Projected No. 1 pick Anthony Davis comes to the 2012 NBA draft reeking of success after leading the UK Wildcats to their eighth national championship. We know he's a winner, but will he shine as well in the pros?
The short answer: Yes. Anthony Davis has qualities that make him something very rare these days in the NBA—a core player.
While it's very nice to have superstars like Derrick Rose or Kyrie Irving to give your team a fearless leader, what is even nicer in some cases is to have a player who gives you all-encompassing abilities on one end of the floor. Anthony Davis is a defensive core player, which makes any team complete at least on one end of the floor once he's added to the mix.
Davis is an offense's worst nightmare. Athletic, lengthy and aggressive, yet balanced.
According to Statsheet.com, Davis was responsible for 54 percent of UK's blocks for the entire season. That's some major swattage, to say the least. His 4.7 BPG will likely go down in the NBA. But I predict based on his athleticism and keen ability to time his jumps, he will average around 3.2 BPG—right below Serge Ibaka and above Dwight Howard.
In all the block frenzy, let's not forget Davis also accounted for 22.3 percent of UK's Steals, averaging 1.4 per game.
Cleans the Glass
Boards on boards on boards. Davis cleans glass like Windex. The 10.4 RPG is lower than what we would like. However, account for the fact that he got more defensive rebounds than offensive, meaning UK didn't miss much.
If Davis ends up on the New Orleans Hornets, his numbers may go up. The Hornets shoot only 45 percent FG and 33 percent from three-point land. Davis could be grabbing boards all day.
Inside Scoring Presence
With a true shooting percentage of 65.4 percent, Davis is on par with LeBron James, Steve Nash, and Manu Ginobili. His 14.2 PPG might get bumped up if he earns a starting role and becomes the focal point of the Hornets inside offense.
You can't calculate drive, motivation and leadership, but what can come close is Davis' plus/minus rating. Only once did UK earn a minus rating when Davis was on the court (+15.1 average). Davis also has a respectable +4 clutch percentage.
There are a lot of statistics here, but here's the big picture: Davis is the foundation for a good basketball team. He contributes in nearly all aspects of the game and shines in blocks and rebounds. These fundamental skills make a basketball team whole.
Sometimes, the wiser choice is to take an all-around star rather than a one-trick pony superstar.