Bloomington – Jeremiah Davis didn't have to wait until college to get his moment on ESPN.
The sophomore point guard from Muncie (Ind.) South H.S. was recently featured on an ESPN "Outside the Lines" episode which dealt with the issue of high school basketball players being offered scholarships earlier than ever before. ESPN came to the home of the 6-2, 180-pound point guard, who already has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Indiana, Purdue and Ball State.
"I was a little jittery before everything started, but once everything got going I was fine," said Davis. "It was exciting."
While some may frown on the growing trend of early scholarship offers, Davis says he's flattered to be getting the early attention. Kentucky was the first to offer back in the spring, followed soon afterwards by IU. Ball State followed suit, and Purdue was the most recent to extend an offer to the high school sophomore.
Tennessee, Ohio State, North Carolina, Wake Forest and UNLV are among the others who are expressing interest early on as well.
"All of a sudden it started happening," Davis said about the recruiting attention. "It was pretty surprising, but I'm really honored."
It's easy to see why programs are already extending offers despite the fact Davis has three years of high school basketball ahead of him. He started every game as a freshman and averaged 7.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists, and he's already drawing comparisons to one of the best guards to come through the Big Ten in recent years.
"A lot of coaches think I play like (former Illinois guard) Deron Williams," Davis said. "That's what I've been hearing, and that's a real honor because he's one of my favorite players."
Davis is drawing those comparisons because like Williams, he's a physical point guard who is adept at getting into the lane and either finishing or creating for his teammates. Much like Williams did at Illinois, Davis has focused on improving his perimeter jump shot as well to make him an even more dangerous offensive weapon.
Those attributes were quickly apparent to IU Coach Tom Crean, who had Davis on campus for an unofficial visit within the first six weeks he was on the job. He extended the IU scholarship offer during that visit, which Davis made along with his parents, his younger brother and his AAU coach.
"I had a lot of fun when I was there," Davis said. "I really liked it a lot."
Davis said there's also a lot that he likes about Crean and what he does with his guards. He's paid particular attention to Marquette's Dominic James, the former Richmond (Ind.) H.S. standout who was the Big East's Rookie of the Year in 2006 and an All-Big East choice in each of the past two seasons.
"Dominic played on one of my older (AAU) teams, and I really like what (Crean) did with him," Davis said. "He gave him a lot of freedom on the court."
While Crean has emphasized the quantity and quality of guards that he had while he was the coach at Marquette, he's also talked to Davis about the importance of keeping the top in-state players from going out-of-state to play their college basketball. While the idea of staying closer to home isn't much of a factor to many recruits these days, Davis said it does carry a lot of weight for him.
"The idea of playing in-state is pretty big to me," Davis said. "Just think if Greg Oden and Josh McRoberts and Mike Conley would have stayed, and how good they could have been? That is something I think about."
It's something to think about, but it's also probably something Davis will be thinking about for some time. With three years of high school basketball remaining, Davis couldn't sign a letter of intent until November 2010. At this point he's not sure if he'll wait until his senior year to make a decision or pull the trigger earlier, but he does want to wait long enough to see what else develops.
"I'm just trying to go with the flow and see how things shake out and if everything is right, that's when I'll make a decision," Davis said.
Muncie's Davis Enjoying Early Attention
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