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2012 NBA Draft: Why Anthony Davis Will Win 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

Joye PruittSenior Analyst IApril 3, 2012

2012 NBA Draft: Why Anthony Davis Will Win 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Award

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    The 2012 Men’s Basketball Championship has been played and won. As suspected before the tipoff of the first round, Anthony Davis and the Kentucky Wildcats overpowered coach Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks, and Davis walked away with enough respect to last him a lifetime.

    Kansas fans poured out of New Orleans as somber as the men sporting their jerseys. Thomas Robinson’s tears as he exited the court said it all. The ride was over.

    Soon after, stepping into the spotlight was Anthony Davis standing alongside coach John Calipari as he was announced as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

    Michael Jordan’s heart must have smiled. Knowing that Charlotte has the opportunity to bring in the best player in the 2012 NBA draft must put his possible thoughts of walking away from this franchise on hold for at least another five seasons.

    Davis showed exactly why anyone with the No. 1 pick cannot pass him up and why Charlotte may want to begin building around him instead of Kemba Walker.

    There is no disputing his athleticism, and while his offense has yet to ring bells as efficiently as Tim Duncan in his college years, Davis will be a dominant force in the league instantly, especially with a team festering in the pits of the league like the Charlotte Bobcats.

    Davis has everything it takes to be the league’s Rookie of the Year. Just look at his resume.

Freshman Season: 14.3 PTS, 10.0 REB, 4.6 BLK

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    Anthony Davis was destined to be great, and Coach Calipari made sure it was so.

    Davis burst into his freshman season, leading a group of young and athletic talent up and down the court on every drive. Davis does not take a day off, and what makes him so lethal is that he is consistent in his production.

    Davis’ greatest attribute this season has been his ability to change the pace of the game in the low post. His length and agility make him such a force to be reckoned with. 

NCAA Tournament: Most Outstanding Player

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    Anthony Davis’ performance in the tournament leading up to the meeting with the Kansas Jayhawks was great.

    He withstood a knee injury that looked to bench him for the extent of his time in the tournament. Someone else may have taken their brand into consideration, focused on how staying in the game would have affected him long term in the league rather than how his absence would affect his teammates.

    Davis did not want to leave the game and fought through the pain to assist Kentucky to another win. That was a relentless bout by Davis.

    However, the championship game was so much more impressive. I have never seen a player influence the trend of a game so massively without scoring in the double digits, but that is exactly what Davis did.

    Davis did not score his first field goal until the second quarter and finished the meeting with six points. What was so much more important was Davis’ impact on the defensive end of the game.

    Davis had 16 rebounds, five assists, six blocks and three steals. Davis is a generational player that simply comes once every so often. 

Point Guard Turned Forward

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    Anthony Davis’ junior year in high school was played as a point guard standing at 6'3".

    His senior year, he returned at a whopping 6'10" and made the transition to forward that has only increased his draft stock.

    Davis’ size, strength and length are not the only characteristics that force NBA scouts to drool at Davis as a draft prospect. Playing at the guard position gives him the agility and the court vision that does not naturally come to a big man.

    In the championship game, Davis not only blocked and rebounded like crazy, but he pushed the pace of the game up and down the floor to keep everything up-tempo to Kentucky’s liking.

    He knew exactly how the game needed to be run for everything to be successful, and he took it upon himself to force the issue.

Man Among Boys

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    Watching how Davis played alongside a speculated powerhouse player like Thomas Robinson only confirms what the Naismith Player of the Year award screams: He is the best player in college basketball on all cylinders.

    Rick Pitino compared Davis to Bill Russell for a reason.

    Not only does he have the shot-blocking ability that reminds one of Russell’s earlier moments, but he has the aggressive mentality that forced Robinson to second-guess himself in his strongest area of his game.

    Davis limited Robinson immensely, and it was a matchup that exceeded predictions.

    Davis has an incredible upside that can only be propelled in the right circumstances. Davis knows how to evaluate the men around him and work to their talents while exercising his own.

    He is the ultimate team player, which makes him the most valuable asset in the 2012 NBA draft. 

Possibly Joining the Most Hopeless Franchise in the NBA

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    Who are the Charlotte Bobcats trying to fool?

    Blowing up their franchise is only step one to figuring out where they went wrong in the past few seasons. Getting rid of Michael Jordan’s ownership is step two.

    Drafting Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick in the draft is step three.

    Maybe not specifically in that order, but bringing Davis could only work wonders for Charlotte’s fan morale and roster moves going forward.

    It won’t be hard for Davis to stand out with the Bobcats. He is the most desired player coming out of the draft with one of the most enticing resumes and skill sets alongside a bunch of bench-worthy players, with the exception of Kemba Walker.

    But Walker cannot help Charlotte in blocking shots and rebounding—which the Bobcats have stunk so much in—as much as Davis could.

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