Anthony Davis: Biggest Challenges for the Kentucky Star at the NBA Level

Kristen RodgersCorrespondent IIMarch 6, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats drives on Jeff Withey #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks in the second half 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NBA draft is just over a week away, and with teams already showing interest in the potential No. 1 pick, it is important to take a look at the challenges that the University of Kentucky star Anthony Davis faces on June 28.

Davis’ young age has really set him apart from the rest of the draftees, but it may also be his age that leads to his downfall.


Physical Size

The power forward is only 19 years old, and although the age might not show on the inside with his mature and quick mental instincts, it sure shows on the outside. Davis is freakishly tall at 6’11'', but his thin frame of 222 pounds is desperately in need of some stronger muscles.

Let’s compare him to one of the best power forwards currently in the NBA, like Dirk Nowitzki. The Dallas Maverick is very close to Davis in height at 7’0’’, but at 245 pounds, Nowitzki clearly outweighs Davis.

Davis’ svelte shape may have been fine at the college level, but he’ll have to bulk up if he wants to keep up with players like Nowitzki in the pros. Bottom line, Davis needs to add more power to power forward.


Play in the Post

With a 7’5’’ wingspan, Davis has no trouble swatting down shots and rebounding in the key but his shooting in the post needs some serious work. Davis was a big offensive threat at Kentucky but it was mostly a result of his rebounding skills and natural athletic ability.


What’s interesting is that Davis played guard in high school, so we should be able to assume that the power forward has some experience with jump shots. He showed flashes of great post play in the NCAA tournament this year, but if he can hone in on his shooting skills he could develop into a true offensive threat.


Defensive Play

Davis has already established himself as a strong rebounder, but he’ll be facing higher quality—and size—centers in the NBA. This goes along with the idea that Davis needs to bulk up because if he can’t add some strength to his frame he could find his once-great rebounding skills out of his arsenal.

Davis will need a confidence boost going into the NBA as well. He can’t let the size and quality of players in the NBA intimidate him, or else his mind won’t let him power through the post to block shots.

With that in mind, it is important to note that Davis is the potential No.1 draft pick for some good reasons: great wingspan, excellent rebounding, good ball handling and terrific speed and footwork. However, for him to be as big of a threat in the NBA as he was at Kentucky, Davis will need to grow up—literally.