PROVO, Utah -- BYU's Brandon Davies feels like a changed man after a six-month suspension that ended his last season and left him as a spectator while the Cougars made a run to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament.
"Honestly, I think I'm a totally different person," Davies said Tuesday. "It hurt. Not just me, but everyone around me. It's definitely something I'll never forget about and something I never want to do again, so I just use that to drive me in all that I do today."
Davies was suspended in March because of violations of the school's honor code. The school does not discuss the nature of suspensions but under the honor code students are prohibited from having premarital sex and drinking alcoholic beverages, among other things.
Davies, who grew up in Provo, had started 26 of 29 games for the Cougars and averaged 11.1 points and a team-leading 6.2 rebounds prior to his suspension. He was reinstated earlier this year and spoke to the media for the first time on Tuesday.
"I'm just happy to be back," said Davies, whose Cougars open the season on Friday against Utah State. "It doesn't matter what I had to go through to get here. I'm just glad to be here, back with my teammates. Back here, where I'm supported and loved by so many."
The junior center told head coach Dave Rose earlier this week that he was ready to address the media.
"It was probably one of the most difficult situations for one of our players to have to go through since I've been here," Rose said of Davies' suspension. "He came up to me and said coach I want to do this ... and get ready for the game on Friday."
Davies is now focused on the season that lies ahead. BYU will need him to play a big role as one of three returning starters this season. The team lost national player of the year Jimmer Fredette and BYU all-time steals leader Jackson Emery.
Davies was not approached by any other schools during his suspension and made it clear that he always wanted to return to play at BYU. Davies said he feels he was treated fairly by BYU.
"I was definitely treated more than fair," Davies said. "Just to be able to make it back here and to be able to be a part of this team again is a blessing to me."