Anthony Davis' Championship Game Performance Shows He's Ready to Dominate NBA

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates before he cuts down the net after the Wildcats defeat the Kansas Jayhawks 67-59 in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will be the first to tell you that everybody has an off shooting night like Anthony Davis did in the NCAA national championship game on Monday night. His ability to control the game anyway proves he's ready for the NBA.

Kentucky's biggest star knocked down just one of his 10 field goal attempts, scoring just six points in the Wildcats' victory over Kansas. To some, that may seem like a performance that shows he needs another season in college. But basketball has more elements than scoring.

Davis grabbed 16 rebounds, dished out five assists and swatted away six Jayhawks shots. He altered countless more to help fend off a late Kansas charge. To top it all off, he had three steals to illustrate his tremendous versatility.

There isn't another player in the country who could have had that type of impact without scoring in double digits. He's able to make his presence felt on a nightly basis in one way or another, which makes him an intriguing NBA prospect.

He's widely considered the front-runner to be this year's top overall pick in the NBA draft assuming he decides to leave Kentucky.

His rare combination of size and athleticism should limit the transition period at the next level. The NBA lacks big-man depth, so he should be able to make an immediate impact for whichever franchise is lucky enough to win the lottery.

While his jump shot remains a work in progress, it's something he's already started to improve. His jumper is in better shape than fellow athletic freak Blake Griffin's was when he was coming out of college, and the Los Angeles Clippers star continues to shine.

All told, there's no reason to believe Davis will be anything other than a superstar at the next level. He's prepared to contribute right away and should only continue to grow, both physically and mentally, with experience.

He's not a one-trick pony either. He'll be able to provide terrific defense and solid offense, especially with more time in the gym working on that jumper. If he can knock down the mid-range shot consistently, he'll become virtually impossible to stop.

Davis has nothing left to prove at the college level since the Wildcats cut down the nets on Monday night, so he should set his sights on the NBA. It's always a big leap to make, but there isn't a player more prepared than him to do it.

The title game proved that once again. College basketball fans will have to wait a long time to see another prospect like him.