That’s A Wrap: De’Ron Davis

  • 04/04/2017 8:48 am in

Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2016-2017 Indiana Hoosiers. Up next: De’Ron Davis (Previously: Devonte Green)

Davis (34 games): 5.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 48.8% FG, 75.6% FT in 13.9 minutes per game.

De’Ron Davis was playing catchup from the start of his freshman season in Bloomington.

The Aurora (Colo.) product didn’t arrive on campus until late August as he finished up academic requirements back home to become eligible. Fellow freshmen Grant Gelon, Devonte Green and Curtis Jones had the benefit of spending the summer on campus getting acclimated to college life and working out. That extra time is typically a major benefit to incoming players.

Things didn’t get easier from there for Davis. He battled nagging injuries into the fall that had him in and out of practice, according to Tom Crean.

But despite missing the summer and the injury setbacks he had to work through, Davis was a force in the paint for the Hoosiers when he was on the floor as a freshman.

In the season opener against Kansas, Davis scored just four points in seven minutes, but knocked down a pair of crucial free throws with 42 seconds left in overtime to give the Hoosiers a four-point lead. In a loss to Wisconsin at home on Jan. 3, Davis was the primary reason Indiana was able to keep things close in the second half. Ethan Happ had no answer for him defensively as he scored 12 points in 18 minutes.

And in IU’s Big Ten tournament blowout victory over Iowa, Davis went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field on his way to a career-high 15 points.

Davis scored in double figures just six times, but he used the highest percentage of possessions of any Hoosier while on the floor at 24.1. While there may have been a narrative advanced by some that IU didn’t utilize the post enough under Tom Crean, the numbers show that touches weren’t a problem for Davis. His efficiency in post-up possessions, according to Synergy Sports, was solid as he scored 78 points in 101 possessions, but is certainly a mark he can improve upon as his career moves along.

Offensive rebounding is another strength for Davis as he finished the season with an offensive rebounding percentage of 13.8. He didn’t have the minutes to qualify, but that number would have ranked as the fifth best among Big Ten players. According to Synergy, Davis scored 1.31 points per possession on offensive rebounds. That number ranked in the 83rd percentile nationally.

The good news for new coach Archie Miller is that Davis appears to be committed to seeing things through in Bloomington. His high school coach, Danny Fisher, said Davis plans to remain in Bloomington. Having a potential All-Big Ten player and former top 50 recruit on the roster will be a huge boost for Miller in building his first IU roster.

Bottom Line: Davis should benefit from having a full offseason in Bloomington to improve upon his conditioning as he enters his sophomore season. His minutes were at times referenced to as “hockey shift” as a freshman because he simply wasn’t in the shape to play for extended stretches. He’ll also need to work on defending without fouling as his fouls per 40 minutes (7) were the highest on the roster. Ultimately, the upside for Davis should excite IU fans for his future. He’s already one of the most polished post players in the Big Ten and has the potential to quickly develop into an All-Big Ten type of player.

Quotable: “He’s very, very hard to guard, and he’s got great feet, great hands, great eyes. He can pass the ball. We want him to do a lot of passing now and we’re not doing enough cuts to get those passes.” – Crean on Davis following IU’s loss to Michigan on Feb. 12 in Bloomington.

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  • SCHoosier

    After seeing some of the better post/paint players in the NCAA’s let just say that DD has a really high “ceiling for improvement.” I hope he can improve his quickness..and develop a couple “go to moves in the post.” Hope he’s project priority #1 for the Miller staff this summer.

  • Jim Miller

    It doesn’t exist any more. Thats the point of saying move on. Get past it. Look to the future. Get your eyes and head out of the past.

  • Not much the staff can do with DD over the summer, of course, other than work him into their planning. To me, that remains the second biggest question behind which players are on the roster: how much can the coaching staff accomplish in getting the players ready for the season with the limited instruction time they’ll have available?

  • Every player wrap up this year will be about how TC coached him. Next year, that won’t be the case.

