By Craig Degel
Arizona Daily Wildcat
November 24, 1997

No laughing matter - Davison may be fun on the court and a hoot to his teammates, but tell that to opposing players


Adam F. Jarrold
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Senior forward Bennett Davison (21) tips the ball in the hoop during the Melbourne Magic game.

Arizona forward Bennett Davison will do anything for a laugh. Even if it means taking his life into his hands.

That's pretty much what Davison did when he stepped up to head coach Lute Olson and, just moments after winning the national championship, tousled Olson's always-perfectly coifed hair.

This is hair so famous it has given birth to "Lute Lids," a plastic replica, in the style of the Wisconsin Cheesehead, of Olson's gray mane. That being said, it's easy to figure out what Davison's favorite tournament moment is.

"Definitely, messing up Coach Olson's hair," he said.

Davison is probably one of very few guys who could get away with such an act. But, then again, a joke like that shouldn't be a surprise coming from Davison. He is the clown prince of Arizona basketball, a Globetrotter waiting to happen.

Take the time Davison decided to add a little levity to a trip through the Oregon schools. At the Eugene , Ore. airport, he climbed up onto the bagage carousel and went for a ride. Nearly all of his teammates listed it as "Something one of my teammates ha s done that will always make me laugh," in the Arizona media guide.

"I cant believe they all said that," Davison said.

Sure, Bennett. While Davison is a practical joker, he's also a practical joker who rarely fesses up. He denies being the biggest joker on the team.

"(Jason Terry) is the biggest," Davison said. "But, we're all goofballs."

That easy going, "goofball" attitude was a major reason the Wildcats were able to capture the national championship in March. Much was made of how loose the Wildcats seemed in the spotlight and how pressure seemed to slide right off their backs.

Another major factor was Davison's defense. He drew the assignments on Kansas' bigmen as well as Providence's Austin Croshere. Jayhawk forward Scot Pollard score just two points, and Croshere had 12.

Davison's offense is nothing to shake a stick at either. His 9.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game landed him on the Pacific 10 Conference's All-Newcomer team. Of course, solid junior college players are nothing new at Arizona.

The names Pete Williams and Ben Davis come to mind.

"Typical of most junior college players, their first year at a Divison I school is a year of adjustment and I think that was true with Bennett last season," Olson said. "He did a great job for us defensively and this year we will need more of an off ensiv e contribution from him."

Davison, for the most, part is realistic about living up to the standards set by Davis, who played for the Phoenix Suns last year.

"Coach O doesn't remind me of it every time I touch the ball," he said. "But if I'm doing my thing and moving around, I'm going to get my shots."

Bennett Davison

  • 21 - Senior forward 6-8, 212 Sebastapol, California
      Last season's statistics
    • G-GS 34-29
    • Min. 961
    • PPG 9.7
    • RPG 6.4
    • Ast. 30
    • FG Pct. .500
    • 3FG Pct. .000
    • FT Pct. .680
    • Stl. 58

  • Two words that describe me best: Loud mouth

  • The thing that I will always remember about winning the NCAA championship: Messing up Coach Olson's hair

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