Anthony Davis: What Kentucky Star Must Do to Turn Hornets Around

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJune 26, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats goes up for a shot against Jeff Withey #5 of the Kansas Jayhawks 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 Chris Steppig/Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

Anthony Davis, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, has a very daunting challenge ahead of him if he is going to turn around the New Orleans Hornets franchise.

Davis is far and above his peers as the sole elite “big” prospect in this upcoming draft. Recently, the Hornets rejected a trade offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers for their No. 1 overall selection. The Cavs, desperate for an effective big-man, were willing to trade every asset at their disposal to acquire the rights to Davis.

The Hornets knew better. Davis is as sure of a thing as they come.

Now, what do the Hornets need from him in order to right the ship and bring the team back into relevancy in 2012?

Their loss of Chris Paul a season ago is similar to the Cavaliers’ loss of NBA MVP LeBron James. Like the Cavs, there will be growing pains even with a No. 1 overall pick making his mark on the team.

But Davis plays a different role than Cavaliers' 2011 No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving.

Not only can he score in the post, he has the size, strength and ability of a force to be reckoned with in the paint. This new dominating force down low will completely change the landscape of the Hornet’s post-offense and defensive sets.

Emeka Okafor was recently traded to the Washington Wizards along with Trevor Ariza in exchange for Rashard Lewis and a second-round draft pick. Okafor’s presence will be missed down low. Luckily, Davis can step in and immediately out-perform the aging veteran.

With Okafor at center, the Hornets were unimpressive down-low and came in at 26th best in the league in rebounding in 2011. Davis can and will quickly remedy that.

The biggest thing the Hornets need from Davis, though, is consistency and a continuation of his college success into the pros. A winning attitude is an invaluable commodity in competitive sports, and Davis is definitely a winner.


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