Hoosiers Already Sold on Muncie's Davis

Muncie Central's Jeremiah Davis has played only one year of high school basketball, but IU has already seen enough to offer the Class of 2011 star a scholarship. Muncie Central Coach Matt Fine was with Davis on his recent unofficial visit to IU when he received the offer, and he talks about the trip...

Bloomington – In the aftermath of a couple of big scholarship offers for Muncie Central freshman Jeremiah Davis, there's been a degree of relief from his high school coach Matt Fine.

In the last month, the 6-3, 190-pound point guard has been offered scholarships by both Kentucky and Indiana. Getting offers of that magnitude has thrust Davis into the spotlight, which can be a challenge for any 15-year-old to handle. But Fine said his standout has taken his national notoriety in stride.

"(The attention) is something you worry about, but I've had several teachers come up to me and say how happy they are with how he's handled this," Fine said. "He's done a tremendous job with it."

The attention figures to get even more intense for the Class of 2011 recruit. Fine said Purdue, Ohio State, Tennessee and Syracuse are a handful of other big-name programs that have been calling in the aftermath of the Kentucky and IU offers. While that's a lot of interest in someone who still has three years of high school basketball remaining, Fine has known he's had a special player coming ever since Davis was in elementary school.

"I knew (the recruiting interest) would come at some point," Fine said.

It's come very early thanks to a solid freshman season at Muncie Central and some excellent play this spring with the Indiana Elite 15-and-under AAU squad. Davis started every game as a freshman for Fine, averaging 7.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists as the team's point guard.

"He's a strong guard, someone who uses his power well," Fine said. "But he also has a burst of speed that not many kids have. He's also a great passer with great court vision, and he has a 6-7 wing span."

Fine said Davis' style of play is similar to that of NBA great Jason Kidd, in that he's a big, physical point guard who sees the floor well and is also a very accomplished rebounder. He also says he's a player that will get much better in the coming years thanks to his dedication to his craft.

"He's a gym rat, and those kinds of kids will naturally develop because of the time they'll put in," Fine said.

Those are traits that have led to the early recruiting interest. Kentucky was the first to offer, followed by Indiana nine days later. IU Coach Tom Crean extended the Hoosiers' offer during Davis' unofficial visit to Bloomington last week.

Davis was accompanied on his visit by his parents, Fine and AAU Coach Mark Adams. The group spent approximately four hours in Bloomington on the visit, touring the facilities, looking around campus, watching film, going out to eat, and sitting down with Crean and the IU staff.

Fine said they weren't sure if Crean would offer a scholarship, but that offer did come during their time in town.

"I think there was a good connection with himself and the coaching staff," Fine said.

Crean spent time going over film to show Davis how he's used other talented guards such as Dwyane Wade, Dominic James and Jerel McNeal when he was at Marquette. He also talked about the direction he plans to take the program in the coming years.

"He talked about his vision, and also that it's IU," Fine said. "They're rebuilding a little right now, but he'll have them there quicker than what people think. It's still Indiana, it's still in my mind one of the top three basketball programs in the nation.

"He has a lot to sell. There's a lot of positives when he talks about Indiana."

While the scholarship offers don't get much bigger than IU and Kentucky, it's unlikely that Davis will jump at either in the immediate future. Instead, Fine expects him to remain patient this summer and into his sophomore season to see how things play out.

"I get the impression (a commitment) won't happen right now," Fine said. "I think his family is a strong family and they'll make sure it's a place that fits him, but IU would certainly be in that mix."

A commitment might not be coming anytime soon, but the spotlight won't be going away. That's something Fine said Davis is going to have to deal with for the next three seasons, both on the court and off.

"We've talked about how he's going to have to take his game to another level because people know he's been offered by these other schools and that's going to bring the best out of the competition each time he steps on the floor," Fine said.

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