One-and-dones are a rarity at Michigan State, but Deyonta Davis is one after declaring for the NBA Draft on Tuesday.
The Spartans' freshman big man is heading to the pros and will hire an agent, the school announced Tuesday, meaning Davis' days in green and white are done.
Rather than take advantage of new rules allowing players to test the process out by attending NBA team workouts and the NBA Draft Combine before making a final decision by May 25 — having the option to return to school with NCAA eligibility intact — Davis is deciding his stock is high enough to bring an end to his NCAA eligibility after just one season in the college ranks.
“I asked coach (Tom) Izzo and (high school coach Keith) Guy to do research for me. The information that came back made me decide to enter the draft," Davis said in the announcement. "It was a tough decision, but after talking to my family and coaches, I felt it was the right decision and one I’m fully committed to. I’d like to thank all of the people that helped me this year — my teammates and coaches, the academic support staff and especially the fans that welcomed me with open arms. Because of their help, I’m in position to fulfill a lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. This has been a great year for me at Michigan State — including a memorable trip to Italy, being a part of the best start in school history and winning the Big Ten Tournament. I will always be a Spartan and look forward to coming back to campus like so many other pros do now.”
Davis averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during his freshman season. He came on strong at the end of the year, starting 16 of the team's final 17 games. Davis' 29.8-percent field-goal percentage was second in the Big Ten, and his 1.8 blocks per game were good for third in the conference. He scored in double figures in 12 games this season, grabbing 11 rebounds in four different games. He recorded a season-high six blocks in a win over Northwestern.
“As a coach, my job is to help my players grow both on and off the basketball court. Over the last year, Deyonta has improved as a player, as he is just starting to tap his true potential," Izzo said in the announcement. "Off the court, there is no question that he has grown by leaps and bounds as he matures as a young man. I’ve been fortunate to live my dreams, but the real thrill as a coach is getting to see my players live their dreams. I look forward to following Deyonta’s development and career in the NBA for years to come.”
Davis does have a pretty high draft stock, with DraftExpress.com projecting him as the No. 13 pick in its latest mock draft.