Davis, Green looking to next year

De’Ron Davis knows what’s on the line next season. Devonte Green recognizes it, too.

If the Hoosiers fail to make the 2020 NCAA Tournament field, Davis and Green would be Indiana’s first class of four-year seniors since 1972 to fail to make the big dance during their time in an IU uniform.

For the two seniors-to-be, that can’t happen.

“I definitely don’t want to be one of the only classes to not make the tournament in four years,” Davis said. “That just starts with us. I’m gonna stress that all year.”

So begins another offseason for Indiana’s storied basketball program, which has sandwiched a pair of NIT trips around a missed postseason opportunity across the past three seasons. At IU, that’s not good enough. It can’t be.

Coach Archie Miller knows this. Davis and Green do, as well.

So in the coming months, as Indiana strives to earn that elusive NCAA Tournament bid, the desire to return the Hoosiers to college basketball’s biggest stage will be the motivation that drives Davis and Green through a crucial offseason for IU’s program.

“It’s definitely something that I’ve kept in the back of my head going through this tournament,” Green said after IU’s season-ending loss to Wichita State in Tuesday’s NIT quarterfinals. “You want to be in the record books for Indiana, but not for (missing the tournament). Me and him are the last survivors of our class — our entire class, actually; men’s and women’s sides. I think we’re gonna take a lot of pride in that moving forward.”

There’s a fair amount of uncertainty surrounding Indiana basketball right now. Will Romeo Langford jump at the chance to enter the NBA Draft, leaving IU without its top scorer? Will there be any impactful transfers in and out of the program? In that vein, can Indiana either develop or attract the kinds of high-level shooters this program desperately needs?

Answers to those questions will soon come into focus.

In the meantime, one thing seems clear: this team — and its immediate direction — now belongs to Davis and Green.

Both players have something to prove. Injuries have seemingly prevented Davis from tapping into the upside that made him a four-star recruit and a top-50 prospect in the 2016 recruiting cycle. Davis’ talent and impact potential have been visible in segments, including the seven-game stretch he enjoyed this past February, when he averaged 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds and made three starts.

Putting together a full season of positive production will be Davis’ mission next year.

“You kind of have to grow,” Davis said. “As freshmen, you kind of start off (thinking you’ll be a go-to player). With me being the No. 1 recruit (in IU’s class), I was coming in like, ‘Oh, I’m trying to do one or two and be out of here.’ Then I had to learn, like, ‘OK, I gotta sit behind Thomas (Bryant) and learn from him in this process.’ Everyone has a different role.”

From Day 1 next season, Davis and Green will be expected to lead and produce. Green did plenty of the latter during IU’s seven games this month, scoring in double figures in each contest while giving the Hoosiers the long-range scoring punch they’ve craved in Miller’s first two seasons as coach.

As well as Green finished the campaign, this season was not without its fits and starts. Until this month, Green’s junior season played out much like each of his previous two years. There were moments where his tantalizing talent level made it difficult to take him off the floor. There were other moments where Green was a one-man wrecking ball to the Hoosiers’ halfcourt offense.

On Jan. 22, the announcement of a three-game suspension for an unspecified rules violation seemed to be the low point for the junior. And when he took an honest look at his place at Indiana, Green wondered if it was worth sticking around in Bloomington.

“I’ve definitely had thoughts (about transferring),” Green said. “I think we all have thoughts at some point in our career, especially with the coaching change and now knowing what to expect coming in. But I don’t regret anything, because I think everything happens for a reason and I think I’m here for a reason.”

Next season, that reason very well could be to provide some of the scoring punch IU could miss with Langford’s potential departure.

Another reason?

To get Indiana back to the NCAA Tournament.

“We’re here, we’re seniors now (and) we know what it takes,” Davis said. “We have experience in the postseason and now it’s just about digging in and putting two halves of the season together and not having that drop-off in January.”

