The Kentucky Wildcats advanced to the Final Four Saturday night beating Louisville. The will be the second time that John Calipari has taken a team to the championship game since 2008 when he did it with the Derrick Rose-led Memphis Tigers.
This year Calipari’s squad is led by another freshman by the name of Anthony Davis. Davis has been the most dominant player in college basketball this season especially on the defensive end. He is the no doubt number one overall pick of the upcoming NBA Draft as well.
The only question is: what kind of NBA player will Davis be?
For how incredible Davis has been this season, he isn’t exactly the prototypical mold of a superstar in the NBA. I’m not saying that he doesn’t have the talent but his build and game resemble the likes of Marcus Camby and someone like Brandan Wright to some degree. I’d say he is better versions of those players but he isn’t an electric wing scorer or huge big man as much as he is the versatile tall, thin athlete type.
He’s also not Kevin Durant. Now let’s take a moment to think about how awesome Durant is. He kind of makes Davis seem not all that. They have similar builds except Durant has the handle of a guard and sweetest jumper from 30-feet maybe ever. It’s not fair to compare anyone to Durant but for some reason when I see Davis (probably because of his build) I expect more Durant in him. He is a way different player but I think could have superstar potential as well.
Davis is the most dominant college player that is also the sure number one pick since who? Kenyon Martin or Tim Duncan? This guy is ridiculously talented and he is a sure thing in the NBA too as far as I’m concerned.
I have a couple of questions about Davis that I will naturally answer myself.
Can he be a center in the NBA?
I think he can in the right system. I like him as a player that handles the ball a lot on offense and I think he is big enough and his defensive instincts are good enough to handle covering opposing centers. It’s not like anyone’s saying he needs a center to play alongside him once he gets into the league and the center position isn’t that deep anyway. He’ll have trouble with Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum but that’s about it. Instead of a point-forward, he could maybe become the first point-center.
Is he the type of big that will need to play alongside a great point guard?
He would be awesome with a great point guard but wouldn’t we all. He is a great finisher on alley-oops and very quick getting shots to the rim after a catch inside. He also scores a lot from offensive rebounds and can create himself to a degree off the dribble and with the jumper. I have no doubt that he will be able to eventually develop a very formidable post game. He is so skilled and has so much more room to grow with learning how to be a big man. Remember he was only 6-foot-2 two years ago. His offense has room for improvement and he will definitely get better. He won’t need a great point but it would of course help.
Can he be a 20-10 guy?
Right now the type of player he looks like seems like he’d peak around 17-13-4 or some stat line like that. Does he have more potential in the scoring department though? I think he can like I mentioned above his skills are so great and his touch is something too. I think he develops a great arsenal of post moves and has the potential to be one of the best in the league at scoring from the block. Maybe a little Kevin McHale potential in some ways? Maybe I’m the only one that’s questioning his scoring?
Will he ever be the best player on a championship team?
I know. Too early to tell. But there are guys who come into the league where you can immediately envision this. LeBron, Howard, Durant. Davis seems like the type that would become an awesome second option on a title team like Pau Gasol is to Kobe Bryant. But the way the league is turning into such a point guard driven league I think that future champions will eventually have point guards as one of their top two players alongside a player like Davis. In six years will be a top five player in the league? Could he become the Defensive Player of the Year by that point and surpass Kevin Love and Blake Griffin as the best power forward? I believe he has this potential and will reach it.
Anthony Davis is the future mold of superstars in the NBA. Centers were the thing years ago then the Jordan-type was the next superstar. Durant has given us a taste of the alien-like tall guys who are super skilled. Davis is the next one. He will join Rose, Howard, LeBron and Duncan as the top five best number one overall picks of the last 15 years.
It’s just too bad I always think of Durant when I watch Davis play and question why he isn’t stroking 30-footers on a regular basis.