St. Frances' Mia Davis stretches over Pallotti's Tian Addison for a rebound in the second quarter of an IAAM A Conference basketball semifinal in February.
St. Frances' Mia Davis stretches over Pallotti's Tian Addison for a rebound in the second quarter of an IAAM A Conference basketball semifinal in February. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun)

St. Frances girls basketball senior Mia Davis, an All-Metro first-team forward and powerful rebounder, committed Wednesday to play for Temple.

"I had a good relationship with the coaching staff," Davis said. "I like the academic part, and it was a good fit for me. I like their style of play, up-tempo."

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Davis, who had 21 offers from Division I programs, narrowed her list to five: Temple, James Madison, Massachusetts Amherst, Seton Hall and Texas at El Paso. She visited all but Seton Hall.

She said coach Tonya Cardoza told her she has a chance to play as a freshman for the Owls, who went 23-12 last season after finishing third in the American Athletic Conference and appearing in the Women's National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.

Led by Tyeisha Smith, No. 1 St. Frances beats No. 2 McDonogh for IAAM A Conference title, 58-46

It's the program's ninth IAAM championship and first since 2010.

At St. Frances last winter, Davis averaged 17.6 points and 14 rebounds per game, playing a major role in the Panthers' first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship in six years. They did not lose to an A Conference opponent all season.

While Davis is best known for rebounding and attacking the rim, she will transition to more of a perimeter role in college.

"I like the 3," she said. "Over the summer, I got a chance to play outside, shooting more 3s and playing on the wing."

Johnny Mack, who coaches Davis' Amateur Athletic Union team, the Maryland Lady Shooting Stars, and is an assistant coach at St. Frances, said she always has had guard skills.

"This summer, we went on the showcase circuit and we had already been developing — and you saw snippets of it last year — her shot from outside the arc," he said. "It's just that on my team and on St. Frances, we need her so much in the post. We have such great guards around her that we didn't need to exploit that part of her game. This summer, I just let her go, and the college coaches saw for themselves."

Mack said Davis averaged close to 30 points and 30 rebounds during AAU play.

"I've been coaching her for four years and I've never seen her play the way she played this summer, and it was consistent, game after game," he said. "Some coaches followed us everywhere we went."

For Davis, who has a 3.7 GPA and wants to pursue a pre-med track, academics played a major role in her college search.

No. 1 St. Frances girls advance to IAAM A final with 66-52 win over Pallotti

In Friday night's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinal, St. Frances scored 23 first-quarter points and St. Vincent Pallotti, which trailed by 15 at the half, could not make up the difference. Despite a much stronger second half from Pallotti, St. Frances maintained at least a 10-point lead en route to a 66-52 victory to earn a chance to play for its first IAAM championship since 2010.

"Outside of basketball, I was looking for a good academic program, and Temple has a good medical program and it's got a hospital connected to it," she said.

Being from Baltimore, she also likes the school's urban location in Philadelphia as well as everything about the basketball program.

"I love the team, which is important because they'll be the ones I'm with for four years," she said.

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