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Anthony Davis is NEXT


They created candidates, put it up to popular vote, and you know what happens next. As part of its annual “NEXT” issue, Anthony Davis will be featured in ESPN the Magazine. The issue highlights those athletes who are about to make a step up and move into the next level of sports stardom. Davis is the pick for basketball and his selection makes him the college basketball player who will be featured. Excerpts of the story are below, and it is the first of many honors for the Brow they call Anthony Davis:

When he was an oversize infant born in Chicago, his family took to calling him Fat Man — a name that held most of the way through high school. But when puberty (and the basketball gods) stretched him seven inches over a few months during his junior year, it was time for a new moniker. Now, seeing the 6’10” Davis creeping along the court in practice, sticky limbs shooting out from nowhere, Kentucky coach John Calipari has taken to calling him Spider-Man. “He just goes ‘pfft’ and his arms go and he’s hanging in the air,” Calipari says.

Davis is just starting to get comfortable inside his taffy physique — his version of a superhero suit. Two months into the season, the 220-pound freshman has already saved a win against North Carolina, snuffing John Henson’s last-second jumper like spit on a birthday candle. On that play alone, Davis showed why he isn’t just Tall Guy or Big Fella.

More from the article:

Now he’s a menace. Davis had blocked 14.74 percent of two-point field goals taken against him through Dec. 17 (fifth nationally), with 4.4 rejections per game (second). When Davis had seven blocks in a win over Kansas at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15, Calipari says he texted 16-year NBA vet Marcus Camby (whom he coached at UMass): “Remind you of you when you were younger?” Camby laughed and responded yes. Then Cal gets serious: “Anthony is ahead of Marcus at this stage. Marcus was good but not like this as a freshman.”

Davis’ impact on defense is where his length and athleticism are most apparent, but it’s his offensive potential — the ballhandling skills and shooting touch Uncle Keith instilled — that persuaded Calipari to switch up his dribble-drive motion (DDM) offense. At both Memphis and Kentucky, DDM always worked with a big who ran the floor for mostly transition buckets or putbacks. But with soft-handed Davis playing alongside preseason All-America post Terrence Jones, Calipari tweaked the strategy to include more pick-and-roll action. So far, Davis has scored on half the pick-and-roll possessions he’s run (1.11 points per possession), mostly on a solid-looking 19-foot jumper.

Of course, things are more interesting when Davis goes up for breakaway dunks, which is how he scores most of his 11.8 ppg. He’s easy to find on lobs, and his explosive vertical makes for a show. “He puts his teeth on the rim,” Calipari says. “He’s jumping that high with his size, which means his arm is probably a foot above the square.” It’s just one more way Anthony Davis has made a name for himself.

Article written by Matt Jones

11 Comments for Anthony Davis is NEXT

  1. yeah first
    9:39 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    If you ain’t first….you’re last!!!!

  2. Carl
    9:44 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    I think Davis needs another year of college to work on his post up game….just sayin’.

  3. Jezz
    9:48 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    I love Davis but… this is wrong. This 19foot jumper has been nowhere to be found so far.
    He’s still a beast but his shooting touch is a bit of a unicorn.

  4. CatsFanInKnoxville
    9:55 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    I bet his feet are on the ground in that pic!

  5. SexnNursinHomes
    9:57 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    How many shots is Davis averaging? He hardly touches the ball on the offensive end unless it’s an oop or a put back. Probably has a sweet jumper when he is in his flow, but they never give him the ball. He has nice form, he just needs more reps. He should be shooting at least 5 mid range jumpers a game.

  6. road_warri0r
    9:58 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    I wholeheartedly agree with number (2) Davis NEEDS anoother year at UK, and yes…. UK needs him too!!!

  7. Old Hedgey
    9:59 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    Man, this new dog sure bites hard!! She’s rowdy!!

  8. Bulldawg
    10:00 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with sex in nursing homes…wait that doesn’t sound right…

  9. yeah first
    10:02 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    He has taken a few shots in that range and has a decent stroke. Like 5. says…. he needs more reps. UK isn’t giving him the ball there on set plays (for a shot) and he will not be found there on a dribble drive play. Oops and put backs have been his bread and butter but I bet he could hold his own on shots out there if given chances.

  10. SexnNursinHomes
    10:24 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    8- feels nasty, right? haha

    9- He definitely needs more shots. That’s a must.

  11. WOW!
    11:25 am December 28, 2011 Permalink

    I agree. Where is this 19 ft. jumper they speak of? I will say this… form looks good, but remember when Davis participated in the 3 Point Shootout at the MCD All American game, which Kyle Wilter won. Davis finished last with a very unimpressive score. The J needs more work.