Around the Hall: Is De’Ron Davis ready to break out?

  • 09/21/2017 10:36 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Eric Bossi of looks at potential breakout sophomores from around the country and Indiana’s De’Ron Davis makes the list:

Bossi’s memory: The first time I saw Davis play, he was actually in the seventh grade. I stopped by to see a friend’s kid play in a youth tournament down the street from my house and it was comical to watch Davis — who was already at least 6-foot-7 — as 12-and 13-year-olds tried to stop him. He’s one of the rare kids who had a massive junior high rep and panned out as expected.

Freshman season: 5.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.

Why he’ll be better: Hoosiers head coach Archie Miller says Davis has lost 20 pounds and is in his best shape ever. He’s always been skilled and a scorer, so improved shape and quickness should equal much improved production if he can limit silly fouls that have kept him off the floor.

Over at ESPN Insider ($), Jeff Borzello examines the most interesting recruitments in the class of 2018 and notes that Indiana has made up ground for Romeo Langford:

The Hoosiers are hoping to keep Langford in-state for school, and will go in for a home visit Wednesday. He’s also visiting Bloomington for Hoosier Hysteria, IU’s opening-night event. Louisville is still the likely leader, but Indiana has closed the gap and Kansas is also making a push.

In his college basketball notebook at, Rick Bozich writes that he believes Indiana’s ceiling is higher what is being predicted in the preseason magazines:

My take on IU is that Miller’s first team has a ceiling of fifth place and a floor of tenth. Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern are all likely stronger. The Hoosiers will be in a scrum with Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland and Penn State in the next wave, ahead of Ohio State, Illinois, Nebraska and Rutgers.

The development of center De’Ron Davis, improvement in defense and turnover margin and health will determine where the Hoosiers finish.

Better to be picked 12th and finish fifth than to be picked and finish 12th, correct?

Zach Osterman of The Indianapolis Star looks at five burning questions for IU entering the season:

1. How quickly can Miller improve IU’s defense?

If you want to swerve defense/turnover flashbacks, stop reading now.

They’re unavoidable, but we’ll start with defense. Indiana finished 104th nationally in defensive efficiency a season ago, and last in the Big Ten in points per possession allowed in conference play. These numbers manifested themselves in one frustrating performance after another. You remember.

Enter Miller, who constructed top-50 defenses in each of the past three seasons at Dayton. lists the top five games in each conference and IU-Purdue makes the cut among Big Ten contests:

The Hoosiers have some mystery to them. Who will be the leader? How will this team resemble Archie Miller’s prior teams at Dayton? Purdue figures to be a stronger team this season, but winning in Assembly Hall could be a tough ask if Indiana’s able to grow into a respectable, tough ball club by this point.

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  • Outoftheloop

    Many on this thread question how “thin” IU is in the frontcourt. But DeRon is better than any Big NW has. I like MN’s toughness, but IU wins that game at the Barn if only James played defense and blocked out his man on the last possession. That will not happen this season. MSU is great, but everyone else is beatable, including IU.

  • pdhoosier

    I think it was something in regard to his father. And he started getting out of shape/focus and slipped a little in the rankings (if I recall correctly). Definitely still best in his state and will be a real cog I think! Can’t wait to find out.

  • pdhoosier

    That last part might happen in year 2 without either one of those guys!! But it’d be a whole lot easier with them!

  • So, according to Evan Daniels, it’s down to IU and Vanderbilt for Garland. Both he and Romeo are visiting there this weekend. Just thought I’d post that here, since this is a roundup and it seems to fit. Of course, you’d already know this if you were in the premium forum (hint hint). Or maybe you do already know this, in this case, how cool is this?

  • beppecolo

    Amen…set picks, move your feet, keep your hands up, block out, play hard, and win, lose, or draw, you got my love.

  • Ivan Renko

    i believe he was #1 in 8th grade/going into his freshman year of HS. as the roundup in the article mentioned, DD was HUGE as an 8th grader, already 6’7″ or 6’8″ and long. So he was obviously dominating kids who were probably still 6′ on the tall side.

  • Ivan Renko

    Justin Smith may earn that spot. He’s super athletic and has an NBA-ready body. FM IMO is not anywhere near a starter level player in the Big 10. I think he’ll earn time when we need a muscle-man to bang opponent’s frontcourts down low.

    I also like the idea of Collin being a 6th man. but if his conditioning level and knee are both in a good place, he’s a logical player to start in the 3/4 spot with JM given his leadership and experience

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    Ill never forget the Knight headbutt of Wilkerson on the bench,priceless

  • Ivan Renko

    i hope vanderbilt’s basketball arena itself convinces them to look elsewhere haha.

  • Bill Shomaker

    Couldn’t agree more. Play tough 40 minute defense, take care of the ball and move the ball on offense with crisp passing and setting screens. I just want to see them compete and become a tough out for any opponent, not just at home.

