2013-2014 Player Profile: Devin Davis

  • 10/02/2013 7:21 am in


With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we look at freshman Devin Davis.

Friday’s Hoosier Hysteria has been a long time coming for Devin Davis.

The 6-foot-7, 221 pound forward from Warren Central in Indianapolis gave a verbal commitment to Indiana in November of 2010, not long after the Hoosiers received a signed National Letter of Intent from Cody Zeller.

If it was Zeller’s signature that made it cool for in-state kids to come to Bloomington once again, it didn’t take long for the program to reap the benefits as both Davis and Collin Hartman committed just 10 days later.

At one time, Davis was considered a top 25 recruit nationally by ESPN.com, but his stock gradually fell over his high school career over concerns about his position in college. Fair or not, the knock was that Davis lacked the size to play the four but didn’t have the ball skills to move out onto the floor and play the three.

Prior to his arrival in Bloomington in June, Davis worked diligently on his ball handling skills with Eric Gordon Sr., which should make him a candidate to find time at multiple positions in Indiana’s rotation. His outstanding motor and hustle should quickly endear him to fans and on a team with plenty of playing time available, Davis has a chance to crack the rotation from day one because he rebounds the ball very well.

“One of the areas he fits in is being that high energy guy off the bench that can come in and maybe provide that spark,” Matt Green, Davis’ AAU coach with the Eric Gordon All-Stars, told Inside the Hall over the summer. “He can defend different positions, rebound the basketball. There’s always time for those types of guys.”

The ability to defend multiple positions is key for Davis as that versatility will allow Tom Crean and his staff to use the freshman, who is underrated as an athlete, in a variety of roles. Couple that with a player who still has room to grow with his ball handling and shooting ability and Davis appears to be a solid addition that should continue to expand his role as his career progresses.

“He’s worked on his ball handling, just different ways to score the basketball, being able to attack the basket,” Green said. “He’s definitely been working on his jump shot, trying to extend his range and how his form is so he can shoot it at a high level.”

Bottom line: Beyond Noah Vonleh, Indiana’s frontline has plenty of uncertainty and despite being undersized to play the four, Davis figures to get an opportunity to contribute right away because of his effort and ability to rebound. He may never be counted on as a featured scorer, but he’s too athletic and too talented to not grow into a positive contributor in Bloomington.

Quotable: “Tremendous athlete, plays with great energy. It’s fun to watch him do the things he’s capable of doing now that he’s healthy. He can get to the basket. He has the ability to score on both sides of the rim. He can go coast to coast. He can be a pretty good shooter. He epitomizes versatility and multidimensional ability on both ends.” — Crean on Davis after signing day last fall.

Previously: Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, Collin Hartman

(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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  • Indiana_Banners

    Devin Davis has such a high motor and is such a determined young man, there’s no way he doesn’t get minutes each and every year of his career. He’s got a really strong leadership quality that I think Crean will want to utilize by getting him on the floor. I think Davis will be this year’s most surprising freshman contributor.

  • N71

    Love this kid. I’ve watched him over the years evolve at Warren Central and he is so entertaining to watch, hard nosed, old school, never quit approach. This is partially why he was dealing with injury so much, kind of like Bob Sanders. I’d argue he’s the most entertaining of all the Indy talent because he has an inner toughness that’s hard to describe unless you watch it first-hand. Its one of those things that falls under “you know it when you see it” and is probably why some of the staff talk about him as a Temple type player. When I watched his video with Coach Gordon I thought “brilliant”, whoever thought to develop his ball handling and shooting could be creating the next version of a Victor type player yet bigger. I’ll really be rooting for Devin, love the photo above. Reminds me of the Davis’ for the Pacers and the beginning of Ted Nugent’s Stranglehold. Listen to that and imagine Devin as a ripped 240 pound senior exiting the tunnel and the freshman over on the Northwestern bench swallowing their gum.

  • dtfreed

    it still amazes me how DD took to Gordon Sr.’s teaching. What was WC’s coach doing for 4 years besides hoping DD didn’t go to a different HS. Imagine having a 6-7 guard out on the floor. Can you say mismatch? In the mailbag Alex seemed to think SR was going to be the surprise Frosh by the end of the year. I think it will be Devin.

  • SCHoosier

    Needs some offensive development..but with his motor..and sheer tenacity…Devin is going to make a contribution on the boards and defense. Will surprise by the end of the year….(he said bravely)

  • Bigger version of aj moye?

