Hoosier Recruits to Watch For: Devin Davis

The final member of the 2013 class and last committed guy that this AAU season is a make or break, is Warren Central’s wing Devin Davis. Davis and Hartman have been battling health issues for a length of time but Davis has probably had it worse. With lower back issues plaguing his entire last summer and a good portion of his school season he is finally healthy and showed it in his first AAU tournament of the season this past weekend.

Davis was a top 70 recruit when he originally committed to IU in the fall of 2010. Since then his injury struggles have seen his stock drop a bit but he’s still chocked full of potential. A high motor guy that has a nose for the ball has been very successful despite some injuries hamstringing him. When he committed he was mostly an athletic slasher that could bully his way to the rim but lacked any true shooting game. Since then he has worked on stepping back and increasing his range.

He also has solid instincts for rebounding. Recently measuring in at 6’6.5" and a 6’11" wingspan, he rebounds more like he’s 6’9". That length certainly helps a lot but most of his rebounding prowess has to do with the effort and instincts he has for pulling the ball down. Really the best thing that could currently happen for Davis is for him to get up to about 6’8" where he could add height to his instincts.

Davis showed in the first weekend in Indianapolis that his health issues aren’t a problem currently. He was able to get out and run the floor more than has ever been able to in the past. What impressed me most about his game is the increased defensive presence. I knew he was able to use his length as a problem starter for opposing offenses. He showed a propensity to use his extreme length to interfere with the dribble and would look great out in front of a high pressure half court defense. Much like Victor Oladipo there would be plays where you aren’t certain how Davis would be on a ball handler’s hip yet still find a way to strip the ball.

Still not quite the scorer you’d like to see that may have more to do with his stacked AAU team more than his inability to score. He didn’t show a ton of range from distance but then again I don’t recall seeing him shoot from range more than once. That just isn’t his role on his current squad. Where he did find a lot of his scoring was slashing to the basket when his defenders went to help and rebounding. Add in his increased ball handling in space and he had himself a lot of scoring in transition.

For the rest of the summer we should look for an increased ability in these skillsets. You’d like to see him keep adding range to his shot, but like I said that isn’t his current role. So, even if he’s adding range we probably won’t see a ton of it. What we should look for is increased post play and movement in the post on offense and increased activeness on defense. Hopefully we’re also going to see nature cooperate and he’ll add an inch or two in height over the next year as well. Even if he doesn’t he’s a comparable player type to Michigan State’s Branden Dawson and the frame to be able to be a physically imposing wing at the college level.

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