The Michigan Wolverines basketball program has boasted a lot of fan favorites since the John Beilein era began in April, 2007, ranging from former Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas to German sensation Moritz Wagner and his brother Franz to Isaiah Livers of Kalamazoo, Michigan, who is now with the NBA’s Detroit Pistons franchise.
Last season, Onsted, Michigan native and center Austin Davis also became a fan favorite in large because because of his gritty play and bevy of crafty post moves down low.
Davis stuck around four years in Ann Arbor, turning in career highs in his final season with 5.4 points per game while shooting a blistering 70.5% from the field. He became an instant bucket down low for first-year head coach Juwan Howard’s Wolverines in a backup role behind Hunter Dickinson, after ceding his starting role to the mercurial freshman big man earlier in the season.
Now, Davis has quietly rejoined the Wolverines in an entirely new capacity, bringing a fresh perspective to an area of player development that has long been seen as one of the Wolverine program’s biggest strengths.
Austin Davis Rejoins Wolverines Under S&C Coach Jon Sanderson
A former Ohio State Buckeye, Michigan Basketball Strength and Conditioning Coach Jon Sanderson has endeared himself to the Michigan basketball fanbase over the years through his love for helping his players become game ready, as well as beach ready, in the weight room.
His unique training methods have long emphasized explosive movements over traditional weight lifting, and the results have been positive to say the least.
Michigan’s program has been widely lauded as one of the best at player development in the country, in large part due to the consistent improvements made by players like Stauskas, Davis, Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske and others who have consistently become more explosive and stronger without becoming too weighed down by excess muscle mass.
While Davis certainly looked the part of bruising, throwback center during his time in Ann Arbor, he also surprised many onlookers with his graceful moves near the basket and ability to move his feet and make stops on defense.
According to a report from Mlive.com, Davis is now working under Sanderson in the strength and conditioning program in an undisclosed role.
While he is not listed on the Wolverines’ official list of coaches on the team’s website, Mlive.com confirmed the addition in its article.
Austin Davis Could See Game Action This Year — But Not in the Way You Might Think
The article also went on to describe a surprising scenario in which Davis, who signed a contract to play with a Polish pro team last summer, could see game action in a Michigan uniform.
Davis could match up against another former Big Ten rival and well known role player in Michigan State’s Matt McQuaid, but with one caveat — the hypothetical matchup would take place as part of a game between student manager teams.
McQuaid, a former G-League player, is the assistant director of basketball operations for the Spartans, and has played in some manager games this year, which are contests between program assistants.
For now, Davis appears to be keeping a low profile according to his Twitter account. He recently retweeted a graphic in the Polish language and information about his own basketball camp this past fall, along with highlights of former Wolverine Franz Wagner with the Orlando Magic.
It remains to be seen whether Davis is working toward a more prominent position with the Wolverines any time in the near future, but he’s in good hands with Sanderson, widely regarded as one of the top coaches at his profession in the entire country.
Check out some of Sanderson’s training methods with the current team below, as well as some career highlights of Davis’ time as a player at Michigan in 2020-2021, widely considered to be his breakout season.
Let’s go !!!#ForCompetitorsOnly#WeAreNotForEveryone#GoBlue〽️ pic.twitter.com/GDYcBdBnUg
— Michigan Men's Basketball (@umichbball) October 20, 2021