Drake's Davis Begins Career With A Bang

By Josh Herwitt - March 18, 2008

For those of you who might not know Keno Davis, you should get to know him.

Because after the way the first-year Drake coach has handled his business so far in Des Moines, Iowa, there could be a lot more good things coming Davis' way.

For now, though, he can be happy with the fact that he helped lead the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Tournament berth and Missouri Valley Conference championship in 37 years, good enough to earn himself this year's Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

It marks the first time that a Drake coach has been named national coach of the year since Maury John captured the award in 1969.

At only 36 years young, Davis took a team that lost four starters from a year ago and was picked to finish ninth in the 10-team MVC and instead guided it 21 straight wins before capturing its first-ever conference tournament title earlier this month.

Davis originally took over the team from his father, Dr. Tom Davis, after serving as an assistant since May 2003, and before that, worked as an assistant to former Drake coach Gary Garner at Southeast Missouri State and Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana for six years in total.

The Bulldogs, which were ranked in the AP and USA Today/ESPN polls for eight straight weeks during the regular season, enter the Big Dance as a No. 5 seed in the West Region with a first-round matchup against No. 12 seed Western Kentucky Friday in Tampa, Fla.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 02:11 PM on March 18, 2008

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