  • Jeremy Pinnell

    His HS coach was Greg Graham who knows a thing or 2 about playing at IU. I was reading somewhere that Greg was working with to get his mid-range game better and help with his work ethic and mental toughness. I am not worried about Devin. I think he will be a serious sleeper in this group.

  • IUfanToby

    I was thinking the same comparison

  • hoosier1158

    I like the picture, looks like he has an attitude, in a good way. 6′ 7″ is tall enough to play the 4 spot, he just needs to add 20 lbs. I haven’t seen to many clips of him playing but followed his stats, a good rebounder. He needs to play inside.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Same size version of Branden Dawson?

  • Swishmac IU

    Most interesting and telling comment in the article, “Davis was once considered a Top 25 prospect, but stock fell over concerns on his position in college”. Goes to show that these ratings have nothing to do with a players overall skill and ability, but more about how they fit into someone’s ideal college system and position. Give me top 25 raw talent over some “experts” pigeon holed postion chart any day. History in Cook Hall shows that a motor and work ethic results in positive outcomes. This kid is going to surprise a ton of people.

  • Kenneth234

    This whole 2014 class is full of potential. Some are certainly more gifted skills wise than others as they start their college careers but none the less they all seem like they have the right attitude and some strengths to their games and a willingness or eagerness to improve. I feel that if he is not ready to crack the rotation this season, which to clarify is not a doubt, than he will certainly be a contributor by next season. Like everyone else who seen the video of him working with EG Sr., I came away impressed. Not only has his skills increased, but the fact that he is not shying away from the spotlight by making that video tells me that it bothered him that there were people doubting him on the national level which caused his stock to go down. Not only did he not get down on himself, but he has turned the doubts into motivation to work that much harder, and seek out the right people to help his game flourish.

    When I look at this and last years recruiting classes, I see a lot of players that are full of potential and desire to improve. And I have little doubt that as these two classes move into becoming upper class-men they will be more than just a supporting cast to some higher level younger talent. They will be dependable veterans who have an opportunity to play basketball at the next level, whether that is the NBA or not. Just imagine the high probability of having seniors like Perea, Jurkin, Hollowell, and Yogi, to combine with juniors like Williams, Robinson, Fischer, Davis and Hartman, and at least sophmore Robert Johnson. That group alone, might be good enough to win the Big Ten title, but sprinkle in some extra missing pieces, and a NCAA title is not a far stretch.

  • Hardwood83

    ‘Hustle, high-energy, rebounds, defense’ These are a few of my favorite things.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Not saying this is going to happen…..WHAT IF by his junior year he develops the ball skills to play point? What would happen then? That could be scary if it did….

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I think his stock fell because he committed so early. Recruiting sites need to keep the content fresh you know…..

  • skotchie

    Given the fact that he played for Greg Graham I believe Devin is the best mentally prepared Frosh in this class. I don’t even consider him a sleeper, I expect big things from this kid. Maybe not right out of the shoot, but eventually he’ll be a huge star in B-town.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    AJM was a beeeeeeaaasssst. Original beast mode.

  • IU Fan For Life

    I’ve seen Davis and Hartman both play. I was not impressed with Davis and I thought Hartman was a joke. But apparently Hartman was battling some concussion/head issues when I had seen him. But, I think both will be bench warmers.

  • ufo3

    I watched Devin Davis at Warren Central and EG AAU team and the one impression I was left with was Devin Davis is a Warrior! Relentless on both ends of the court. Highest motor that I saw in AAU over the last year. If he was 6’9″ or taller he would be a prototype B1G 4. With his work ethic and physical relentlessness I think Devin will be the biggest surprise of the incoming IU Freshman class.

  • MillaRed

    Class of 2011 forward rankings.

    #9 Khem Birch last two years 6 pts, 5 rbs.

    #20 Branden Dawson 8 and 5 as a SO

    #23 Norvel Pelle – never saw the floor

    I could care less about these rankings.


    You know you really should give this whole common sense approach thing you’ve had going on lately a lot more serious thought than you obviously have.


    Listen to that and imagine Devin as a ripped 240 pound senior exiting the tunnel and the freshman over on the Northwestern bench swallowing their gum.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with your point of view when it comes to DD they gotta love that part of your comment. Spoken like a man that has listened to that Uncle Ted song more than once. lol

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Seems like we have heard this story before, great athlete, big motor, hard nosed, plays hard, needs to work on outside shot and ball handling….. overlooked by the experts…. hmmm…. It seems like there are only a few of us who truly believe that Devin will crack the rotation. I think he will, and I think he will be the surprise player of this class…. like a former Hoosier who went from “who is he/how do we pronounce his name?” to being drafted #2

  • hoosier1158

    I hope so. AJ still has my favorite all time block. : )

  • PV Mike

    I saw the drills with Gordon Sr. also, and they looked to be very focused and helpful. The only irony is Eric Gordon’s Jr.’s biggest weakness to this day in the NBA (when he is not injured) is his erratic ball handling skills. Dad?

