IU hopes persistence pays off with De’Ron Davis #iubb

Visits to Aurora, Co., from Tom Crean and Chuck Martin have been so regular lately that Overland High School coach Danny Fisher feels like one or both of the IU coaches have been visible once, or sometimes twice a week for at least the last month.

Consider it a fullcourt press for 2016 power forward De’ron Davis, a player the Hoosiers have been courting for more than three years.

Indiana will find out at 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday whether that persistence has paid off when Davis, a four-star prospect, announces his college commitment.

The Hoosiers are competing with Mississippi State for Davis, who will also sign his letter of intent after making his announcement, effectively ending the recruiting process.
In IU’s case, years of recruiting could give it the advantage.

“Consistency and loyalty are two of De’Ron’s stronger traits,” Fisher said. “The way Indiana has recruited him since the summer after his eighth-grade year has been just that. It hasn’t been all fluff. It wasn’t an offer that was a fluff offer that you see happen sometimes with pre-high school students. They’ve showed that that was real. They’ve been the same, their message has been the same, his priority with them has been the same, and when he went through a tough period when he was struggling with his body a little bit and taking a little criticism, they never wavered. It hasn’t been a hot and cold recruiting process with them. It’s been hot the entire time. Everybody else that was recruiting him early had periods of hot and periods of cold, and Indiana has never wavered.”

The 6-foot-10 forward is considered the No. 39 overall player in the 2016 class and the No. 10 forward, according to the 247 Sports Composite. He’s also the top-ranked player in the state of Colorado.
Indiana first reached out with its offer following the 2012 Adidas Invitational. Since then, the Hoosiers have been at or near the top of Davis’ list of college options.

But Mississippi State has provided heavy competition in recent weeks — and not only for Davis. Since former UCLA coach Ben Howland took the job in Starkville this past March, the two programs have competed for at least three four-star targets — Davis, center Schnider Herard and forward Mario Kegler.

Kegler announced Wednesday that he chose Mississippi State over IU and Maryland, Herard committed to the Bulldogs last week and Fisher says the three have discussed possibly playing together in college.
“He’s talked to Mario and he’s talked to Schnider Herard, and we’ve talked to both of their families,” Fisher said. “Him and Mario know each other pretty well from the Adidas circuit, and he and Schnider played against each other last December in Las Vegas in a tournament. They’ve all talked about playing together as a front line, as a 3, 4 and 5, so that’s something that’s been attractive for him as well.”

Indiana and Mississippi State seem to be odd recruiting challengers, but Fisher says Howland has done a good job of breaking down film and showing Davis specifically how his strengths would translate to Mississippi State. Davis has also been impressed with the academic support and strength and conditioning program in Starkville.

But, Fisher says, Davis has been appreciative and receptive of IU’s continued pursuit.

“His main thing is to become a better basketball player and for his weaknesses to become strengths,” Fisher said. “There’s no question that De’Ron’s ultimate goal is to be a pro, and to become a high-level pro. He does want to play, but he understands that he has a lot of control in that. It’s not something where this is high school anymore. There are guys that are going to be coming in with the same size and same ability that are competing for spots. Some are older. He wants to play immediately, and he feels like he’s an impact player immediately, but he also understands that a lot of that will depend on his level of buy-in. He wants to develop and become a better player from an IQ standpoint, from a physical, explosive standpoint, from all-around. He’s all about becoming a better player.”

Wednesday marked the opening of the early signing period and the Hoosiers did officially accept one 2016 recruit.

Crown Point shooter Grant Gelon submitted his National Letter of Intent, and Indiana is expecting four-star combo guard Curtis Jones to do the same early next week.

NOTE: A livestream of Davis’ commitment is expected to be available at 9news.com.

8 comments

  1. “Visiting a recruit once or twice a week for at least a month.” What happened to the time when IU was the dream destination? IU is not an elite program.

  2. Don’t think you understand how elite of a recruiter Ben Howland is. Took Malik Newman right out from under Kentucky’s nose. He was very good at UCLA and will likely do the same at MSU. Don’t sell Mississippi State short, their pedigree is not to IU’s level, but they do have a national championship and a trip to final four several years ago.

  3. IU bb continues to struggle to get recruits against non elite programs. Though this may be good player, he is a 4 star player that had a chance to go to IU. IU bb not much of a factor nationally and above average program in big ten. Oh-hum bb program overall.

  4. In what parallel universe did Mississippi State ever win a national championship in basketball?

    They made a trip to the Final Four once. I believe they made it to the Sweet Sixteen 2 or 3 other times. That’s it.

    Their resume is about the same as Charlotte.

  5. I think you guys are looking at recruiting all wrong in today’s world of college basketball. Kids these days don’t care about tradition and what happen 10, 15 20 years ago. All they care about is can I play right away and will that coach help me get into the NBA. With MSU basically starting over, these young players see this as a way to get into a program and be a four year starter instead of going to a program where they may not start for a couple of years. Why do you think there has been greater upgrade of talent at mid-majors? These kids see this as a way to start for 3-4 years and build up a good resume for the next level.

  6. Chet, your right. Got my wires crossed. Was thinking about their ’63 team, which lost to eventual national champion Loyola. Gave them their closest tournament game other than the championship game with Cincinnati. Biggest thing about that team was they broke a major racial barrier by being willing to play Loyola. Team literally had to sneak out in the dead of night to go play. Much different world back then. Do believe iuhoosier1992 hit the nail on the head. Recruiting world is changing.

  7. Yeah, the story about MSU sneaking out of Mississippi to play in the tournament when it was illegal in Mississippi for state schools to play teams with black players on their roster is a good read. If I were them I wouldn’t have gone back.

  8. dingo4, are you just now figuring that out? I think that’s been understood since before Knight was fired. In order to be an elite college basketball program these days, a university’s administrators and Trustees have to be willing to sell their souls and pervert the concept of student-athlete beyond recognition. I’m glad IU still emphasizes the pursuit of a degree, even if it means we can’t sign the best 5-star recruits every year. And I hope IU never tries to emulate the absurd one-and-done policies that Kentucky has perfected. Not only has it made a mockery out of the student-athlete concept, it has degraded NBA basketball. Watched any NBA games lately? Regular season NBA games have become so sloppy they resemble neighborhood pick-up games. I’d watch a good Indiana High School basketball game over an NBA game any day of the week.

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