Bloomington – Will Darwin Davis end up being the one that got away?
The 5'10" Bloomington South sophomore guard earned state tournament MVP honors earlier this spring after helping lead the Panthers to the state championship. He's now attracting major conference recruiting attention, receiving scholarship offers from Purdue and Xavier within the last two weeks.
Indiana hasn't jumped into the fray yet with an offer due to a scholarship crunch for 2011 and the fact it's in the running for Pike's Marquis Teague. But Davis said Indiana is still keeping tabs on him as a potential target the class.
"I talk with Coach (Tim) Buckley and Coach (Tom) Crean every now and then, and they've wanted to make sure that I'm still interested," Davis said.
Davis is still interested, but the Purdue offer clearly got Davis' attention. Boilermaker coach Matt Painter extended the offer when Davis was in town for an unofficial visit.
"It was a big deal for me," Davis said. "Knowing I have it on the table is a good feeling."
A transfer from Bloomington North last summer, Davis stepped into the South lineup this season and played a hue role in the team's undefeated campaign. He averaged 13.2 points per game and shot 51 percent from the floor as part of a backcourt that also featured IU-bound Jordan Hulls and sharp-shooting sophomore Spencer Turner.
Davis proved to be the team's lockdown defender, displaying the ability to stay in front of just about any guard he went up against. That's one of the things that is attracting the attention of a lot of college programs.
"(Painter) likes how I pressure the ball up close after a make," Davis said. "He thinks I fit into their program well with how I play."
Painter might think Davis is a good fit for Purdue, but some Bloomington locals aren't quite so sure. One of the challenges of playing in a college town is that many of the people Davis comes into contact on a daily basis are IU fans, and they don't relish the thought of seeing him playing for the Hoosiers' arch-rival.
"I've been catching it from everywhere," Davis joked. "From my high school teachers, they're saying, ‘don't go to Purdue.' But that's Bloomington, Indiana."
He also got the same sort of response from Hulls, his backcourt mate who won Indiana's Mr. Basketball award this spring.
"He said congratulations, but don't go there or I'll have to kill you," Davis said.
Hulls would like to see himself playing with Davis at the collegiate level, but time will tell if Indiana will eventually offer. If that does in fact happen somewhere down the road, Davis said there are plenty of things he likes about the hometown team.
"(Crean's) very energetic. You have to love him as a coach because he keeps his players on point. He pushes them to where they can go, to the limit, and that's what I like most about Coach Crean," Davis said.
Will Davis Be the One That Got Away?
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