38 comments

  1. Funny thing about this and time will tell, but leadership can sometimes come from the most unlikely places.

    1. It ain’t coming from either of these two…Alabama football will go winless before that happens. Leaders are not made, they are born. ………………..in Chesterton (that was a jest).

  2. It is not like these two haven’t played a large role in why we haven’t been to the tournament the last three years. I will give Davis a pass because of his injuries. But can Devonte learn to improve his shot selection and reduce turnovers? Not for half or three quarters of out games next year but for ALL of them. Questionable at best.

    1. …and play effort infused D on every opponent possession…in other words be reliable, consistent and full of resolve…don’t try to be the star…

    1. So what do you expect them to say? They were asked a question and they answered it. Are they supposed to say, “Yeah, I only care about myself and probably will continue to chuck it from all over the floor. I don’t really care that much about defense, so sometimes I will play hard defense and other times, meh.”

  3. I will wait until the end of May, 2019 to see what roster changes are made to hazard a guess on next season’s results. There’s more needed than the present roster and the two signing, so far.

    1. How do you know that IUS? How can anyone know more recruits are needed for next year beyond the present roster?

      One key recruit missed the entire season who happened to be the first player on the team to gain a gold jersey besides Juwan or Romeo. Another key recruit spent 90% of the season recovering from a concussion. He was cleared to play just like Rob, but we all know it took RP quite a while to get back up to speed even after being cleared to play. Finally we have Rob himself who lost the better part of 2 months due to his own concussion, and had his first year set back 50% of the season. Outside of Romeo, these 3 recruits were the heart and soul of Archie’s first recruiting class, the ones expect to be at IU for more than one year.

      Not picking on you IUS, but making a bigger point to certain segments of Hoosier Nation. How does anyone know what the team’s needs are besides Archie, especially when anyone outside the staff doesn’t have anywhere near enough information to make such a determination? Yes, if Jerome can’t go next season or the others are not healthy, then more will be needed. Same is true if Romeo doesn’t return, but beyond that Archie may well have a very complete team if Jerome, Race, and Rob can come up to full speed.

      1. Damn…..When you grab one theme/position, you don’t let go. This is beginning to remind me of the Penix thing.
        Think of IU’s basketball roster as Penix. Same lightning in a bottle we’ve rarely seen play!
        Don’t we all wish we could be lightning in a bottle? Damezi….Penix…Race…Tuttle….Gunner….Everything hinges on Tuttle! Lord, IU fans are the best.

        I’m almost wishing for Purdue to win a banner…just so the thermostat gets turned up very, very …very high under Fred’s buttocks like it should have been when our basketball program was a mess seven years ago(evidenced by a total charades and level coaching incompetence witnessed where top talent could barely put away a very pedestrian Temple team).

          1. I’ll likely pass away …before we make it to an Elite 8 again, but you can hold me accountable in my coffin.

      2. Been listening to so much crap from Purdue fans over the last couple weeks, I really don’t want to hear about cute “gold jerseys”…and train sets…and locomotives..and our little Isiah ‘Thomas the Train’ that could 40 FRIGGIN” YEARS AGO!

        Everyone else gets to live in the madness of now….We continue to live in the madness of what was…or what will be. BECAUSE It’s Indiana…It’s the NEW GENERATION…..It’s Hoosier Rising….It’s WE’RE BACK! ….It’s THE MOVEMENT…It’s EVERYTHING HINGES on CODY….It’s OLA-SHEEHEY…It’s ROMEO of the Resurrection….And now…?….(drum roll)….IT”S THE COVETED GOLDEN JERSEY!
        Can we have a big round of applause for the golden jersey? No, not that one…Not the one playing against the Vols tonight.

        1. And there you have it…Add Purdue to Conference Midwest Elite.* Wonder if they’ll get a gold jersey?

          It now makes ELEVEN DIFFERENT MIDWESTERN TEAMS with 26 (could go up to 29 if Michigan, MSU, and UK win) collective Elite Eights since 2010…to our ZERO.

