Q & A: Coach recaps De’Ron Davis official visit

  • 09/28/2015 11:35 am in

Class of 2016 Overland, Colorado power forward De’Ron Davis took his official visit to Indiana this past weekend and Inside the Hall spoke at length with his high school coach, Danny Fisher, about the trip on Monday morning.

In our conversation, Fisher addressed several topics including the takeaways from the visit, which schools are standing out in his recruitment, a timeline for a decision and much more. The full Q & A is below:

Inside the Hall: From your perspective after talking to him and his mom, what are the takeaways from his time in Bloomington and what did he think of the visit?

Danny Fisher: I think he really enjoyed it. They continue to impress and I think this visit was more about fact checking for him. That’s what a lot of these will be after the in-home visits. Everybody says how great they are, but once you’re on their campus you really get a chance to see. I thought that everything that Indiana talked about in the in-home visit, he seemed to have an opportunity to confirm. Things like style of play, their strength coach and his ability and intensity, the high level of energy around the campus and in some senses, just to get a feel around the campus. What kind of vibe is going on around the campus? He kind of got a really good feel for that. I think it was fact checking and further confirmation that Indiana is going to be a great option if that’s what he goes with.

ITH: I saw him play for the first time back in 2012 in Indianapolis and he was already getting offers back at that time. Indiana was the first school to offer. How big is it for Indiana the time they’ve put in with him? It seems like he’s their guy they really want to get. Does he feel like he’s their priority?

Fisher: Most definitely. I think that’s going to matter a lot, honestly. I think that will carry some weight because as we all know, it’s been well documented that De’Ron has been through some ups and downs as he’s developed. He’s struggled with his weight a little bit. Some teams have been hot and cold as he started to gain weight and look a little lazy. Some teams backed off a little bit. Indiana has been there the entire time. So I think that matters. That’s going to have some weight for sure.

ITH: He’s got two other visits set up to Arizona and Mississippi State. Is he going to add any others besides those or is the plan right now just to do the three?

Fisher: I think those are his top three for sure. He may have four, but we’re trying not to waste anybody’s time and resources. He kind of has honed in on those three. As of right now, those may be it.

ITH: The question most fans will have is whether it’s a bad sign that IU didn’t get the last visit or that he didn’t commit on the visit. Is it fair to say the timing of the visits doesn’t have much to do with which way things are heading?

Fisher: It’s definitely fair to say. I think Indiana’s approach has been to be the first the entire process. They were the first offer, they were the first to recruit him heavily. They were the first to do their in-home visit and they were first to do their campus visit. I understand why people think that they should have been last because that leaves the final impression, but De’Ron is a pretty mature kid and he wants to go through the entire process and make sure he’s thorough in going about it. That’s why there are two visits remaining. He just wants to see how everything stacks up. I don’t think that’s going to affect Indiana at all.

ITH: From your perspective going through this process with him, what’s the toughest part for him? He’s got these schools telling him a lot of the same things. When he’s going through it, what’s the toughest thing for him to figure out?

Fisher: I think more than anything, it’s hard to tell who is being honest and who is kind of blowing smoke. All of these guys are very high level coaches and they’re also really good salesmen. They do this for a living. It’s kind of hard to tell what is real and what is not. Some of these campus visits kind of help get through that and being able to fact check is big. I just think for a young guy, being able to tell what is real and what’s not is difficult. There’s certain things that all of them say. Those things are sometimes hard to get through but you’ve got to get an idea of what fits you well and get through it.

ITH: What’s the plan that Indiana has laid out for how they’d use him? How do they envision him fitting in?

Fisher: I think their style of play, they really allow their four man in particular to be fairly versatile and their five, honestly. But they allow their four to be versatile with trailing the play sometimes and getting jump shots and attack opportunities. A lot of opportunity to score and play on the baseline, to face up, to pop off the block. There are some opportunities when they’re switching screens, their four man has to switch and guard a wing player sometimes. I think it’s pretty consistent with their style of play where De’Ron’s strengths kind of fit and how they’re telling him he will be used. It seems to be a really good fit for his skill set.

ITH: Is it looking like after these visits are done, he’ll be looking to get this done early or do you see this going to the spring?

Fisher: I really don’t think he wants to take this to the spring. If he decides that is best, I would understand it, but in a sense, he has a lot to lose if he waits that long because these guys still have to get their guy. And when you wait on a kid until the spring, it’s tough to not keep recruiting hard. I think he’s going to want to get it done early. He’s honed in on the schools that have done the best job and seem to fit him the best. I think he’ll be ready after these three visits to kind of hone in on who his top school is going to be.

Filed to:

  • Bruce Clark

    De’Ron’s style of play fits in perfectly with TC’s system. I like our chances with De’Ron.

    As an aside, I recall that Morgan was told by TC that he fits in the Oladipo mold: haven’t heard much about all the freshmen, but like our depth at everything but the 5 and look forward to a great year.

  • SCHoosier

    Have to admire that coach. Pretty straight forward with his assessment. If IU “being first with all contacts” doesn’t tell the kid how much the Hoosiers want him..not sure what else TC and crew can do. Not sure what the allure of MS. ST. would be. AZ sort of speaks for itself….especially with Leaf bailing out.

