Former Davenport North player and current St. Ambrose men's basketball player Marquez Davis practices at the Beyond the Baseline facilities Monday. (Kevin E. Schmidt/QUAD-CITY TIMES)

Kevin E. Schmidt

His collegiate career is nearing an end, but well-traveled Marquez Davis has settled into a comfortable role for the 18th-rated St. Ambrose men's basketball team.

The senior from Davenport North has come off the bench to rank among the Fighting Bees' scoring leaders in their past two games, helping St. Ambrose extend its win streak to eight games.

"It's been good to come home. I came here this year with a different attitude, and it's been great being part of a winning team and a group that plays well together," Davis said. "It's been awhile since I've been on a team like this. It's been a lot of fun."

Taking the court for the first time for St. Ambrose in midseason following a transfer from NCAA Division-II Lincoln University, Davis averages 8.1 points through 14 games with the Midwest Collegiate Conference leaders.

However, he totaled 19 and 17 points in home victories over Clarke and Grand View last week, combining to hit 11-of-21 shots in the two games.

More importantly, Davis is seemingly settling into the flow of what St. Ambrose is attempting to do offensively.

In his first few games, the 5-foot-10 guard rushed a few shots. Now, those attempts are coming more frequently within the framework of the Bees' offense.

"He's letting the game come to him more, and I think the rest of the guys are getting used to having him out there, too," St. Ambrose coach Ray Shovlain said. "His quickness has added something to our mix of players, and he's come in and done a nice job."

Mostly, Davis appreciates the opportunity to help add his skills to a veteran team that leads its conference by three games.

"They had an all-American returning (in Mike Kennedy) and had an all-conference guy back (in Chris Donnelly), so they had a lot of guys who knew the system and knew the league. They've helped me adjust," Davis said.

He averaged 9.9 points on a Lincoln team which finished 3-23 a year ago after beginning his collegiate career at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa, where he averaged 9.5 points over two seasons.

But, he's had to play a different game with St. Ambrose.

"Where I've been in college before, you've had a lot of guys out there playing for themselves," Davis said. "At Lincoln, it was a lot more one-on-one stuff. Here, the team aspect has been different. We share the ball, and everybody works to earn the win."

Figuring out his niche in the Fighting Bees' team approach took some time.

"It was different at first, but the guys here have been good to work with," Davis said. "It's been great to be a part of a team like this as a senior. I'm going to complete my college career with some good memories and a good experience."

Davis is majoring in sociology at St. Ambrose and wants to work with kids once he completes his degree work.

"I want to find a way to stay around basketball," he said. "I'd like to help teach kids how to play the game. That's something that I hope to do after college."

But first, he wants to help the Fighting Bees reach their goals.

"Winning conference is pretty important to all of us," Davis said. "It's something that hasn't happened here for a few years, and we're all pretty focused on it now. We want to make that happen."