          2010-19
          Conference Midwest Elite: 26
          Indiana: ZERO

          (*collective total of Elite 8’s achieved by teams from the Midwest)

  4. “Looking to transfer” was my original…..

    Smiling on the bench with 26 seconds left after losing on your home court in an NIT game…..? Instead of “looking to next year,” you should be looking straight into the camera with those pearly whites.

    Much of the problem with IU Sports/Basketball is also the “defeatist” attitudes in the coverage. I do remember a few ‘COMMENTARY’ pieces where Kellenberger told it like it is. I understand that they’re kids, but I don’t even know too many kids on h.s. teams who would be smiling, joking around or smirking in the midst of a loss. It’s up to those who cover our teams to ask more questions of the coach and the leaders of IU Athletics the roots of such aloofness.

    What’s the point of looking to next year when there is such contentment with poor results?

  5. think, we don’t know. None of us do. This is all speculation. No one can predict the future with any degree of accuracy. But here’s my speculation. It would appear to most that, especially if Romeo goes NBA, Archie is losing more than he’s bringing in. Losing Romeo and JM is going to cost IU a lot. I think the original plan was for a few of this year’s freshman to get enough experience this season so that they would be ready to step in and replace those two highly productive guys. But they did not get that experience due to injuries. So we’ll have inexperienced sophomores and at least two freshman replacing the two most productive players on this season’s roster. For next season, IU has to count on DD staying healthy and being in better shape, DG playing smarter and far more consistently, and two or three inexperienced Bigs staying healthy and learning very quickly. Phin is the only constant, and it is essential that he remain healthy throughout the entire season. Maybe we’ll be surprised by the guys we’ve yet to see play in college. Maybe Thompson, Forrester and Moore will display enormous productivity. Maybe Smith will make his performance against MSU his new standard. Maybe everyone on the team will improve their FT shooting. But right now, I’m not seeing the combination of talent and experience necessary to significantly improve upon this season’s total of 19 wins. Maybe we’ll sign Watford. Starting this summer, Archie and his staff’s coaching ability will be tested like never before.

  6. Not totally unrelated because it is relevant to every major league sports coach in basketball and football. Honesty and integrity. Tim Miles/Nebraska earlier this year response to a question before he was fired.
    Tim Miles stated if he were fired he would continue to get paid and has a buyout package (2.52 million). He spoke what every major league coach knows. That is after being paid a high salary year after year. That sounds like a good life and Miles has great perspective and I can’t say enough how I appreciate his honesty stating his reality out loud.

    1. Shouldn’t salary be, to some degree, commensurate to winning…or making tournaments…or going beyond a first round in the BigTen tournament…or matched to the level of acquired talent with the level of results?

      I’m with you, t. Throwing 3 million/yr. guaranteed for six years at a head coach for merely walking through the doors? Meanwhile, the average mid-level worker stuck in the many rungs of corporate bureaucracy has to go through seven different yearly performance reviews/interviews before getting a cost of living raise for “exceptional Job done!”

      In college basketball or football, you’ve won the lottery just getting hired. Who needs to win games? Miles walks away a multimillionaire …Drew walks away a multimillionaire…Crean walks away a multimillionaire. This is worse than giving your daughter a Ferrari for her Sweet 16 birthday…or admittance to Yale for doing NOTHING!

      1. Kind of disagree. With you. Who would want a job trying to convince a teenager and parents to play at IU when he may have many other offers. And then get the effort during practice and the game – every night. Probably spending hours on the phone with targets. Probably get some time to relax off season. Think it would be nerve racking to depend on 18/19 yr old kids to maintain a job. Now the money – yes ridiculous – He does get more for B1G Championships and progress in the NCAA. A better target would be politicians, both parties. Maybe hourly pay ? SAme health care and benefit package as Joe the Plumber and all CEO’ s.

