Blog Entry

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:46 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 5:40 pm
Anthony Davis is the No.1 prospect by most evaluators, including's Jeff Goodman. (Getty Images)

By Matt Moore

To start you off, Jeff Goodman and I sat down to talk about the college season through the lens of th NBA draft. We talk about Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (MKG), Tony Wroten, and the quality of character and coachability of guys in this draft. You will enjoy this. Let's start there. 

Regarding Davis, this is a post about something obvious, but it needed to be written anyway.

Anthony Davis is currently averaging 13.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.8 blocks per game and shooting 64.6 percent from the field. So, just to get an idea of where he stands historically, how many freshmen have averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game? (Note: round up and Davis is averaging 14, 10, and 5, but we're setting the bar low here. Just keep it in mind.) The answer is: 

1. Anthony Davis. 

Just Davis. That's it. So there's that. 

Player Efficiency Rating doesn't translate well to college. The weak schedule, different flow, all of it just makes it to where the metric isn't particularly effective in evaluating performance. But if you're into hypotheticals or interesting stat trivia, the highest PER over the past three years is 34.75 from Kennth Faried. Davis is currently on track for a PER of 35.4. 

This is all to say, Anthony Davis is a freak. And I'm not talking about the eyebrows.

Thing is, all of this is nothing compared to the scouts evaluation of him. In a loaded class with Harrison Barnes, all eleven hundred of the Kentucky kids, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, and Thomas Robinson, Davis is still miles ahead of the rest in terms of ability and projected ceiling. It's not just the production, that stuff can come from physical dominance at the college level. But it's that his defensive instincts and determination are so high. He's a smart, coachable player that doesn't block just the first shot. He blocks the second shot. He blocks the third shot. To say he may be the best defensive prospect since Kevin Garnett is not an exaggeration.

Davis sprouted from a guard into the power forward he is today, and his frame has a long way to go in terms of catching up. His frame isn't massive, he'll never play center in the NBA. But his athleticism and ability to attack shots will make for an easy translation.

The two biggest questions about Davis are his ability to defend in the post and his offense. Jeff Goodman of in the podcast above says that he's got a much better offense than he's asked to provide at Kentucky and that under a pro coach, he'll be able to showcase those abiliies. Defensively in the paint, he'll have issues. But there's no reason to think that as he grows and works under a strength and conditioning coach at the next level that he can't grow into the bulk and strength necessary to contend there.

Since: Feb 13, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2012 6:45 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Kid is nasty straight out of the south side of chicago. He and Jabari Parker will be representing in the NBA, maybe even All-Star game along with D Rose in a couple years. Davis is a sure fire number one pick with a unique defensive skill set unseen in a long time. He will be a decent PF and has room to develop a shot.  I think he will be a Tyson Chandler type, with more potential to make an impact immediately and over the long run.  This will go down as a great draft, in what has been a decent 10 year period for the NBA talent wise coming in (D Rose, Lebron, D Wade, Carmelo, Durant).

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 6:12 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Love Davis. Love MKG,,,,who Im not sure is such a tweener. Derrik Williams was more of a tweener.....and its showing in his pro showing. But Gilchrist is a lot more talented than Williams. I think Drummond should stay in school. Barnes is great, but I think hasnt the upside. What you see is what you get. I think Robinson has  abust vibe...but maybe thats just me. The guys who will rise are Lillard and Jeff Taylor. Taylor is the new Deng, and Lillard is a big Kemba. Marhsall will go high....he's unique. Perry Jones worries me.....(Tyrus Thomas ?). Sullinger is going to be a rock. I dont care how tall he is, he's a beast and cant be moved. Id take sullinger frankly, maybe over every one. If Cody Zeller comes out, he's top five. tyler isnt. Plumlee is a potential bust too. Sleepers are Ezeli....a beast and much improved....and LaBryan Nash --- a freak athlete with unlimited upside. Henson is larry sanders-like.....but he could fill out and bang a bit more. Beal is great...young....but could really develop. He has great range....can face up and score.

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:40 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Every time that I see this guy plays, he reminds me sooo much of Marcus Camby during his "UMass days". From his defensive/offensive skills to his height,etc. The irony of the comparison is that both of them have been coached by John Callipari. I think that Camby might have been a little bit ahead of Davis as far as the offensive game goes,but not by that much(I think).

Since: Aug 28, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

I am one of those who hates the pre-lottery academy that Kentucky has become. I can't even use that bias to ignore Davis' impact and superstar potential. This is an 18 year old who has only 26 TOs in 28 games to 26 assists, 41 steals (1.5 per), 133 blocks (4.8) and nearly 15 and 10 with all the expectations placed on him, he has still managed to surpass them.

If he gets a little bigger and stronger, he has the makings of the best defender at the 4 spot who would be a terror of a backside defender. Ben Wallace made a living off that at 6'6". I see Davis swatting many shots and altering far more for years to come. I would love to see him next to Greg Monroe in a Piston's uniform. Alas, we started winning a few. I guess Id rather win and hope they stay away from the next Marvin Williams in Barnes. I hope Sullinger is still there. He can actually fight inside.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:44 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

I'd take Thomas Robinson over this guy any day of the week..........

I bet you think it didn't sound as stupid when you said it huh?


Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:42 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

He's a quick big man that can play inside, shoot from 3, block shots, rebound, defend and hit free throws. What else do you want ? He could use a few more tats and a criminal record, I suppose.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:14 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Id take Thomas Robinson over this guy any day of the week.

Since: Feb 22, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:04 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Hmm, doesn't Chicago have Charlotte's no. 1 pick?

Since: May 12, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2012 3:36 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Tony Wroten?

You mention him in passing twice. That isn't "talking about". So missleading.  

Since: Jul 13, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 3:31 pm

Is Anthony Davis the No. 1 pick? Yes. Very Yes.

Damn! AVERAGING 48 blocks a game.  That must be some kind of record!  {#emotions_dlg.wink}

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