Team USA Basketball 2012: Will Anthony Davis Have a Sizable Impact in London?

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IJuly 29, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  USA player Anthony Davis looks on during the Men's Exhibition Game between USA and Team GB at Manchester Arena on July 19, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Anthony Davis was originally one of the last cuts for Team USA as they prepared for the London Games. 

However, Davis managed to make the roster after Blake Griffin went down with an injury.

Davis is coming off one of the most dominant freshman seasons in college basketball history.

The 6'10'' power forward/center averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and an incredible 4.7 blocks per game for Kentucky. 

He was the unanimous National Player of the Year, and he helped lead the Wildcats to their eighth National Championship in school history. 

After Davis' outstanding freshman year, he was selected first overall by the New Orleans Hornets in the 2012 NBA draft.

The Chicago native is an out-of-this-world talent, and he will likely become the NBA's next great center.

However, Davis has received little playing time as a member of Team USA. 

The 19-year-old wasn't on the floor for more than 15 minutes in any of the United States' tuneup games, despite Team USA winning the majority of those games in blowout fashion. 

In the American's first meaningful contest of the Olympic Games yesterday, Davis only received eight minutes of playing time. The game was anything but close, as Team USA had a 27-point lead entering the fourth quarter. 

So why is Anthony Davis being used as a benchwarmer?

It has not been because of his performance. The unibrowed sensation has dominated during his short time on the floor.

Davis scored nine points in 10 minutes against the Dominican Republic, and he was extremely impressive in just a few minutes against Spain.

It's not like Team USA has a slew of talented big men keeping Davis from getting on the floor.

Starting center Tyson Chandler has been anything but exceptional so far, and the Americans have been pounded on the inside by numerous opponents.

It seems the reason for Davis' lack of playing time has been because of his age and inexperience.

The Kentucky product is three years younger than any other player on the roster, and he has yet to play a minute of professional basketball.

So, will Team USA use Davis more as he gains experience throughout the London Games?


The Americans lack the size to breeze through the tournament.

When they match up with strong competitors with solid inside games, such as Brazil and Spain, the coaching staff will have no choice but to bring Davis into the game in key moments.

Davis has been terrific against premium competition so far. You could argue that he has been the team's best big man in limited minutes. 

The argument can be made that the growth of Davis as an NBA prospect may be stunted because of injury if he sees extended minutes, but the risk of losing out on a gold medal because of that is too great.

Anthony Davis is one of the best players on the Team USA roster, and the best players should be on the court.