Deyonta Davis is a coach’s delight. Soft-spoken, humble and talented, the junior basketball player at Muskegon High School has thrived under well-respected head coach Keith Guy, who is delighted to have Davis on his squad.
When Tom Izzo discovered that Davis was ready to become the first commit of Michigan State’s 2015 recruiting class, it was a dream come true for the veteran coach.
The power forward has the talent to develop into the next Adreian Payne or a star of his own.
From a young age, Davis knew he was blessed with special skills. He recognized his talent at the age of 11, choosing to attend Muskegon High School. Before the start of Davis’ sophomore season, Keith Guy, one of the best high school basketball coaches in the state of Michigan followed Davis after serving as the head coach at Muskegon Heights High School for 12 years.
Guy molded the raw talent into a fine-tuned basketball machine, refining Davis’ game each day. Davis took significant strides and attracted attention and scholarship offers from schools across the country.
Despite all the hype, Davis’ early decision to attend Michigan State should come as no surprise. Growing up less than two hours from East Lansing, Davis watched Izzo coach successful squads with stars such as Shannon Brown. So when Izzo came calling, Davis listened. The youngster got calls from coaches from coast to coast, but Davis chose a familiar, proven program close to home that he’s watched on television for a long time.
Just as Izzo is delighted, the Spartan Nation should be ecstatic to be getting a player of Davis’ caliber in Green and White. A prospect with special talent and limitless potential, Davis has his current coach excited for the youngster’s future.
“It’s off the charts,” Guy said of Davis’ skills. “When Tom Izzo saw him for the first time, he left excited because he saw the next Adriane Payne or better. But this kid is really special. I’m glad he committed to Michigan State because he’s going to be getting the same lessons, the same teaching, but better, on that level.”
In speaking with Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. on Spartan Nation Radio, Guy discussed Davis’ most college-ready skills.
“His athleticism [first of all]. To me, he has a really, really good jump shot. It’s a pro jump shot in my opinion,” Guy said. “He’s going to be a stretch forward. He can run the floor really well. He has great hands, he blocks shots and he rebounds well. We’re working on his ball handling, but by the time he makes it up to Michigan State, he’ll be able to run the floor. But Tom Izzo and Michigan State are getting a great basketball player.”
Davis also talked with Hondo S. Carpenter on Spartan Nation Radio. Davis does not enjoy talking about himself, instead opting to pass the glory off on the team as a whole. A young man of few words, Davis has a sense of humility that makes him a precious commodity to coaches.
“That was one of the things about this whole recruitment process,” Guy said. “He got calls from coaches all around the country … and he said, ‘I want it to be about the team, I don’t want all this excitement surrounding me, I just want to focus on getting better. I want to choose the school I want to attend and get it out of the way.”
Izzo will be glad to have such a player. Humble student-athletes such as Davis make a program better.
As Guy noted, such is the case at Muskegon High School.
“I’m so thankful, because as good as those [boastful] players can be, it can really ruin a program,” Guy said. “I’m so thankful that Deyonta is so humble and understands it’s not about him, it’s about him getting better and the team trying to win the state championship.”
This gives Guy more time to focus on the aspects of his job he believes to be truly important.
“I want that person to be a better human being from the time I become his coach to the time he leaves my program,” Guy said of his high goals. “I want a well-rounded individual, not just an athlete.”
Guy still has plenty of time to guide Davis along his journey. Much of Guy’s work off the court has already been done thanks to the hard work of Davis’ family to raise him right.
But Guy knows that Davis has some work to do to become a true star on the court.
“Number one, he has to get stronger. To be at that level, he’s definitely going to have to live in the weight room. He’s got a long way to go,” Guy said. “Number two, just playing hard all the time. Sometimes I think he gets bored and hopefully he can have an attitude to dominate on every single possession. We’re working on that, we’re not going to accept anything less.
“It’s one of those things where, if you are a competitor, you take over for yourself. If you have 30 points, you want to go up 40. If you’re up 40, you want to go up 50. To play at Michigan State, that’s the attitude he’s going to have to take. That means going up against your opponent and playing as hard as you can while you’re out there. Because you don’t want to disrespect the game of basketball. If you’re not going to play hard and give it your all, then don’t be out there.”
As Davis affirmed, being a Spartan means a lot to him. With two years before he hits the scene at Michigan State, Davis is ready to work on his game and become Tom Izzo’s next frontcourt stud. Though it might be easy to look past this highly-touted Michigan recruit because of his low-key approach, don’t underestimate him. Davis has some serious skills that might just make him a household name in East Lansing.