Watching Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins dominate the New Orleans frontcourt over the last year and a half has been special.
Before Cousins went down with an Achilles injury, Davis and Cousins averaged a combined 53 points, 24 rebounds, and 4.2 blocks per game this season. They have been one of the most unstoppable duos in the league.
You certainly enjoyed watching their individual seasons at Kentucky.
Now, John Calipari is looking to emulate that dynamic duo by putting the full-court press on the top-two big men in the class of 2019, James Wiseman and Vernon Carey Jr.
We all know about James Wiseman, the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2019 who has been deemed Kentucky’s “to-lose” for months. 247 Sports and ESPN list the 6-foot-11 big man as the No. 1 junior in the class, as he possesses crazy length and instinct on defense. He runs the floor well, has polished offensive moves in the post, and a developing mid-range jump shot.
Wiseman has told reporters on multiple occasions he models his game after Anthony Davis. The Kentucky coaching staff, who will meet with Wiseman this week, has been selling him on following in Davis’s footsteps as one of the best defensive talents to ever play at the school. And he’s in love with the idea.
“He’s a unicorn,” recruiting analyst Evan Daniels told Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “The physical gifts are there, across the board. Whether it’s the length or the athleticism or the mobility, he’s the full package in terms of the physical gifts. And when you throw in how skilled he’s becoming, it’s impressive.”
Vernon Carey is currently considered a consensus top-three prospect in the class of 2019, with Rivals listing him as the No. 1 overall junior. He’s better than anyone in the nation at throwing his weight around in the post, has impressive athleticism, terrific at rebounding, and he’s surprisingly solid from mid-range and out to the three-point line. In a game against Keldon Johnson’s undefeated Oak Hill team just two weeks ago, Carey finished with 29 points and six rebounds on 13-16 shooting. Unstoppable, like he has been throughout his entire junior season.
Carey himself claims to model his game after both DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, though the Cousins comparison is certainly more obvious.
Last week, KSR’s TJ Walker wrote a post breaking down Carey’s game, specifically pointing out Cousins as a direct comparison.
Carey Jr.- The 6-foot-10, 245-pound forward reminds me a lot of DeMarcus Cousins. He’s physical, he’s big, he’s a bully and he has a mean streak. While UK is making Wiseman a priority don’t sleep on Carey Jr.
John Calipari met with Carey last week, and he has another visit scheduled with him on Monday. Duke and Miami (FL) have been seen as the favorites in his recruitment, but Coach Cal is doing whatever it takes to make up ground with the elite big man. Carey has said he hopes to make a college decision by August.
Watching both of their highlights, it’s hard not to drool at the thought of both of these kids manning the Kentucky frontcourt.
First, Wiseman’s highlight tape from his showing at the City of Palms Classic:
And then Carey’s official junior season mixtape:
Most recruiting analysts seem to believe Wiseman will end up at Kentucky and Carey Jr. will head to Duke or Miami (FL). But with the way Coach Cal has been recruiting both players in the current recruiting period, it makes you wonder if the Kentucky head coach is daydreaming about a Cousins/Davis-esque frontcourt in Lexington.
Why not both?