  • N71

    I was reading for things like, “he was blown away”, “loved the guys”, “could see fitting in really well”, “laughed”, “was happy”, “got tears in his eyes when he walked into Assembly Hall”, “Purchased a candy stripped sleeping bag in the airport”, etc. Instead I see weight & lazy, Crean’s job security, and playing the 4. “Playing the 4” is good I guess because there must be plans for a 5, Thomas staying, etc. Weight and lazy is not what I expected, he looks ripped in all the photos I’ve seen. And then Crean’s job issue means other coaches are out there smearing which is getting old let alone the bashing that happens here.

  • SilentBob

    He fits IU, but more than anything I think IU fits him. From what I’ve seen he is already pretty well polished from 15 feet in. At his size he will need to get better at stretching the floor and become better at getting to the line and being consistent once he gets there. Things I think Crean has shown a knack for. He is also someone who will need his conditioning and athleticism to be at the best of his ability to make it to the NBA. Lyonel will make sure of that.

  • IUMIKE1

    I see Miss. St as our biggest competition for this young man. That may sound odd, but Ben Howland has a body of work to point to when it comes to players he has coached going onto the next level and being successful. I’m sure there was more than one or two coaches that thought they didn’t really have anything to worry about when they were recruiting against Miss. St for Malik Newman.

  • TomJameson

    The CTC job security question is a little troubling to me. I hate it that other coaches can negatively recruit like that, and get away with it. Maybe, since De’Ron recognized the “salesman” idea, and is fact-checking everything, he’ll just brush that aside.

    Overall though, I think it looks good for De’Ron. I certainly hope so because he would fit in nicely with the style of play at IU.

  • IMSKRONG

    What exactly is the Oladipo mold?

  • TomJameson

    Has the basic skills, and the desire, and the work-ethic … to improve to almost any level desired.

  • IMSKRONG

    I see. Although Vic didn’t necessarily have all the skills. He couldn’t hit water if he was in the ocean or catch a ball. I’d say it is more about work ethic and mentality that you’re the best on the floor.

  • IMSKRONG

    So you wouldn’t recruit of the negatives of another school? Obviously Miller and Howland are going to be where they are. Crean not so much. Why not use it as a tool? Recruiting isn’t about being nice.

  • IMSKRONG

    Fun fact: Indiana was 13-2 last year when JBJ scored 18 or more.

  • Ole Man

    Very good thought! Howland has me worried as well.

  • Ole Man

    Bob, I don’t think Crean’s job security is a thought this year with recruits. If he wins, he stays. It’s that simple.
    Now spring recruits, maybe; IF his record is so-so.
    But even there, I don’t think Glass cuts him.

  • mckillio

    I wouldn’t, it’s sleazy and dishonorable. If a kid asked me about it however, I’d be honest and short about it.

  • TomJameson

    You asked, I answered. If you (think) you already know why did you ask? That’s a rhetorical question, doesn’t require an answerer.

    It seems like I never learn. 🙁

  • IMSKRONG

    I never asked you in the first place though lol.

  • Ole Man

    Crean will be here next year.

  • IMSKRONG

    Maybe. Do you think he will be if we win 22 games and get bounced in the 2nd round?

  • Rob

    i went to IU and Mississippi State. MSU has a great coach, a beautiful campus, better looking women, a great climate, the nicest people on earth, great southern cooking everywhere you go, better football in the fall and better baseball in the spring. I love IU basketball way more than STATE basketball. But if its Crean and IU or Howland and MSU, I would have to go to MSU.

  • marcusgresham

    Glad you aren’t him then.
    I’ve always been a bit of a UCLA fan too, so I’ve seen many Ben Howland teams play. If IU’s style of play fits what De’Ron wants to do then he wants no part of a Ben Howland offense. I also doubt he cares much about football or baseball in regards to the basketball program.

  • b_side

    As a projected top 15 team, that would be a 4 seed. Nothing shameful in losing to a 5 seed in the second round. We all want more, but plenty of programs have suffered worse fates in the tournament with greater expectations to start a season.

  • Rob

    He may not care about football or baseball. But if he chooses STATE that will change. I do think going to a top basketball school that is mired in mediocrity with a coach on the proverbial hot seat is going to factor big in his decision. However, while Crean is a poor coach he is a great recruiter so he may surprise me.

  • Rob

    When did IU start accepting mediocrity in Men’s Bball? Please let it stop!

  • b_side

    Why do you think so highly of Ben Howland relative to Crean?

    He had a great three year run no doubt, but that started 10 years ago. In a world of “what have you done for me lately,” what about 2008-2013? I saw five years of falling well below expectations despite having a wealth of talent at Howland’s disposal.

  • b_side

    It’s not accepting mediocrity. It’s drawing a line in the sand of having to start from scratch based on one game that is likely a pick’em in the eyes of oddsmakers.

    There is a lot more nuance to firing a coach:

    Did the team play well throughout the season, showing improvements in key areas such as defense?

