Scouting Austin Davis
Nearly two weeks John Beilein and the Michigan Wolverines picked up their second verbal commitment of the class of 2016 with in-state product Austin Davis. Davis suited up over the weekend at the adidas Gauntlet for the first time since pulling the trigger and selecting Michigan. Playing with the Michigan Mustangs this weekend, Davis was able to show on a big stage his development over the last 12 months. The first thing that is immediately obvious when watching Davis play is that he is huge, and is only going to get bigger and stronger. He right in the neighborhood of 6-foot-10, and weighs around 240 pounds. While Davis doesn’t have a lot of bad weight, which is an improvement from a year ago, he still has work to do with his body to be ready for a college season. That isn’t at all uncommon for a young post player with a big body like Davis, so the fact that he is already showing improvement while in high school is a good thing. When on the floor in terms of actual skill, Davis is very good on the low block. He has pretty good footwork around the rim, soft hands, and a nice touch. Most of his damage comes close to the bucket, and he is able to overwhelm opponents with size and has the skill to go with it. In terms of his ability to rebound, Davis is mostly someone who is going to grab rebounds in his area. He isn’t an explosive leaper, super long, or have those elite instincts for knowing when and where the ball is coming off the rim. He gets rebounds with size and positioning, so he is a solid area rebounding, though it is still an area he can stand to improve. Where Davis runs into problems is when he faces length and athleticism. He isn’t quick with his post moves and can at times with his lack of explosion off the floor, leads to blocked shots coming right back at him. Overall Davis is a solid player who will be a big body in college. Now the question becomes how will Michigan use him, and that is where it gets tricky. There is just no way to see fellow 2016 Jon Teske or Davis playing anywhere but the center position because of lateral deficiencies that both have on the defensive end. Because of that, they are likely to compete for minutes with each other. Ideally next to Davis or Teske you have a hard playing, long, and active power forward. At this point there is no one like that on the Wolverines roster, though maybe D.J. Wilson could develop into that. If Wilson, or anyone else, can help the interior guys with the out of area rebounds and play hard, then there could be a good upfront complement. A redshirt year could be possible for Davis as well. Not only would it give him a year of separation from Teske, but it also would allow him to get acclimated to the speed and physicality of the college game while at the same time working his body into better shape without losing a year of eligibility. Davis has the look of a three-star prospect who could develop as time goes along. He doesn’t strike me as an immediate impact guy, but he is the type of big body with soft hands that college coaches like to have anchoring things on the low block.
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