  • Swishmac IU

    Guess i didnt articulate my point very well – I dont care about ratings either as they seem to be based off criteria that doesnt always translate.

  • sarge

    exactly what you come to expect from indiana high school recruits. good team player, versatile, great fundamentally on offense and defense and the hunger to get better… gotta love what ctc is doing on the recruiting aspect

  • marcusgresham

    What would be great would be to see DD somewhere between Jerome Lane (undersized 4 who rebounded like a monster,) and Kwame Evans (6’7 guard at GWU back when they were damn good in the mid-90s.)

  • CreamandCrimson

    I have now see 4 different players who have “reminded” or “compared to” Victor Oladipo. One of them might end up being a whole lot like Victor but I think we are throwing the comparison around a bit too much. Just my opinion though.

  • marcusgresham

    If a house gets in his way, Baby, he’ll tear it down!

  • marcusgresham

    Any time I stop and really take the time to remember it, I still tear up a bit.

  • MillaRed

    I was agreeing with you Swish

  • Kevin Tolliver
  • ScoopGeoff

    Ehhh, well I would say it has something to do with skill and ability. He is has the prototypical size for a 3, but according to these rankers, not the skill level.

    That being said, the second I saw that ball-handling video a few months back my mind was made up that DD would be a big surprise to “the experts”… Whether it be motor, determination to continually get better, positive attitude, coachability, or some other intangible… This kid will have a career that arcs far higher than people outside of our program are thinking about right now.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    There is a lot of that…. I’d compare him more to Calbert anyway

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I am not comparing him to Charles Barkley, but that said, Charles was definitely a 4 stuck in a 6’4″ body. I see no reason, given Devin’s athletic ability, that he could not become a dominate 4 at 6’7″…. While Noah is at IU, I’d say he backs up at the 4 and gets minutes in a swing position similar to Will Sheehey. I predict that once Noah has left for the NBA, Devin will be a permanent starter at the 4.

  • Cismaworld

    At the all star event in (small old school gym) this past summer DD was absolutely dominant against all the other top Indiana players. Scored over 30 points and got the better of Zak Irvin. After watching him play in that game I could not be more excited about an incoming freshman. He was in absolute beast mode.

  • hoosier1158

    AJ was the best 6′ 3″ power forward of all time. Of course he still had guard skills, but a beast inside.

  • mjrhoosier

    Devin Davis will b n beast mode every day! That’s just how he plays! Every 1 is GO n 2 love this guy#iubb

  • mjrhoosier

    WC coach is former HOOSIER Greg Graham

  • mjrhoosier

    And u would b wrong! U can’t base it on 1 game

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    I think DD will be a great addition ! Serious sleeper , probably plays with a chip on h. Shoulder after being somewhat overlooked . I the young talent that we have will really test Crean this year we will certainly see what kind of coach he is . How fast can he figure out the best mix . The talent is there.

  • Rantool

    Been saying all year this kid is the sleeper of the incoming class. He has that Killer Instinct, that you just can’t coach! You either got it, or you don’t, and Devin has it! He can be as good as his hard work and dedication will take him, and I for one, am saying that’s going to be a long way baby!

  • dtfreed

    Yes I know I didn’t want to go full throttle at him but I guess HS coaches must win and coaching individuals comes second, God knows AAU doesn’t coach skills.

  • r

    I saw Davis play once too. I think he had a couple steals, at least two charges drawn, 16 boards and I think 11 or 12 pts.

  • We have a full list in the forum.

  • Trey Lyles remained in top-10 the whole time even before he decommitted.

  • MisterSlippery

    Ripping the ball open is a turnover.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    True. Good point, but by and large this seems to be an overall pattern. It makes logical business sense, regardless if it is sketchy. As you said though Trey would be an exception to this theory.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Wasn’t it Carlos Boozer who had it crammed down his throat by AJ “the beast” Moye?

  • hoosier1158

    I think it was spiked off his forehead. lol
    If i remember correctly it was a just a clean block and they called it a jump ball. Pretty darn good block since Boozer is half a foot taller than him. And of course that sealed an IU victory.