    What was the relative health of the team?

    It’s not as black-and-white as you make it out to be. Shades of gray, Rob.

  • Brian Goodman

    Big takeaway for me was his coach mentioning IU’s strength coach and his intensity as the second thing in terms of IU’s pull. Awesome that Anderson is having that big of an impact that TC is already selling him to recruits.

  • IMSKRONG

    We have accepted mediocrity. Last year was a “success” to a lot of fans.

  • b_side

    I speak for myself, not others.

    Perhaps “a lot of these fans” saw it as a success given what experts predicted our finish to be (hint, it was pretty bad). There’s a fine line between success and exceeding the pundits’ expectations. I think you’re misinterpreting the latter with the former.

  • SilentBob

    This isn’t my speculation. This is his. He says it right in the interview. I think he is back next year, but there are no doubt people around the country that are questioning it. It’s the whole “if” he wins that leads to the speculation. And I don’t think De’Ron is a one and done. So if all we do is meet expectations this year, and then we go 7-11 in the big the next year after losing big time contributors. Will Crean still be the coach? Questions all recruits should be asking themselves.

    And honestly that might be more important to a guy signing a LOI in November because he is the one taking the “leap of faith” so to speak. We all assume Troy is going pro, but what about JBJ and Bryant? If so your gonna have to put faith not only in players like Johnson, Newkirk, Anunoby, Morgan, etc to improve and continue to do so, and even there two other commits….. But you also are banking on them continuing to sign other big name recruits who can impact winning as freshmen. Otherwise IU faces a very real possibility of taking another step back after this season.

  • IMSKRONG

    I don’t care what experts think. We were mediocre last year. No matter how you try to spin it. And people accepted it as success.

  • oldiugymnast

    When did the fans decide that they would ignore reality? Or pretend that the world is different than it really is? How do you even contend that our program is mediocre? Could we do better – of course. But who couldnt?

  • oldiugymnast

    Again – saying that last years team had a mediocre season is ignoring reality. They did very well given the injuries and roster constraints. You cannot adequately determine judgement without weighing all factors – and the fact is we had two freshmen at the 2 who spent most of the BIG season with nagging injuries. We had no center. The sort of center we did have dislocated his knee. Twice. Acting like these things didn’t happen is stupid on its face. I am pretty ambivalent about the “off court” stuff because it seems really authoritarian to me – but as a former athlete I understand and mostly stayed away from the alcohol in college (except once my senior year and I got busted and got my butt kicked). It is just as absurd to forget that Jordan Hulls was playing with a separated shoulder against CUSE and pretending that interior fouls were called on both sides in that game (we got into their zone all over the place – but they were allowed to collapse and foul the crud out of Cody every time).

  • IMSKRONG

    Well the reality is that we’re mediocre. 37-29 the last 2 years.

  • oldiugymnast

    Still absurd and still lacking any perspective. We had 4 key players hurt for most of the end of the season. We had nobody capable of stepping up. This actually happened. Do I wish it hadn’t? Of course. But there is a reality here and you seem to have divorced yourself from that reality.

  • IMSKRONG

    MEDIOCRE.
    -Richard Sherman

  • StraightOuttaBtown

    Ummm, yes you did?

  • IMSKRONG

    Excuses, excuses, excuses and more excuses.

  • IMSKRONG

    I asked Bruce Clark.

  • oldiugymnast

    You know what I like? I like when a basement dwelling b grade school non-graduate slings bs from his computer about other people being mediocre when he himself has never accomplished anything at all in sports or in life. That is pretty awesome. Richard Sherman is 10x the man you will ever be – and he gets to say that because he is a top 5 corner in the highest level. You – on the other hand – are a guy who has accomplished nothing slinging mud at those who have.

  • oldiugymnast

    Excuse is not the same thing as real, actual hurdle to success.

  • IMSKRONG

    Lol.

  • IMSKRONG

    All I’ve heard are excuses. Anything else?

  • oldiugymnast

    So not introspective enough to figure out I am right about you?

  • IMSKRONG

    You just make me laugh. I like you.

  • Pat Smith

    My take…we were actually better than “I” thought we would be. I am not happy with where it ended, but it was more of a pleasant surprise than what I expected.

  • IMSKRONG

    Considering this has nothing to do with me. The fact is that Indiana has been mediocre for a long time.

  • oldiugymnast

    So dislocated knees, high ankle sprains and hurt shoulders are excuses? Good to know. I broke my back and competed 11 weeks later – what do you know about excuses and reality? Have you ever worked through an injury (didn’t think so)? Have you ever worked so hard you couldn’t remove your own shirt? (didn’t think so). Tell us oh judgemental one – what gives you such authority to determine the difference between reason and excuse? Or are you such a loser that you don’t even know the difference?

  • IMSKRONG

    Well yes. I broke my back when I was younger. Pulled my ACL and was dunking 4 months later. Rolled my ankles. Broke my growth plate in my wrist and kept working with my good hand.

  • b_side

    Check out Ben Howland’s record during his last five years at UCLA. Ouch.

  • IMSKRONG

    And he got fired.