  • Seriously, right? But truly seriously, Vanderbilt is something of a dark horse in this race, and that makes me nervous — usually dark horses have some reason for being in the race. I think it’s awesome if it’s true that it’s down to IU and Vandy for Garland, and I think that implies that HH will be the key. Given Romeo’s involvement, it seems like it could end up being IU or Vandy for both. That’s mind-blowing, but as I think more about it I’m not sure if it makes me more or less confident.

  • Donnie Vick

    While I want them both wearing candy stripes, if they picked Vandy over the other top programs, I’d be OK with that.

  • That’s a good point. Better Vanderbilt than UK, Duke, or Louisville.

  • Ivan Renko

    just curious, where did the evan daniels news come from? i can’t see anything on his twitter or scout that suggests he said it’s down to vandy or IU for garland.

    I agree with your dark horse point. and bryce drew is a new young stud emerging in the college basketball scene. i can see the allure for garland to be the hometown hero with a re-emerging program and up and coming coach.

  • I found it last night but I’ll be darned if I can find it again. If I do, I’ll post it here.

  • Southern Hoosier

    Just curious, if Garland and Romeo both commit where does everyone see the scholarship coming from since we only have one left.

  • Yep, that’s an issue and it’s been discussed quite a bit with every answer essentially boiling down to: “these things just work out.” I’m not 100% comfortable with oversigning, but I do see how in today’s college basketball it’s literally part of the game.

  • Outoftheloop

    Justin Smith as a freshman right off the start. He is very athletic but also a true basketball player. I love his game!

  • Outoftheloop

    “Wings” refers to offense. Everyone plays defense, blocks out and rebounds! Everyone! Haas is not hard to guard, one strong behind to push him out on the floor (McFly) and one long (Moore) in front to make it difficult for him to catch the ball. Once he has the ball close to the rim, get out of the way, no “and one” silly fouls. Ward wants to dribble so attack his hands and handle before he gets into a shooting motion. Freddie can really help on these two!

  • HoosierOne

    Just watched some of his tapes…..he looks legit and well rounded! I’m pumped for this season.

  • Ivan Renko

    I’m in agreement. in addition to both players’ indiana roots, there’s no way Vandy has better facilities and support for basketball athletes than IU. that’s just a fraction of the recruitment battle though. keeping my fingers crossed.

    something I’ve also thought about regarding langford, assuming for him it’s between vandy, IU, and Lville and that he isn’t necessarily a package deal with garland. Pitino doesn’t dabble in 1 and dones hardly at all and is a very outspoken critic against them. I wonder what langfords thoughts are on that and how it has played into his recruitment.

  • Ivan Renko

    hoping Archie can deliver one within the next 10 years!

  • HoosierOne

    Good call on Smith. Looks legit. FM will be the guy that comes in when DD gets in foul trouble or we’re up against a large team that needs somebody who can go best mode on the boards and body people up. I’m curious to see how CH and JM play this year….they have been plagued by injuries which sometimes is an ever lasting reoccurring curse, but they are both really smart players so if they are on the court a lot hat could really get us playing better team ball.

  • I’ll be surprised if Newkirk isn’t starting and playing most of each game. We’ll need him to step up and showed flashes of excellence late last season.

  • IU football helps pull me through, and college football in general, too.

  • I thought Newkirk showed positive signs last year and seemed to improve over the course of the season. I wouldn’t be so skeptical of him going into this season. He should be solid.

  • Usually the Colts help too, but not this year.

  • THRyan

    #6 from Osterman’s report. What does CH look like? will he be:
    1. Junior year CH
    2. Knees can’t quite keep up CH
    3. Super senior leader, ultimate glue guy, crafty veteran CH
    Think about how all three situations would impact the team.

  • marcusgresham

    The only…the ONLY redeeming quality about that goofy arena is that Kentucky fans just haaaaaaaaate it.

  • marcusgresham

    Pitino has slightly warmed to the thought of a one-and-done here and there. He used to be completely opposed to it.

  • marcusgresham

    I’m still not convinced that, if Davis has the year some are expecting, that he’s in a college uniform next season. I hope I’m wrong, but there’s the potential.

  • marcusgresham

    I wasn’t even considering the mental aspect of it—strictly the physically demanding practices he put them through….sometimes on game days.

  • John D Murphy

    I think Archie will experiment with some early rotations but that is what I think will happen by conference. DD and JM both start and DD gets the early blow. FM comes in at the 4 and JM slides to the 5. CM could also get some run as the backup 4 (if his D is up to snuff) as I think some of the 3’s will play time at 4. I think the bulk of the minutes will go to FM at the backup 4 though (IMO).

  • Rantool

    As A friend and me discussed yesterday, when it comes to having a pedigree as one of the elites of College Basketball, I.U. is in that select group. Vandy, not so much. I. U. has the best fan base in America, and is situated in a virtual Gold mine of elite recruites. Our facilities and staff members are top shelf. We are on the verge of a total resurection of Indiana Basketball greatness! Write it down, the Hoosiers are Back!

  • marcusgresham

    If that is the case, then one might argue that Morgan controlling his fouling is even more important than Davis doing so, given the fact that he’s basically pulling double-duty.

  • John D Murphy

    You are right. I guess I just expect JM to be able to handle it from day 1.