Mike Davis is from T. C. Williams HS in Alexandria (VA). He's a legit 6'9" forward who has unlimited athleticism. This morning here at InsideIllini.com we spoke with Mike's father and he cleared up a few "rumors" about his son and what he will bring to the Fighting Illini.
"First, I want to clear up this academic rumor about Mike. He was a qualifier as soon as he graduated from high school. Kedric, here's the problem. People thought because he was going to attend prep school he had problems with his grades; not true. His senior year only Auburn put an offer on the table to him, so I said, ‘Look, son. Let's go to prep school and start the recruiting process all over again.' South Kent knew he was a qualifier also. What changed for Mike was a great summer. He played very well against some of the country's top players and more schools started to take more interest. The bottom line - AAU basketball is where you get noticed. But back to high school - I don't know where people got their information from, but Mike had offers by the end of the summer from Illinois, LSU, Clemson, South Florida, Providence and George Washington, Illinois stayed loyal to Mike from the very start," said Steve.
With so many people assuming these days that Weber and company don't pursue certain players early enough, this was not the case with Mike. "When I asked Mike what schools he wanted to visit, he said immediately Illinois. They were recruiting him since his junior year and when we visited the campus we loved it. We really like the coaches there; they did a great job and I'm not going to lie - I did my homework. I have a lot of friends that I went to high school and college with that flat out told me, ‘If you want Mike to develop as a player and have the best chance, send him to Illinois.' People know how good Weber is. I love that offense - everyone touches the ball and they play hard. Coach Weber was different. He didn't lie to us like a lot of coaches. I'm not dumb. He never promised me anything but my son would attend class. He told us Mike's playing time would depend on how hard he worked and how he developed. He never guaranteed him playing time like some coaches have. Some will say ‘I will see to it that he gets thirty minutes a game.' I know that's not true and they were honest," Davis said.
So what kind a player did Illinois just get? "Mike brings more athleticism to that team. He can score, run, jump, shoot, defend - all of it. A lot of people didn't know much about him, but they saw it this summer," he stated.
As stated earlier, how much playing time Mike will get will be up to him, but his goals are like most players' goals and that is to get to the next level. Steve remembers the boys that took the Illini to the Final Four and how well they looked that year. "Weber is a good teacher and if Mike wants to play at the next level and is good enough, then the Illinois system is good for him."
Since school has started at Illinois Mike wasn't available for comments, but Steve knows his son is happy and extremely excited about playing for Illinois.