Prior to committing, Davis was also receiving interest from Campbell and a host of smaller non Division I colleges in the region. As a senior, Davis is a McDonald's All American Game Nominee and was named all-state on the NCISAA 1A team. As a junior he averaged 12.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks per game for Wayne Country Day. He was named All Area as a junior by the Goldsboro News and is ranked as the #44 player in North Carolina by Phenom Hoop Report which evaluates him as follows:
Joel Davis is a fierce competitor who has a very high motor. Davis makes hustle plays, dives on the floor for loose balls,and pursues rebounds with consistent effort. Joel has a unique ability to see the play one pass ahead and react as a help defender. He plays a good “IN YOUR FACE” style defense and his hands are constant motion in attempts to disrupt the ball handler. Davis is at his best in transition as something positive usually happens when he is attacking the rim. He is constant motion which enables him to pick up easy buckets slipping behind the defense unnoticed for uncontested layups. He isn’t afraid to mix it up and score off offensive rebound put-backs. Davis is a good athlete who has a competitive edge. This young man’s stock is on the rise.
Following Davis' commitment, Phenom Hoop Report reported:
NC Phenom Alum Joel Davis ended his recruitment before it really got started when he committed to Cornell on Tuesday. Davis is an explosive 6’3 lefty wing who plays his AAU ball with the Raleigh Capitals AAU program.
The rising senior at Wayne Country Day School says that Cornell’s style of play fit what he does, “It’s a good fit for me and my style of play. They play a fast paced pressured defense and get up and down on offense. They are also looking to build around me.”
As with most Ivy League schools the campus and facilities are beautiful at Cornell and not lost on Davis is the academic side of things, “They have a beautiful, big campus. I really liked their weight room. It was just redone and furnished with brand new equipment. You cannot beat that type of education, it taken advantage of, it can set you up for life.”
Coming off a five man class last year, Davis joins 6’5″ New Jersey wing Donovan Wright in this class for Cornell.