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Michigan State freshman big man Deyonta Davis declares for draft

Penn State v Michigan State

EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 28: Deyonta Davis #23 of the Michigan State Spartans dunks the ball during in the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Breslin Center on February 28, 2016 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

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Deyonta Davis is the classic case of a player where if you just saw his raw numbers — 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in less than 19 minutes a night for Michigan State this season — you’d look right past him as an NBA prospect.

But scouts watched his game and saw impressive potential, which is why he’s a late lottery pick on a lot of draft boards right now and likely will climb higher (as bigs often do) as we get nearer the draft.

Tuesday Davis, a freshman, declared for the NBA Draft, and said he plans to hire an agent (which would end his college eligibility — he’s fully committed).

“I asked coach (Tom) Izzo and (Muskegon High School) coach (Keith) Guy to do research for me,” Davis said in a released statement. “The information that came back made me decide to enter the draft. 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.”

This is a smart move for Davis, who will get paid to develop his game on the next level.

In a draft that’s not considered particularly deep and will have teams reaching for prospects, Davis looks like a future NBA rotation player. He’s got the size at 6'10" with a 7'1" wingspan to play the four (where he was mostly in college) or the five. What really grabbed people’s attention was his defensive ability — Izzo switched pick-and-rolls with him, particularly late in games, and he could stay in front of guards and make plays.

PBT’s NBA Draft expert — and Rotoworld writer — Ed Isaacson broke down Davis’ game for us before the tournament and liked what he saw.
A long, athletic freshman, Davis became a major piece for the Spartans as the season went on. He has been effective in the low post, using his good footwork and length to create some easy looks around the rim. Davis is also great working along the baseline, cutting to the rim off of penetration and using his reach to get the ball and finish up around the basket. He has a nice feel for hitting the offensive boards. Defensively, Davis has been solid defending in the post, but he has been very good as a rim protector, again showing a nice feel for being able to get into position quickly and extend to get at the shot.