Monday November 30th, 2015 6:43AM

East Hall looking to make most of Davenport's development (VIDEO)

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
RABBITTOWN -- Two years ago Joe Dix wondered if Kyvon Davenport would ever be a regular contributor for East Hall basketball.

These days Dix mixes Davenport's name in the same conversation with those of Antoine Whelchel and Walter Hill.

It's safe to say the Vikings junior has come a long way from those initial practice sessions when he struggled just to dribble the ball or make a lay-up.

"(Davenport) just showed up in the summer (before his freshman year started). I remember it very well," coach Dix said. "He walked in and said he wanted to play ball, and it was obvious very early on that he was going to need a lot of work. He didn't play very much as a ninth grader, and then he started to progress. We moved him up, right at end of his ninth grade year, and last year he became a part-time starter. This year he's just kind of exploded on the scene."

Indeed, Davenport's dominance has been a revelation for the Vikings, with the forward averaging 19 points and 15 rebounds over the first half of the season.

(NOTE: To watch a video feature with Davenport, simply click "play" in the box to the right.)

"The last guy we had close to that was Antoine Whelchel, who played at Murray State in the late 90s," Dix said. "Those are impressive numbers and he's been pretty consistent. He's had one single digit game in rebounding and one in scoring."

Perhaps most impressive is that Davenport has just scratched the surface of his potential.

Now a determined, confident and focused player on -- and off -- the court, Davenport is looking not only to continue his meteoric rise but also help the Vikings back to the lofty perch they occupied when players like Whelchel roamed the floor.

"This team could be great because we're still young and learning, everyone's still developing," Davenport said. "We've got to keep getting better. We've got to be more consistent through the whole game. But I'm ready. I'm ready to win, ready to win all of it."

Davenport has led East Hall through a roller-coaster start to the campaign that has seen the Vikings go 6-7, 2-2 in Region 7-AAA, against a rigorous schedule that included top teams such as Buford and a holiday tournament appearance in Florida against some of that state's top-ranked squads.

Now, East Hall wants to grow from that experience and storm down the stretch run of the campaign.

"It's gone good at some points, at some points gone bad," Davenport said. "Right now we just need to keep winning. We need to win in region."

That will include a key 7-AAA match-up Friday night at White County where Davenport will look to use his size and effort to dominate under the basket as he has for much of this season.

"The great thing about him is we run stuff for him, but you don't have to run anything for him to score because he's such a great rebounder. He just goes and gets it," Dix said. "He saw a little different side down in Florida, especially after the first game when teams started putting double-teams on him. He struggled a little bit, but he's adjusted since then. And we've seen some more double teams since then and he's handled it better."

Davenport knows he can expect more of the same from here on out -- it comes with the territory of being a dominant inside player -- even if he is still getting used to that fact.

"It's very different because I started off not being very good, and it went by very quick," Davenport said. "And I'm still developing."

Already a player that prides himself on defense, Davenport is continuously working in the weight room
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 10 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys semifinals: Unbeatens Johnson, Red Elephants roll into finals
Both Gainesville and Johnson powered their way into the Lanierland Tournament finals on Monday. The two undefeated teams will meet Tuesday for the title at 8:30 p.m. at Chestatee.
10:01AM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland girls semifinals: GHS, Lady Falcons advance to finals <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Flowery Branch and Gainesville each took impressive wins Monday to advance to the Lanierland Tournament finals...
10:00AM ( 10 months ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Tigers advance to Pickens Holiday finals
The Dawson County girls basketball advanced to the finals of the Pickens Holiday Classic after an 81-54 win over Riverwood Monday.
11:48PM ( 11 months ago )
High School Sports
Georgia's Richt stepping down following 'mutual' decision
Mark Richt stepped down as Georgia's coach Sunday, leaving stunned players with one final bowl game with the man who ranks second in wins in school history.
By The Associated Press
7:35AM ( 51 minutes from now )
5 things: What we learned from the quarterfinal round of the high school football playoffs
Here’s a look at five things we learned from the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs...
7:00AM ( 16 minutes from now )
Falcons' slump deepens in 20-10 loss to Vikings
Matt Ryan heard some of the loudest boos of his career after another Falcons loss...
8:13PM ( 10 hours ago )
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
11:59PM ( 1 day ago )
Watson puts up 4 TDs and No. 1 Clemson moves to 12-0 with 37-32 win over South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Deshaun Watson isn't giving up on Clemson's step-by-step approach, not when it's worked so well. Watson had another big day, running for three touchdowns and passing for a fourth...
11:58PM ( 1 day ago )