Anthony Davis: How NCAA Tournament Will Determine NBA Draft Stock

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIMarch 14, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 09:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats grabs a rebound over Justin Hamilton #41 of the LSU Tigers during the quarterfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

We all know that Anthony Davis is an amazing athlete, but the Kentucky freshman can further distinguish and solidify himself as the consensus No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft with a strong tournament performance.

Davis—who is a 6'10", 220-pound forward/center out of Chicago's South Side—exploded into the basketball world's consciousness after he had a huge growth spurt as a high school junior.

After playing AAU basketball and in national games before his senior year, Davis rapidly became the nation's No. 1 prospect and the Wildcats eventually recruited him.

Davis' freshman season is nothing short of amazing. While he scored a modest 14.3 points a game, his shooting is a robust 64.2 percent while averaging just 8.5 attempts.

The amazing Davis is a great rebounder with 10 board a game, but his biggest value is perhaps his stupendous defensive and blocking abilities. Davis' lengthy reach and mad hoops make scoring on the wry big man from Perspectives Charter School an enormous task.

He has produced a stunning 4.6 blocks a game, raking up 157 rejections as a freshman! Davis shattered the South Eastern Conference's blocks record, a record that was held by basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, who had 115.

These stellar accomplishments have given Davis countless awards— including the 2012 Sporting News All-American first team and Men's College Basketball Player of the Year, along with the SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards. 

Davis is currently projected as the NBA Draft's first pick to whoever is lucky enough to land him.

Teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is close on his heels as the second best possible swingman that could entice bad teams like the Charlotte Bobcats, Washington Wizards and New Orleans Hornets.

Connecticut also has another strong big man in freshman Andre Drummond. who has more size than Davis (275 pounds) and is also a good blocker (2.7 blocks a game). He could be an alternative to Davis if a team is looking for a bigger body.

However, Davis blows everyone away with a player efficiency rating of 35.71, which is higher than the NBA's LeBron James this year.

In the tournament, Davis just needs to continue playing his game and hope to lead his Wildcats to their first national championship in 14 years. He will be up against weaker competition in first round against Western Kentucky. After that, the Wildcats might face Drummond and his Huskies in the second round.

The Wildcats don't have too difficult of a road as they will most likely face Indiana or Wichita State in the Sweet 16. Indiana's Cody Zeller is also another tough big man that could further distinguish Davis from the pack.

A possible Elite Eight showdown with Baylor or Duke will be a huge challenge. Baylor would be great for Davis because another top big-man prospect in Perry Jones.

With that said, a deep tournament run and a dominant performance against other top big men would solidify Davis' claim as the No. 1 pick in the this year's NBA Draft.