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Indiana basketball’s De’Ron Davis says missing out on NCAA Tournament will haunt him forever



BLOOMINGTON, Ind.  — Indiana basketball De’Ron Davis and Devonte Green are the first players since 1972 to spend four years at IU and not get to the NCAA Tournament.

That statistic comes with a big asterisk, because the Hoosiers were going to the tournament this season before it was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Hoosiers should have heard their name called on Selection Sunday.

“Definitely,” Davis said. “Especially with that last win (IU beat Nebraska at the Big Ten Tournament) and then we had a lot of key wins too. I feel like we were definitely in the NCAA tournament, yeah.”

The season’s biggest goal achieved, until it was taken away. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end.

“At first I was like, beginning of the season I was like, ‘Let’s get to the tournament, let make our run and I’m out,'” Davis said. “But since it ended the way it did, it’s kind of like bittersweet now.

“It was devastating,” he added. “Just that journey Devonte and me had, having that fear of being one of the only classes not go to the NCAA Tournament in four years. Going into the season we just prided ourselves on making the tournament, nothing else. We just can’t fall in to that category.”

How long will missing out on the big dance haunt the now-former Hoosier?

“Forever,” Davis said. “That’s the dance, everyone wants to get to the dance so… it’s going to haunt us forever but I guess we can pass that on to our kids and have them live that dream.”

What about the idea that seniors who saw their postseason cancelled should get an extra year of eligibility. Davis and Green have heard it.

“We talked about it,” David said, “we’re done.”

De’Ron is ready to move on. He is finishing up his degree in recreational sports management. He wants to play professional basketball but when that is over Davis plans to help provide opportunities for special needs and at-risk children.

He believes the Indiana team he is leaving is headed in the right direction.

“I feel like with this whole outbreak, we left teams a lot hungrier,” said Davis.

“With his last little speech Coach (Archie) Miller gave us I could see it in the guys’ eyes,” Davis said.

“Even though we’re not in the tournament, because there is no tournament, in guys minds they know we made the tournament. I know that Coach Archie will instill in to their minds that we were in the tournament this year, so now what’s the next step? What’s the next goal? He said the next thing is for us to be at the top of the Big 10 now.”

Davis committed to Indiana when Tom Crean was the head coach, but he decided to stick around and play for Miller.

“He’s a great leader and I definitely think he can take the group to the NCAA tournament and the top of the Big 10,”said Davis.

If that happens, De’Ron will be watching, knowing he helped lay the foundation.

“Me and Devonte, we’re like out of the picture now,” said Davis. “I got great love for my guys so when they do good we’ll do good, and we’ll feel good about it.”

It was an abrupt ending to a career, and a season.

A finish that may very well fuel future IU teams, that Davis can only cheer for.