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Indiana, Purdue target Davon Dillard can play anywhere

Davon Dillard (photo courtesy of Times of Northwest Indiana)
Davon Dillard (photo courtesy of Times of Northwest Indiana)

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For more on sports, follow Jonathan Batuello via Twitter at www.twitter.com/jcbatuello.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Bowman Academy star focused on improving, not offers

Sunday, May 04, 2014 09:12 pm
Davon Dillard isn't done trying to impress colleges. The rising junior who plays for Bowman Academy during the school year and Mac Irvin Fire on the AAU circuit is still improving and still getting offers every week.That's just how he likes it, too.

“I'm just picking up as many (offers) as I can get,” Dillard said. “I'm not really focused on schools. I'm just focused on getting better and better and the better I get the more schools will come and at the end of the day I can make a top five.”

That top five could include plenty of big programs for the No. 123 rated prospect in the class of 2015 according to Rivals, a national recruiting service.

Indiana and Purdue have both offered the 6-foot-5 forward. The Hoosiers extended the offer recently and the Boilermakers offered him last summer after attending their summer camp. He will once again be in West Lafayette this summer, he said.

He also has offers from Iowa and Creighton and has garnered interest from Marquette, USC and Michigan State.

For any of the schools that offer him they will have to decide exactly how to use his skillset. Dillard showcased plenty of highlight reel dunks over the weekend at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam All-Star Classic, but has added an outside shooting touch to his inside game.

“Every time I've talked to them (college coaches), they talk about my versatility and being able to play any position,” Dillard said. “I'm just showing I can shoot the outside ball, showing I can bring the ball up and that I can guard any position on the floor.”It's finally Vijay Blackmon's turn. While the younger brother to Indiana commit James Blackmon Jr. hasn't been lacking attention, the Marion sophomore knows with James off to college he has a chance to step into a new and much more focused role.

“It's exciting and I'll try to do some of the things my older brother James did,” Vijay said. “I have to be a scorer like he was for four years.”

The brothers may no longer be teammates but that doesn't mean they aren't still helping each other out in other ways. The two still workout and practice against each other everyday Vijay said.

It also helps to have the experience and knowledge of an older sibling who went through the entire recruitment process already.

“My family built a lot of relationships with certain colleges that were interested in my brother so it's good for me that they know who I am, and they'll be looking out for me,” Vijay said.

For now that recruitment continues to contain Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and recently added Florida State to the mix. Vijay's only offer remains the Hoosiers but he is hopeful to gather one from Notre Dame in the near future. He visited the Irish in 2013 for its game against Louisville and he remains interested in the program because of how it develops its players and the school's academics.

Vijay Blackmon has yet to set a timeframe for making a decision, but with the chance to showcase his individual talents he has plenty of time to impress more colleges.

“It's bittersweet that I'm not going to be playing with him (James) anymore, but he's on to bigger and better things,” Vijay said. “I'm really just getting stronger and getting ready for next year. I'm going to have a bigger role.”Kyle Mallers has plenty to offer colleges. As a 6-foot-7 sophomore at Carroll he offers the ability to go inside and shoot from three.

And colleges are starting to take notice.

While he doesn't have any official offers he has recently received letters and interest from schools such as Butler, Notre Dame, Bucknell and Dayton thanks to his versatility.

“I always look for my shot and if it's not there I can grab the ball and go inside,” Mallers said. “It's just a matter if I want to attack or not. My shot is there and I knock one down, it's good.”

Playing for Spiece Indy Heat has helped him gain notice as well. The team showcases plenty of talent and Mallers scored 16 points in its win over The Family Detroit in the junior-to-be division at the Bill Hensley Memorial Run-n-Slam All-Star Classic Saturday afternoon.

He is hoping continued improvement this summer and more performances like that one can lead to not just interest and offers in the future.

“I'm still pretty skinny, so need to get more strength, but working consistently on my jumper and ball handling, those are the two big ones,” Mallers said.

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For more on sports, follow Jonathan Batuello via Twitter at www.twitter.com/jcbatuello.


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