        1. Don’t h.s coaches do most of the above on a PE teacher’s salary?

          500 grand a year sounds fair to coach a team which hasn’t sniffed a banner for over 30 years. I know that ain’t happening….But 3 million plus to walk through the damn door for a guy from Dayton with a more famous brother? It’s just getting nuts….
          And Crean walks away a with likely 40 million after all is said and done while topping out at Sweet 16’s and never being able to execute one in-bounds play or figure out a simple zone?

          Teenage kids ain’t so bad….even the ones who require hookers and cash to commit. Most the difficult people are the witch-hunters and the holier-than-thou excuse-making adults handed everything on a platter of nepotism.

  7. To a substantial degree Yes IU fans do know regarding what is there currently at IU in men’s basketball. They just don’t want to or can’t admit or see it.

        1. Just like you, I wasn’t. Which is why none of us will know anything until next season.

  8. IU needs to go after Joey Brunk. He is transferring from Butler and has 2 years of eligibility left. He is a load in the middle.

  9. I’m just a Brunk, a brunk of burning love
    Just a Brunk, a brunk of burning love
    Just a Brunk, a brunk of burning love
    Just a Brunk, a brunk of burning love
    Just a Brunk, a brunk of burning love….

    That’s another gem, Jeremy. Only 3499 views. Elvis holding the lyrics….and those great backup singers. Classic

    1. His career looks a lot like Fitzner’ s. Started 13 Big East games but GAME time dropped late in the season. 4 points & 1 rebound in 10 min in NIT loss to Nebraska. For the season averaged 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds in 10.6 min. But he is 6-11.

  10. “We’re here, we’re seniors now (and) we know what it takes,” Davis said. “We have experience in the postseason

    What? You know what it takes? You have no experience in the postseason that matters. You won two home games against teams that would have been ridiculed as “cupcakes” or, at best, mid-major teams under the last coach.

    Are these guys serious? Were you laughing and smiling and smirking when they gave you those answers….in the same manner they were laughing and smiling and smirking on the bench at the end of the Wichita State loss?

    Too soon, Mike…Too soon. I know it’s your job to serve this stuff to the BS dinner table…but when Purdue is playing in March Madness prime time and our guys are smirking after a loss in the NIT at home…? Too soon.

  11. Some kid from central Indiana was just accepted as preferred walk-on. Not many offers due to injuries.

  12. Do gold jerseys = wins over Purdue, OSU, big ten season championship, big ten tournament championship, win over Wichita State, NCAA March Madness tournament championship??? I am asking for a friend.I

    Ron, all these kinds of jobs should probably be similar to straight commission with small salaries, some incentives, benefits, retirement that total package = no more than a million dollars a year. Any buyout would = a year’s worth of living expenses not to exceed 200,000 dollars. Let’s see who truly loves the game of basketball or football or any sport. Just example of perspective. Quit getting paid for breathing as so many at or near the top of the food chain do.

  13. For my post about next year’s team I have read some other information than the posts on this site. Try The Daily Hoosier Wednesday’s column, go to CBS Sport and read about the Impact Players in Wednesday night McDonald East West , Tom Crean has one of his signee’s listed on the list. Hunter is still an unanswered question. Check other sites for their assessment for next year’s team, personally as an I U Season Ticket Holder and a donor I would a top 25 team on the floor next year. If Romeo goes pro and with Morgan leaving there are some big shoes to fill.

  14. Indy Star High School super team – 2 for IU, 1 to Butler, 1 to Purdue and one to Ohio State offensive line football.

  15. Purdue, Auburn, MSU, Duke, Kentucky, Virginia, Gonzaga, Texas Tech.

    2 Big 10, 2 SEC, 2 ACC, 1 West Coast, 1 Big 12.

    3 teams from Midwest(Conference Midwest Elite), 2 teams from East, 2 teams from South, 1 team from West.

    CONFERENCE MIDWEST ELITE UPDATE

    28-0. I’ve seen slow starts, but this is ridiculous.

    2010-19 should be known as the decade of “HADD” (Hoosier Apologists Derangement Decade). It was a decade of slim opportunity to retain any vestiges of ‘blue blood’ status …but we were HADD.

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