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Anthony Davis will continue to improve as he gains NBA experience.
"I found another you...but he can shoot." John Calipari to Marcus Camby regarding Anthony Davis.
He's the best freshman in the country, the best defensive big man and possibly the best player in the nation.
How good will the projected No. 1 overall draft pick be in the pros?
He could be very, very good.
That comparison that Calipari made of Davis to Camby is somewhat accurate. Both players started as guards in high school because they weren't extremely tall. Both players experienced late high school growth spurts that transformed them from solid guards into unique big men. When Camby first came to UMass, he was considered far too skinny. Davis has the same type of slight build.
That whole "shooting" thing is, as Calipari pointed out, a key difference. Davis as a freshman is averaging more rebounds, more blocks and shooting a higher field-goal percentage than Camby did at anytime in his three-year UMass career. Davis' 14.3 points per game are more than Camby averaged until his junior season.
Davis might just be a combination of Camby's defensive skills mixed with a little more of Tim Duncan's offensive prowess. However, that could make Davis one of the NBA's premier big men for the next decade and beyond.
He is only 19 years old. He won't be an instant first team All-NBA player or MVP candidate. Of course, even if it takes him three or four seasons to gain physical strength and refine his skills, he'd still be only 23 years old when he reaches his full potential.
How high can that potential take him? The sky's the limit. His shot blocking will make him an instant impact player defensively. That will give him the minutes to learn the rest on the court. But can he become a "Kobe Bryant" type of player?
It's tough to tell. Kobe has become a mature player who easily defuses situations that many other NBA players don't always handle as well. Davis is only 19 and it took Kobe years to fully mature. How long will it take Davis and what will Davis as an adult be like? Those will be the final pieces and they're the toughest ones to gauge.
His ability presents as much potential as anyone playing in the Final Four this weekend.