Michigan State freshman forward/center Deyonta Davis will enter this year’s draft and sign with an agent, the school announced. The 6’10” 19-year-old is 11th in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com rankings and 13th with Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. He won’t be able to return to college ball once he formally hires an agent.
Davis had been “50-50” on the idea of entering the draft, Spartans coach Tom Izzo said earlier this month, and Davis told Jake Fischer of SI.com in December that he planned to stay in college for two years (Twitter link), but it’s no surprise to see him head to the NBA, since few turn down strong chances to become lottery picks. The native of Muskegon, Michigan, played a limited role for his home-state school, averaging just 18.6 minutes per game, but he still managed 1.8 blocks per outing, the third-best average in the Big Ten. His 64 total blocks this year were the most ever by a Michigan State freshman and the second-most that any Spartan has ever recorded in a single season. He also collected an impressive 5.5 boards per game in his short minutes.
The Recruiting Services Consensus Index listed Davis at just No. 26 coming out of high school last year, though he was a McDonald’s All-American. His physical tools and defensive versatility have impressed NBA types, as Givony wrote last month, but questions surround his offensive polish inside, according to Ford. Davis notched just 7.5 points per contest and scored in double figures only three times in 12 games during February and March. One of those occasions was his 10-point, 15-minute performance in Michigan State’s first-round upset loss to Middle Tennessee State in the NCAA Tournament.