Tell me if this sounds familiar: John Beilein just locked up an unheralded three star recruit that most didn't even realize Michigan was tracking. 2016 center Austin Davis committed to Michigan two days ago. He's playing ball at Onsted High School in Onsted, MI, about forty miles from Ann Arbor. His recruiting profiles are pretty bare across the board at this point, but he's been putting up good numbers in AAU tournaments recently and raised his profile just a little bit before Beilein got his commitment. His other formal offers? All MAC schools. He's going to have another couple years in high school, which is good because he has some work to do before he's ready to anchor the paint for a B1G team.
He stands 6'10 and weighs 250 pounds, so he certainly has the size to play down low on the next level. He has good footwork and already has a few deceptive post moves--including a nice drop step--in his post arsenal. His footwork is advanced for someone his age and he can crash the boards well. He averaged 21.6 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks a game as a sophomore for Onsted; by that alone you can get a pretty good sense of his game: he's going to be most effective on the block and crashing the boards. Those stats are probably a little skewed, though; watching his highlight tapes, he looks about twice the size of anyone guarding him:
Part of that is obviously because he's just a huge dude, but if he plays the 5 for the Wolverines he's going to have to improve a few things, starting with his quickness. He's made up for his relative lack of speed with decent ball handling, good footwork, and the ability to finish around the rime with both hands, which seems pretty in line with what Beilein wants from his big men.
That said, it's hard to see that being enough to sustain success against guys his size that are also incredible athletes in college. He can obviously improve his quickness to a certain extent, and maturing physically will help too. The most effective solution, though, is probably for him to develop a high post game and, ideally, a three point stroke. He's already a decent shooter and a good passer for his size, so he could really help to space out the court, which is what really allows the Michigan offense to hum. Given his frame, he's going to develop into a great screener under Beilein and his staff's tutelage, which is another huge plus, because as we saw this year with Wolverines, the pick-and-roll can make or break their offense.
It'll be interesting to see what kind of strides Davis makes in his remaining time in high school, but if his past performance is any indication, he'll show up in Ann Arbor ready contribute pretty quickly. He has some positive uncoachable qualities (court awareness, naturally good footwork) and some negative uncoachable qualities (lack of speed). Luckily for him, Michigan, even during their great seasons, usually ranks in the lower half of the country in tempo and relies on a precise halfcourt attack to generate points, which Davis is suited to. Beilein and his staff obviously see a huge amount of potential in Davis and think he will fit in well with their offensive scheme, and I can't disagree with either of those contentions, but there are definitely going to be some growing pains.