In a sense, Deyonta Davis’ rise to prominence within the senior class has mirrored that of the school he signed with, Michigan State. This season’s Spartans were overlooked, unrefined and generally not mentioned among the national elite, and yet they are just days away from competing in another Final Four for iconic coach Tom Izzo.
That scenario largely unfolded for Davis as well. When the Scout national team convened this weekend to plot our coverage, it was Davis whom we all mentioned as the least known of the McDonald’s participants.
But he has made himself a familiar with his play. The slender, yet sturdily constructed power forward has challenged the preeminent big men within the senior class, and he has done so adopting the same unsung, blue collar approach that the Spartans have employed to dispatch four NCAA Tournament opponents.
It’s not that Davis lacks pedigree. He entered the week holding the No. 30 ranking in the senior class and always has enjoyed renown for his leaping ability and long-term potential, particularly on defense. In Chicago, he has proved to be a capable face-up shooter as well.
”I’ve just been focusing here on my shooting, getting putbacks and catching lobs,” Davis said. “I see a lot of NBA scouts watching our practices, so it’s fun.”
Davis may need a few years to get stronger and develop his post offense before he’s ready to get to know those NBA folks too well, but suffice it to say he holds the potential to advance to that level. He recognizes his own strengths and weaknesses and has a plan in place to best maximize his ability.
”What I can do for the team next year is just use my athleticism,” he said. “I can block shots and make plays on defense.
”I know that I need to muscle up. I’m just ready to get started and can’t wait to get to campus.”