  • Indiana_Banners

    I haven’t seen a recent mock draft but he has all the ingredients for a quick riser in March:

    1. Highly ranked recruit
    2. Didn’t play much(“Hidden” by Coach Few)
    3. Flashed a variety of skills in a few tournament appearances against top competition

    It’s basically going to be his benefit, in this year’s draft at least, that he didn’t play much throughout the year. Given his talent coming into Spokane, some scouts will assume that Few didn’t play him in an attempt to keep him for a sophomore season and will further assume that he would’ve played the way we saw in the NCAAs all year long if only Mark had let him off the leash. The assumption will be that he was stuck behind an upperclassman but has the goods, all based on the 100 minutes or so he played throughout the tournament.

    There’s a chance that more sober minds will prevail after he attends the combine and open gyms but when a top recruit doesn’t play much and then shows flashes for twenty minutes against top competition a lot of times they get overvalued especially when they’re really young. We’ll see but if I were wagering I’d bet that he gets a first round guarantee during the combine and bolts.

  • pcantidote

    If I may, in regard to the debate going on below, I think it was quite clear that DD came to IU with a repertoire of footwork and post moves. I can’t think of a single player under Crean who became a better half court post player. I’m not stating that as fact but more as first impression. I don’t know if Arch has a track record of developing post players. I do know I saw a lot of players last night and throughout March with fundamental footwork and half court post moves. So the debate is still relevant in the sense that we may be able to attract a different kind of recruit to IU, and our current players might be able to develop a more well rounded game (especially TB if he stays).

  • Brad

    True, but he will have to change player’s mindsets and change some of what they’ve been taught by Crean and his staff.

  • marcusgresham

    Vonleh and Bryant both had aspirations of being wings. Perhaps Crean indulged them somewhat, and that may have also been what helped him to recruit them, but they were not as married to the notion of being on the block as Davis is.

  • OG is a great example, I think, of a player who got significant national and NBA attention following a great performance in the NCAA tournament. His stock rose dramatically after the UK game, IIRC.

  • marcusgresham

    I could buy that argument if not for the fact that Davis manages to get open in the very same offense.

  • marcusgresham

    He was also playing against Georgia State’s opponents, not Indiana’s. That was probably beneficial to his overall numbers.

  • I go back and forth on this myself. Yes, a player who’s been coached in college has to be taught different things under a new coach. But we have examples of individual players who transferred into new systems and did well pretty much immediately — our own Max Bielfeldt is an example. Can Archie doe the same with an entire team? That’s what remains to be seen, and I agree that it’s a significant challenge.

  • marcusgresham

    That’s the point Dakich often made. As much as everyone one here wants to denigrate him, he makes sense as an analyst. How many times did he say, “if I’m the other coach I just hope and pray Thomas Bryant hits his first three.”

  • marcusgresham

    The word I always seemed to use when Davis got the ball was “patient.” He just didn’t seem to ever rush. He let things develop naturally, and he generally made sound decisions.
    Bryant seems to just be more naturally, I don’t know if this is the right word, but “hyper.”

  • marcusgresham

    That’s the whole reason teams play a zone–to keep the ball out of the paint. Syracuse is the best at it. Zeller didn’t get the ball because Zeller wasn’t open.

  • What’s most fascinating to me about Archie, and what I can’t wait to see in practice, is how he can adjust for the players on-hand. His 2014-15 season is instructive in this regard — he found himself suddenly with six scholarship players early in the season, none over 6’6″, and he managed to coach that team into the NCAA tournament where they won two games. Yes, that wasn’t against B1G teams but it also wasn’t with B1G talent remaining. I think we’ll see that Archie can make the best use of whatever players he has (his Elite 8 team the prior season was strong in the post, IIRC from my research) and that his system is flexible enough to accommodate various mixes of players.

  • HoosierOne

    DD is the man! I would be surprised if the NBA isn’t calling his name after this season. However if we do well enough and get a few more pieces in place he may want to stick around for a run at the national championship.

    DD, DG, CH, JM, RJ is a pretty solid starting roster to come back next year.

  • inLinE6

    Dakich is incredibly smart unless he’s coaching. I hope he stays ESPN analyst forever.

