Four three-plus years, Indiana coach Tom Crean made De'Ron Davis a priority. He was the first college coach to offer the Colorado forward a scholarship, was there throughout the recruiting process even as other coaches backed off, and sent two and sometimes three coaches to his games during this year's final July evaluation period.
On Thursday, Crean's persistance was rewarded.
Davis, a four-star propsect in the 2016 class, committed to Indiana at his Coloardo high school on Thursday afternoon, choosing the Hoosiers over Mississippi State. Davis also had offers from Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Arkansas, UCONN, Purdue and UCLA before narrowing his list and taking official visits. He took his final official to Mississippi State last weekend.
Davis is a significant get for Crean and Indiana, especially considering the Hoosiers had to dismiss Emmitt Holt, Devin Davis and Hanner Mosquera-Perea in the last 12 months. De'ron Davis, a legitimate 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, should be able to play both the four and the five for Indiana, and he's less of a project than a lot of other young, talented big men. Davis is a skilled big who can make a mid-range jumper, and he's also very comfortable passing from the high-post area. Teamed with another big -- say, maybe Thomas Bryant -- Indiana could have a dangerous high-low combination in the future.
I've watched Davis on the adidas AAU circuit for the last several years, so I've seen him up close quite a bit. Important things to know: Davis is more skilled than he is raw, and he's already grown into his body. He'll add more weight when he gets to IU, without a doubt, but he's already got great size, so it shouldn't take all that long for him to be productive at the next level.
Davis is a very unselfish big, and he's a better passer than a lot of people give him credit for. He's more than willing to take the backseat offensively in a given game if that's what the opposition presents. Davis is a grounded young man, and much like Bryant, he doesn't carry the ego many young stars do these days.
Crean went all in on Davis, and had he missed, it would have really hurt. He spent his most valuable July evaluation time on watching Davis, a risk-reward that ultimately worked out for him in a big way. A lot of things go into a recruiting decision, but in the end, Davis cited his relationship with Crean as the biggest factor in choosing Indiana.
Davis is Indiana's third commitment in the 2016 class, joining guard Curtis Jones and Grant Gelon. Gelon signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, and Jones plans to sign on Monday. Davis plans to sign his Letter of Intent with Indiana today.