One of the top point guards in the country has been through quite a bit in his recruitment but now he’s ready to focus on the upcoming season. Devan Downey picked his future collegiate school on Sunday afternoon. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound point guard from Chester (S.C.) High School is looking to follow in the footsteps by two other big time college players at his future home.
Downey, the No. 42 ranked player in the class of 2005 by Rivals.com, took the summer by storm with his ability to score with the big boys and he hopes to continue his tear for Bob Huggins at the University of Cincinnati. The Bearcats ability to develop smaller guards was appealing to Downey.
“Coach Huggins has always told me to be myself and just play my game and the rest will take care of itself,” he said. “He’s been successful with smaller guards like Steve Logan and Nick Van Exel. I just felt that was the best fit for me in the end.”
The speedy southern visited the future Big East program this weekend and decided to put an end to a very active recruitment. After watching one of his favorites, Maryland, look elsewhere and Miami take another guard (Denis Clemente), he added two new schools, Illinois and Texas, to the mix. But the Bearcats stayed strong and patient. That meant a lot, says Downey’s AAU coach Dion Bethea.
“They really showed they wanted him,” Bethea said. “Devan’s got a good opportunity to come in and fit their style of play. He wants to be a part of that tradition they have.”
Cincinnati was one of the first programs to get involved with Downey, long before he began his amazing run on the AAU circuit and individual camps. The Bearcats are fully aware of what the eighth best rated point guard can do once the team makes the transition to the Big East.
“They say I can come in, and if I do what I’m supposed to do, I should be able to play a lot. I‘m not going to say they said I could start but that when I‘m a sophomore to my senior year, I‘m going to play,” Downey said. “I’m ready to start working.”
Bethea’s coached Downey for the couple of years on the 17 and under circuit and he knows what the point guard can do.
“He’s going to be huge,” Bethea said. “He’s a combination of both (Logan and Van Exel). Devan’s not the biggest player out there but his heart is going to make up for that. That’s what (the coaches) see in him.”
As a junior, Downey averaged 27 points and seven assists for Chester High School.