Health guiding a strong spring for Devin Davis

Pinpointing the most significant difference for Devin Davis from last spring to this spring is easy for Eric Gordon All-Stars coach Matt Green.

It’s not an improved jump shot or added strength, although the Warren Central star has improved in both of those areas. It’s a factor Davis had little control over, but is now in the rearview mirror: his health.

“When he’s healthy, you get what you see now,” Green said at last weekend’s adidas Spring Classic in Fishers. “He’s tough and is always going to be a warrior for you, but when he’s healthy, he shows all the athleticism. He’s able to get up and down, rebound, defend, make shots. You get the total package when he’s fully healthy.”

Through three tournaments this spring, a healthy Davis is playing better than ever after battling a nagging back injury for much of last spring and summer.

“I feel like that’s probably the biggest difference,” Davis told Inside the Hall. “I feel like I’m more athletic and can do more with and without the ball. And my mindset is more that I’ve gotta do more for the team and play my hardest.”

That mindset includes affecting winning in ways beyond just scoring the ball.

In Fishers, the IU commit was deflecting passes, diving on loose balls and when he took an inadvertent elbow to the nose late in a loss to Wisconsin Swing, he didn’t even require a trip to the bench before continuing. That type of effort doesn’t go unnoticed by his teammates.

“He brings a lot to the table. He’s got a motor that doesn’t stop,” Zavier Turner, the point guard for the Eric Gordon All-Stars, said. “That’s what I think gets Devin over. He brings it every game as far as his rebounding, scoring or defense. Even if he doesn’t have a scoring night, he’s there to rebound.”

Turner, who has known Davis since the third grade, said playing with such a versatile and unselfish teammate makes his job as a point guard much easier.

“When I penetrate, he’s constantly moving, so it’s an easy little dump down to him,” Turner said. “He doesn’t mind screening — he just plays. He plays for the team, and not for himself.”

One question about playing for his future team in Bloomington has been where Davis may fit in position wise. A year ago, Green said he wasn’t exactly sure which position Davis would play in college, but has a better grasp now on where he may fit in.

“I saw Coach Crean talk a little bit about their four position at IU, how it’s kind of turned into a hybrid position that can guard multiple positions, be able to shoot the ball from outside,” Green said. “He fits in perfectly. He works on his outside shot, he can guard anywhere from the five on down right now. College is a different story, but he rebounds at such a high level, you can slide him in at that four position, it just fits him perfectly.”

Davis reeled off strength, quickness and improving his perimeter game as the areas he hopes to improve this spring and summer as the Eric Gordon All-Stars play in events like the adidas May Classic, the Best Buy Chicago Classic and the adidas Invitational.

His jump shot has already been steadily improving, according to Turner, who said Davis would make a high percentage if he decided to take more outside shots. But more important than anything else, it’s the drive and approach to the game that continues to guide improvement for Davis.

“His mindset hasn’t changed over the years,” Turner said. “And with his motor, he just doesn’t quit.”

Related:

HD Video: Devin Davis adidas Spring Classic highlights (May 1, 2012)
HD Video: Davis, Fischer square off at Spring Classic (April 29, 2012)
Fischer and Swing knock off Davis, Eric Gordon All-Stars (April 29, 2012)

  • HoosierDawg

    I was told that DD is Mike Woodson’s nephew-anyone know if that is correct? Regardless, I like his game and am glad he’ll be a Hoosier.

  • Miamihoosier

    I have a feeling Devin is going to be the heart of this team for 4 years, and could be a case  where offering a kid very early, really pays off.  Of course, we might get the other end of the spectrum with Hartman.   Interesting to see how Colin’s senior year goes, you would think if he’s going to IU, he should emerge at least as a top ten player in the state, win 1st team all conference, help them to win their sectional……. we’ll see, hopefully he stays healthy, and can grow in some confidence.

  • calbert40

    I don’t why Colin has dropped in the rankings, but I think he will be an asset to the program. I am not sure what his role is going to be, but I believe he will be an important part of the rotation.

    I think Hartman is a top 10 player in his class. He was named to the Junior Core all-star team, which is the top 6 players in the state. Also, Devin Davis didn’t win a sectional this year, and I guarantee that at least one of them will not win the sectional next year, because they compete in the same one. This year, it was won by Lawrence Central and Hollowell, so the competition is pretty solid there.

    Those are team goals not individual accomplishments. Now, I think that Hartman could be 1st team all-conference…if he didn’t play for an independent team. I think he is a solid player.

  • Brock

    Just from seeing the videos on this guy, I think if he stays healthy all summer, his stock is going to rise very quickly. I don’t think he will remain a 3-star recruit much longer. Agree?

  • SCHoosier

    Hope u are right about Colin..seems to be the equal of AE this year..nice player..but nice enuff? Both have to figure out their roles given the talent list on the squads they are joining.

  • calbert40

    I’ll be honest, I have never seen Hartman play in person, but I can say without equivocation that I believe he is a more talented player than AE. AE is a solid player, but Colin is better.

  • jahhoosier

    I think he slides right into the usage that Coach Crean deploys with Will Sheehey.

    And that’s a good thing.

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