By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Towson basketball faces a big game without a key player, after a shooting in Philadelphia leaves him sidelined.  Now, police are on the hunt for the trigger-puller.

Devin Bartolotta spoke to coaches Wednesday and has the latest.

Thursday will be Towson’s first game without co-captain John Davis, who’s on the mend after a drive-by shooting this past weekend.

Saturday, just hours after leading the Towson Tigers to a win against Drexel, Davis and a 16-year-old boy were caught in the cross-hairs of a drive-by shooting during a family celebration in his hometown of Philadelphia.

“He’s the most popular teammate on the team. No one has a bad word to say about John because they know how hard he works,” said Towson men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry.

The standout forward was hit in the knee by bullet fragments. The Tigers are now preparing to finish the season without him.

Davis was, of course, absent from the court at Wednesday’s practice. His coaches and his teammates now are gearing up for the first game without a major player.

“We’ll miss John, but we’re a deep team. We really preach our guys, we just have to do what we do. That’s defend, rebound, and move the basketball,” Skerry said.

WJZ has learned Philadelphia police have not arrested the trigger puller. The news is shocking Davis’ neighborhood and the coach who helped him get his start.

“Fortunately, it hit him where it hit him. It could have really been a tragic, tragic story,” said Carl Arrigale, Davis’ former coach at Saints John Neumann Goretti Catholic High School.

Coach Skerry is keeping the team’s focus on the court as they square off with Elon on Thursday.

As police, miles away, focus on a shooter still on the streets.

Coach Skerry said Davis is back on campus and back in class this week.

Davis still may be able to continue his basketball career overseas next year.

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