Kentucky Wildcats Basketball

NCAA Tournament 2012: Anthony Davis Is Most Important Player in Final Four

Kentucky superstar Anthony Davis is the most important player in the 2012 Final Four
Kentucky superstar Anthony Davis is the most important player in the 2012 Final FourAndy Lyons/Getty Images
Eric HampfordContributor IIIMarch 28, 2012

If you are looking for the most important player of the 2012 Final Four, look no further than Kentucky freshman phenom Anthony Davis. The 6'10" power forward has been the most captivating and unique story in college basketball this season, and his importance to the Wildcats can't be stressed enough. 

In just his first season playing college basketball, he has already solidified his status as one of the most dominant players college hoops has ever seen. In the process, he has shattered University of Kentucky and Southeastern Conference records for blocked shots in a single season.

He currently has an astounding 175, averaging almost five swats each game, not to mention the amount of shots he alters. He was the runaway victor for 2012 National Freshman of the Year honors and has already collected several national player of the year awards by different publications.

To date, his statistical resume is as impressive as you will find from anyone left on any of the 2012 Final Four rosters. He is averaging 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds to go along with his 4.6 blocks each game. 

In each of UK's four NCAA tournament games, he has left his imprint in a big way. In the Wildcats' opening-round game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, he filled the stat-sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks and three assists in a winning effort. In their following three games against powerful opponents Iowa State, Indiana and Baylor, he took his game to another level.

Over that three game span, he averaged 14 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks for the Wildcats. Statistically, he is without a doubt the most important player on the roster. What makes him the best player in America, however, is the importance he has to his team beyond the box score.

Anthony Davis is looking to cut down the nets again after the Wildcats win the 2012 National Championship
Anthony Davis is looking to cut down the nets again after the Wildcats win the 2012 National ChampionshipStreeter Lecka/Getty Images


What can't be accounted for in his spectacular season averages is the amount of shots he alters in each game. Every player on opposing rosters is well aware of his shot-blocking prowess, and guards always think twice about venturing into the paint where Davis lurks.

He stretches the defense with his outside shooting as well. Not only can he maneuver his way to inside baskets with his sneaky athleticism and post movies, but he is a proficient shooter all the way out to the three-point line. What truly sets him apart at the college level is his ball-handling skills for a player his size.

At 6'10", he has the handling ability of a point guard. This can be attributed to the fact that he was a 6'2" point guard on his high school team until he hit an eight-inch growth spurt between his sophomore and junior seasons.

He now has the makings of a future NBA superstar and is all but assured to become the No.1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. However, before that day comes in June, he will be the centerpiece of Kentucky's march to become the 2012 National Champions, while delivering John Calipari's first national title.

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