Hoosiers going slow with Davis this summer

Archie Miller is taking it slow with his big man this summer.

After De’Ron Davis missed the final 16 games of the season with an Achilles injury, Indiana is in no rush to push its junior forward back onto the floor. Summer workouts are in full swing in Bloomington, but it could be until the preseason before Davis is ready to resume basketball activities with his teammates.

“From a contact perspective and a basketball perspective, I don’t think De’Ron will be ready for that this summer,” Miller said. “We’ll be pushing toward our fall program, then (seeing where he is) moving into November. But we have to take it slow and be really mindful of how he communicates and how he feels.”

Davis is coming off a hot and cold half season, during which he flashed his potential during November, scoring in double figures in eight of his first 10 games, before fizzling out across his final month of action.

His season peaked with an impressive 16-point, five-rebound performance against No. 1 Duke on Nov. 29, and he averaged 11.5 points and 4.4 rebounds during his first 10 games of the campaign.

But Davis struggled as his season developed, averaging merely 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds across his final five games

Struggles at the free throw line throughout his sophomore campaign also marred his second season, with Davis shooting just 50 percent at the stripe after making 75 percent of his free throws as a freshman.

“If I had to grade it, my season was probably a D season coming off last year, which was like an F season,” Davis said in February. “Not too much improvement besides my conditioning.”

Davis earned praise from IU’s new coaching staff last summer after he slimmed his 6-foot-10 body, dropping 21 pounds through a transformative workout regime. He also added eight inches to his vertical jump.

Maintaining — and building upon — his conditioning is now the tricky part of Davis’ rehabilitation process.

“It’s a difficult surgery for anyone to come back from, (especially) a guy like De’Ron who is that size, who can put on some weight when he’s not allowed to do anything,” Miller said. “It makes it just a little bit more difficult.”

As they wait through Davis’ recovery timeline, the Hoosiers do enjoy a favorable degree of post depth, however unproven.

IU will be counting on the development of sophomore Clifton Moore and redshirt freshman Race Thompson. The team will also receive help in defending the post from Evan Fitzner, a 6-foot-10 Saint Mary’s graduate transfer. Incoming freshman Jake Forrester may also be ready to lend a hand.

In the meantime, Miller is content to help Davis heal on his own time.

“I think it’s going to be a slow process where he’s got to get himself into a situation where he can start to feel comfortable running, then start the conditioning,” Miller said. … “I think De’Ron has strung together some really good days and I think he’s progressing.”

12 comments

  1. This team will be loaded with size even without Davis but Davis is the only true post player without knowing Race Thompson or Forrester games Moore seems to me like a stretch 4 and the St Marys transfer is a stretch 5

  2. This is not good news. IU needs a quality Big if it is going to reach its potential. Yes, we have more size this coming year relative to much of last season, but we need an effective Big to really compete for the Big Ten Championship. Maybe by Christmas, Davis will be ready to start contributing some solid minutes, and then he can progress from there.

  3. I like Davis, but I’ve never been overly impressed with his explosiveness and quickness. He has solid fundamentals…Even without injury setbacks, I’m not sure if his ceiling is all that high.
    Morgan and Smith will bring far more athleticism and agility….The transfer from St. Mary’s will be able to stretch out some bigger defenders because of his 3-pt shooting ability.
    I still think we’re short a premier shooter/shooting guard to complement
    Romeo. Green’s shot is suspect. Has it improved? We’ll see. I’m not sure if Durham or any of the incoming freshman will create the needed corrections to last year’s shooting woes.
    Summation: Davis is the least of the worries. Putting the ball in the bucket is still my concern. Is Matt Roth still available? If we had one or two more marksman, this team would set up very similar to the squad Mike Davis took to a title game(e.g. no real inside dominance…but a ton of grit on defense…(e.g. Just sound enough inside, a future NBAer in Jeffries, and some scoring punch from the outside with Coverdale, Fife, Horsnby, Jeffries, Moye).

    1. Shooters around Langford?he’s not goin to be the PG Phinisee or Green is plus they have Jerome Hunter and Damezi Anderson coming in 2 good shooters this is nothin like 03 iu team way more talent and upside from top to bottom that team had one guy nba guy maxed out on their abilities and damn near won a title

      1. ….or in addition to Langford if you don’t prefer “around.”
        Talent and “clutch” are not necessarily the same thing. A lot of backcourt scoring is on the shoulders of freshmen(one being a likely one-and-done).

        But we are certainly already in much better shape than any teams under Crean. We are again relevant to recruits from our state. We landed a true multifaceted star. We have guys with much higher b-ball IQ’s (solidly tested rather than simply athletic projects) and a coach who will demand defense.

        In fairness to Crean, he was unlucky with the ‘bigs.’ If the savior of the candy stripes, Zeller, stays another season, there’s likely a banner…Noah Vonleh left early. Holt got his ass in trouble and transferred…Davis(while with Holt on Halloween night) had his head split open on 17th St(eventually transferred due to pot smoking). He lost Fisher when he became homesick(or sick of something in Bloomington)….Hanner liked booze more than improving his post play. Anunoby and Bryant could have been very instrumental to deeper runs had they stuck around.

  4. I think this type of injury for a player like Davis could really compromise his career. This is because of his size and the way he plays. Mobility, confidence, quickness, really everything that involves lower leg area is affected. Davis is not a light on his feet and lean player ( even though he has slimmed down). It is going to be a real challenge for him to reach his potential. It would be for any player but I think more so for him.

  5. Lakers waive Thomas Bryant. Next week he would have been looking at $1.38 million for the next season, “He excelled in G league but played in 15 Laker’s game averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebound”.

    1. So, he averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 more rebounds than I did. We were pretty close statistically.

  6. I think it’s a mistake by the Lakers to cut Bryant. Penny wise and dollar foolish. A veteran like LeBron could be such a wonderful and calming influence on a young man with a lot of skills. Most of all, Bryant never lacked in the “heart” department.
    LeBron should have signed a $1.00 contract. “I will resurrect the Lakers with a $1.00 contract. The contract is actually for 60 million over two years, but I will donate $59, 999, 999 to the family crisis at the border.
    I have all the money I will ever need. I want to leave room in the payroll for the Lakers next season and beyond. I arrive humble and ready to win. I arrive as a mentor and a teacher for the young players that will be the future long after I retire.”

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