The verbal commitment of 2016 Onsted (Mich.) Community three-star center Austin Davis to John Beilein and the University of Michigan surprised just about everyone on the outside looking in Thursday evening.
For Davis and his close-knit family, the news came at the end of a very thought invoking, conversation filled few weeks.
“We were there for an unofficial two or three weeks ago and basically got every question answered that he needed,” Austin’s father Eric told Scout. “Then we went on spring break and us sitting around thinking and talking and asking, ‘why not?’
“They have everything he needs, everything he wants. Academics number one, top basketball program and great coaches he loved to be around. Plus it’s 45 minutes from home.”
The decision was a no brainer for Davis, growing up a Michigan kid and recently receiving his test scores from the ACT. Hint: He’s well qualified.
Michigan was in attendance at the AAU Adidas Gauntlet Series Apr. 10-12, a weekend that proved important for Davis to showcase his ability against top flight competition.
Of course, in recruiting, a commitment can’t be made until a scholarship offer is doled out, something Beilein was sure to take care of with a phone call Thursday afternoon.
“He called after school; they called Austin,” Davis’ father said. “They talked a lot, just them two, about his play in Dallas and basically just talked. They were impressed with him in Dallas and said they have some things figured out and wanted to offer him a scholarship.
“He basically told him don’t answer right now, I want your parents to answer when they get home from work.”
And that’s exactly what the Davis family did.
Normally a very reserved, rare to wear his emotions on his sleeves type of young man, Davis’ father said there was a distinct difference in his son upon arriving home.
“He had a smile on his face from ear to ear,” he said. “He was happy; he’s happy with the decision and he’s very excited about it.”
From there, the family didn’t exactly have much else to discuss, simply pick up the phone and dial Ann Arbor to chat with Davis’ future head coach.
“He never accepted until we talked to him,” Davis’ father said. “Later when we talked to him Austin was there also obviously and he answered some more questions we had as far as what if he gets hurt, academic stuff, and how all this stuff works.
“And then he told us again that he offered and at that point Austin accepted it. He thought on it a lot, about two solid weeks we talked about this and at the end of he day you can’t get much better than Michigan.”
The classic sleeper recruit out of the state of Michigan, Davis is coming off a very impressive junior season at Onsted Community, including multiple 20-point, 20-rebound performances.
Beilein has always been a coach focusing on players that appear to be getting better toward the end of their high school career, as opposed to those who have reached a ceiling.
Davis fits that description with one more prep season to look forward to.
“He’s a very much typical Beilein recruit I think, looking at a lot of the under the radar kids,” Davis’ father said.
Building a relationship in recruiting, between coach and player, coach and family is critical in the process. For Davis and his family, one glaring example stood out above the rest to let them know who Beilein was as a man; Austin Hatch.
“Immeasurable,” Davis’ father said. “That’s just pure class and it shows what the program is about, it’s about our kids. Once a commitment is made its old school, it’s just like a handshake.
“A hand shake used to mean something and I feel like it really means something when they extend an offer and what they did with Austin Hatch, I don’t know how many schools out there would’ve done it, but my son is involved with the school that did do it.”
As far as how Davis will be utilized on both ends of the floor for the Wolverines, his father admitted Michigan didn’t go into much detail.
Now the second commitment in the 2016 class for Michigan to go with four-star Medina (Ohio) big man Jon Teske, Davis’ father is confident the Wolverines will come up with a detailed plan for success.
“He’s watched extensively,” he said. “He knows how good Austin is in the low post. He also knows how good of a passer he is and how good of a shooter; outside shooter.
“The man is a genius and he’s done wonders with kids. I have no doubt he’s going to make it work.”