BY JEREMY HOECK
Austin Hansen’s impact at the University of South Dakota has produced a recruit out of Minnesota.
Bloomington Kennedy High School standout Dejon “D.J.” Davis signed recently to attend USD and play basketball for the Coyotes, based primarily on his relationship with Hansen, according to Davis’ high school coach.
Davis, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, had previously committed to Northern Colorado, where Hansen had spent one season as an assistant. Hansen was then hired to Craig Smith’s staff at USD in April, and Davis wanted to stay with Hansen, according to Bloomington Kennedy head coach Willie Braziel.
“He decided that South Dakota would be a better fit,” Braziel told the Press & Dakotan. “The relationship he built with that coach was absolutely huge for DJ. That coach deserves a lot of credit.”
Braziel was also quick to credit Davis’ work ethic, specifically when it came to ‘giving up part of his game’ as a senior.
Bloomington Kennedy won nine games during Davis’ junior season, but when Braziel was hired a year ago, he said he “challenged” Davis to play more off the ball — and naturally, his scoring would suffer a bit.
The result was a 17-10 record for Kennedy during Davis’ senior season.
“He could have averaged 30 points a game, easily,” Braziel said, “and there are very few kids at the high school level you can approach with that mindset as a new coach. Unless you like losing.”
As a senior, Davis averaged around 21 points, 4.5-5 rebounds and 2 assists per game, according to Braziel. Bloomington Kennedy is a member of the South Suburban Conference, one of the tougher leagues in Class 4A, the coach said.
Davis is slated to play in the Inner City All-Star Classic on June 8.
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