  • Mark Bando

    Agree with you and one of the most frustrating things for me this past season was watching TB look as if he had not spent any time working on his post moves in the off season and then watching him roam the perimeter for half the game. The development of DD down low is critical for us next year.

  • IULore

    Not even close, but thanks for playing. I’m not the one on here complaining that some people have certain view points.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    No lift around basket.. foul prone.. needs to develop shot

  • IULore

    I also remember him getting it on occasion down their and getting hammered across the arms with no calls

  • IULore

    He strokes FTs well enough he must have a shot in their. It’s clear he was not healthy enough to dunk though.

  • John D Murphy

    The fouling is the big issue with DD. He either tries to block the shot, slaps at the ball, or is still moving way too late. It’s clear he has the building blocks of a good offensive player but can’t stay on the court long enough. I think he’ll get there and he better. If TB leaves, we’ll need him 25+ min a game minimum.

  • I have no idea what you’re saying here. You _constantly_ snipe at anyone who says anything you take as remotely negative toward TC. It’s as if you think it’s your job to protect TC’s delicate reputation.

  • iugradmark

    New SI mock draft has OG at #14. I have said many times, but he would be smart to go and take the money. He can come back to school for his degree when he has invested his millions. If he gets hurt again, things may not be so favorable for him.

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    DD has better post moves than TB does. He’s pretty polished inside. His biggest issue going forward is going to be staying out of foul trouble. I’m really not sure how that “skill” is taught, though.

  • rob salway

    Looks like Groce is going to take Akron job according to Jeff Goodman

  • John D Murphy

    Recognize where you should be. Move your feet not your hands. Arms straight up not an angle. Learn to talk. Learn to listen. It’s a “skill” that is taught by having your behavior either positively recognized for doing the right thing or corrected for doing the wrong thing during practice. DD will be a much improved defender next year.

  • iugradmark

    Years ago, Knight used to send his big men to Pete Newell’s big man camp. It really seemed to help some of them. Uwe, Todd Lindeman were both projects when they arrived and both improved a lot for what they were. I wonder if there is a similar camp these years.

  • Perhaps better overall team defense will put DD in fewer positions where he has to, e.g., recover late because another player lost track of his man. Or more generally, was DD often out of proper position because the defense was poor? I can’t answer those specifically, but it did seem on occasion that we fouled more because our defense was porous and put individual players in bad positions.

  • Piker

    You make too much sense. It’s unreal that people lump bigs into one category. Charles Barkley once said you need a big butt to play the post. Lot of truth there. The guys being references including TB are better built to run, shoot then trying to make space.

  • Good point, I’d forgotten about that. No idea if there is such a thing any longer.

  • TomJameson

    Brad, I’m thinking you’re in that small group and just don’t know better. Your hate of everything Crean is really altering your perceptions. The facts do not bear out your rhetoric.

  • TomJameson

    Greg, Vonleh was saying he was staying for two years, almost up to the time he left. The money was calling his name, it’s that simple. Luke didn’t have anything to do with Vonleh’s decision to make some millions.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think there is an arrogant bone in Luke’s body, and I won’t buy into that narrative, but I will agree that he probably was turned off by the culture of some of the team, but I think he was also homesick. Marquette was very close to home.

  • TomJameson

    Hahaha …. You’re probably right, but I’d bet we keep hearing comparisons to Crean for years. Mostly they’ll probably be like “well at least they don’t do such-and-such like Crean did ….” 🙂

  • Greg M. Bailey

    If he would commit to playing D I think the new system could really benefit JBJ. Him catching and shooting coming off screens could be deadly.

  • Yep, true enough. Just imagine if ITH had existed when RMK was fired.

  • Guyton25

    Throughout the season, De’Ron was the only player I continuously praised for his fight and consistency. As the season progressed, we started seeing more players look like they don’t care anymore, but never De’Ron. The main thing I love about him is his post play. TB’s release is always to strong doing post moves, almost like his flick of his wrist is too harsh during his shot release, but De’Ron iss always controlled and lays it in with finesse and precision.

    He’s what gives me hope about the near future of IUBB regardless if TB, OG, or JBJ stay.

  • IUMIKE1

    Good points.