Marquisha Davis, new NY Liberty player
April 15, 2024: WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert poses with New York Liberty draft pick, Marquesha Davis

Get to Know Marquesha Davis, the Liberty’s First-Round Draft Pick

In the most anticipated WNBA draft in recent years, the New York Liberty held the No. 11, 17, 23 and 35 picks. New York looked to add pieces to its bench to bring depth and players who could have a major impact on the defensive end. 

With their first-round draft pick, the Liberty selected guard Marquesha Davis from the University of Mississippi. 

A Superstar In the SEC

Davis is a six-foot guard from Springdale, Arkansas who spent two seasons at Ole Miss after transferring there from Ark. in 2022. She became one of the most captivating players in the SEC in her time at Ole Miss and guided the team to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances under coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. 

Davis earned an All-SEC selection in her senior season, leading Ole Miss with a career-high 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Davis scored in double figures in 25 games and totaled eight 20-point performances this past season. 

Replacing Impact Players

Davis is coming into this Liberty team at the right time. Marine Johannès will not play for the Liberty this season due to the Olympic year and her commitments to the French national team. This is a big loss for New York because of  Johannès’s ability to provide a quick spark off the bench. Davis can fill this role as she is a playmaker, finisher and a force on the defensive end.

“Knowing I could come in and be a two-way player and make an impact is something I look forward to,” Davis said.

Davis is on the top of her offensive game in transition and finished at the rim as well as anyone in the college game. In this clip, Davis is seen driving to the rim two seasons ago against South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year on the Indiana Fever. Boston is one of the best defensive rim protectors in the game, but Davis showed off her ability to make it difficult for Boston to contest the shot by faking her dribble going right before sticking with her left and laying the ball up and in. Davis’s athleticism makes her a tough finisher and a strong ball handler. 

This is another example of Davis’s strength and ability to finish at the rim while absorbing contact. In a game against Florida, Davis went up to the rim strong and was not afraid of getting hit, finishing the layup and creating a foul.

Davis is also strong on the defensive end, which is an important piece for New York as it struggled with defense against guards on the perimeter last season. Here, Davis’s keen ability to anticipate passes is shown as she picks off an LSU pass intended for Angel Reese. Davis’s defensive assignment was not Reese, yet she had her head on a swivel and anticipated where the ball was going on the court. Even at six feet tall, she has a great length and can contest shots against taller players. 

Davis also excels in the mid-range game. Here, Davis went around a screen set by a teammate and hit a tough mid-range jumper even with 6-foot, 7-inch Kamilla Cardoso from South Carolina in her face. 

Getting to Work

While one of her weak points is her three-point shot, after converting just 23.9% of her shots from downtown last season, Davis is joining a team with many high-percentage three-point shooters—one of them being Sabrina Ionescu, who led the WNBA in total three-pointers made last season (128).

When asked about joining the New York Liberty, Davis said, “What excited me the most is coming into the Liberty team and learning from the vets there and going in and continuing to grow.”

Davis becomes the seventh WNBA draft pick in the University of Mississippi’s history, following Shakira Austin who was selected at No. 3 in 2022. 

“I just want to come in each and every day, getting in the gym and putting in that work to be able to do what those expectations,” Davis said.