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“This season has been a work in progress” Brandon Davies Zalgiris ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv

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Ahead of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s game against Zalgiris in Lithuania on Friday at 20:00 Israel time, The Sports Rabbi interviewed Brandon Davies who is currently playing his second season with Saras Šarūnas Jasikevičius. The conversation began with the big Euroleague clash and how he believes they can continue their home dominance against the Yellow & Blue at home, “That’s the plan. If we put our best foot forward we can come out with a win.”

Zalgiris has had an up and down season so far with inconsistent play, “It’s a work in progress. There’s definitely some games that we could have won, which we wish we could take back, but that’s not how it works. All we can do is move forward and try to get more wins.” However, Davies is in the midst of his best campaign aboard as both his minutes and points have increased, “I always try to get better every year. It’s the hard work I out in over the summer and be comfortable with the team I’m on so I hopefully I can continue to play well.”

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Last season, the Kaunus based team surprised many by going to the Final Four and it was certainly an experience that a they’d like to repeat, “It was a lot of fun and a really good experience that definitely motivated us to get back there and try to go further. This year we have a lot of work to get to that point but we know we are capable of doing it if we start playing better and get more wins.”

Of course a lot of credit has to go to Coach Saras for his dedication to trying to get the most out of his squad, “He’s a great coach. You know what he expects from you and we have to try and do it the best you can.”

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Davies grew up in Provo, Utah where his family, especially his mother was key in his development as a person, “My family is everything to me. It’s molded me in the right way and a lot of credit goes to my mom as to how I was raised.” After going to Provo High School, the 6”10 center counted on to BYU where he continued to improve his game year by year, “Getting better every year is something I take a lot of pride in. I definitely put a lot of work in and it makes you feel good when you see the progress. You just have to continue to work.”

One of the all-time great college scorers in Jimmer Fredette was a teammate at BYU and to this day the two are still in touch, “He is a really good friend of mine and a great scorer. He’s having a great career in China and college was a lot of fun. We continue to keep in touch and we follow each other’s career. He was a special college player.”

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Davies looked to model his game after a couple of Hall of Fame players, “I watched a lot of film on different players and power forwards like Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon as well as other players like that. I tried to take a little from each of their games to make it part of my own. I feel like I’m a mold of a couple of different players. As I continue to progress I think I can add a couple of more things to my game as well.”

The NBA of course is always the goal of any basketball player and Davies was able to play over 70 games in the “Greatest League in the World” as an undrafted player coming out of BYU in 2013, “Going undrafted and to make the NBA is a tough route. You have to put in the extra effort. When I signed with the Clippers it was an unbelievable experience for me. I was there through preseason and then I went to the 76ers where I was for a season and a half.  It was a dream come true when you can make it to where you’re trying to get to, the NBA. It also takes a lot of work to get back there as well.”

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