First off, let me congratulate all the Kentucky Wildcat fans out there. I think they heard ya’ll cheering all the way in New Orleans from Third Base 6th St. during the Final Four. There is no denying the fact that Kentucky had the all around most dominant team in college basketball this season (and maybe in the last decade?). Calipari gets his ring, revenge on Bill Self, and a fresh crop of the nation’s top high school talent to reload what he is about to lose. Honestly though, with six players from this year’s team slated to be selected in the upcoming NBA Draft, two of which will be in the first five picked, any other outcome would have been a huge disappointment. Having six players picked from the same university in one draft will break a record previously held by Kansas with five. And the anchor of this championship team was none other than the Unibrow-er himself, Anthony Davis.
Davis will undoubtedly be the first over-all pick come this June. He is being touted at the best power forward to come out of college since Tim Duncan. The desperate teams in the draft lottery are planning to build their franchise around the lanky shot blocking 19 year old. Does he have what it takes to lead an NBA franchise out of the cellar and start a culture of winning? The Charlotte Bobcats sure hope so, being they are the worst team in the league (maybe ever?) giving them the best chance at the first overall pick. Potential is never a sure thing, but all the evidence points to yes. He is much more than a big body with presence in the paint. Davis has the size and more importantly the coordination to be a force at the next level. I was very impressed with his ability and confidence to handle the ball in the open court and when given the opportunity, to knock down 15 to 18 foot jump shots. He has a team first mindset and understands his role, evident through his tournament play where he didn’t attempt more than 10 shots in any game. And though it is trite to say, Davis has tremendous upside potential. He is only 19 years old and hardly even looks that old. I won’t be surprised if he grows another inch or two while bulking up in the process. His offensive game will smooth out and he already has the intangibles on defense.
Will he make the instant impact that the lottery teams hope? For most of his potential teams, it would be hard to get much worse. But I believe it will take a few years for Davis to become the franchise player everyone expect, as it often does for big men in the NBA. On a side note, his teammate and potential number 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seems more NBA ready and I see him making an immediate impact. He has the athleticism and ability to create his own shot which is what the NBA style of play is based around. Will we see history made with the top two picks coming from the same university?! It is always exciting to watch players develop and there will be plenty of support from the Wildcat faithful throughout their careers.