, Baxter knows what it takes for his nephew to not only garner more college interest but also excel at the next level.

“This past year, he was probably my biggest fan, sending me texts and taking me to morning workouts,” Davis said. “His main goal for me is getting bigger and stronger. He tells me that once I get to college, it’s not just about physical skills but how to control your body and play with a high IQ.”

Similar intrigue surrounds other parts of Maret’s core. Joining Davis in the backcourt is Drake Goddard, a 6-foot guard with a football player’s build who has received looks from the likes of Holy Cross, Radford and UNC-Greensboro. At swingman, Jalen Barnes brings athleticism and length as well as another dose of chemistry for a trio of seniors who have played together since middle school.

Expected to step into bigger roles are Alex Peltier, a junior forward who has taken 20 charges in each of the last two seasons, and Austin Vereen, a junior guard who missed last season with a wrist injury.

“All of our kids could score more, but we teach them to be unselfish and play off of each other’s strengths as a team,” O’Donnell said. “We’re not going to have a guy who scores 20 points a night, but our guys buy into the team concept and we’re excited about what we can accomplish next year.”

Recruit Watch: The latest offers, commitments and signings

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.



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