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Is Anthony Davis raising the bar for… Anthony Davis?

Watching Anthony Davis dominate fools in the London Olympics has been nothing short of stupendous.  He’s been playing like a video game where the difficulty’s on easy, and someone set the “alley-oop” game slider to 100.  I know, because that’s exactly what I do.  It’s the only way I can win.  Davis is going into these games with absolutely nothing to lose, and it shows in the casual, “no pressure” approach to his minutes that’s allowing him to really shine as only the second college-level player to make an Olympic appearance.

But, even though New Orleans is claiming that Davis is still under “no pressure” once he gets to the NBA, is the level of success he’s enjoying en route to a probable gold medal surreptitiously raising that bar for him?  Expectations are always a double-edged sword for any rookie, especially a big man drafted so high.  Just ask Greg Oden or Hasheem Thabeet.  To paraphrase Uncle Ben, with great talent comes great expectations, and Davis oozes talent, even more than those other two guys.

Paul Ables of Bleacher Report is taking notice that Anthony “is having the single greatest season by any college basketball player in history.”  And he’s exactly right; the amount Davis has achieved is literally unprecedented.  Anthony is to college ball what Michael Phelps is to swimming and smoking pot.  How can such a decorated player not have a certain level of expectation going into his rookie season?  According to Ables, Davis’ first year in the league will look something like: “Rookie of the Year winner, high-impact starter, near the league lead in blocks.”

That’s certainly a daunting prediction, especially the “Rookie of the Year” part.  It’s very possible that another player who gets more focus on offense, like MKG with the Bobcats or Bradley Beal with the Wizards, could sneak in and snatch that award from Davis’ dextrous fingers.  If it’s MKG, well I don’t think we’ll mind as much.  Heck, Anthony probably wouldn’t mind if Mike nabbed it, either.  But to already decide that Davis will be Rookie of the Year, especially when playing with volume scorers like Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers, puts a lot of pressure on his play, particularly the defensive end.

Even if the level of expectation is rising, it’s only fair to acknowledge that, because he’s the one doing it, he’ll be able to live up to the hype.  After all, he’s the one making Tunisians look silly on international television.  But surely New Orleans fans are watching him play in London just as intently as UK fans.  Actually, I take that back.  Nobody watches basketball as intently as UK fans, but I’m sure Hornets fans are paying attention.  They’re seeing the auto-lob in full effect, and it has to be making them salivate, at least a little.  They’ll be hungry when the season starts to see what Anthony can do against other NBA-caliber competition; we know as well as anyone that Davis is likely to meet, if not exceed, those expectations.

So while folks knew that Davis was good during the NBA draft, the world is really starting to see just how good he really is.  Is it raising expectations?  Probably, if even just a little.  After all, this is a pretty big stage he’s playing on.  But even with the increase in pressure, there’s no indication that Anthony won’t be able to go into New Orleans and produce and have a solid-to-great rookie campaign.  I don’t just hope that, I expect that.  And I think that’s okay; he’s shown he’s earned a little pressure.

Article written by Corey Nichols

30 Comments for Is Anthony Davis raising the bar for… Anthony Davis?

  1. bmack
    9:04 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    “[O]nly the second college-level player to make an Olympic appearance.” No. Check a few pre-1992 US Olympic rosters.

  2. Devastation Inc
    9:07 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Go away

  3. yevkazim
    9:14 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t follow the NBA closely enough to know the answer to this question. Will Auto-Lob be possible with the Hornets? For it to work, you need a guard to be able to get into the lane to cause the defense to shift and give Davis even the slightest gap to get to the rim. Does the Hornets have such a player? I am concerned that with the Olympic team, that Durant, Paul, Wiliams, etc. aren’t indicative of what Davis will play with this year. Now, this is not a knock on Davis at all. He just needs another player to set up the lob, and as everyone knows, it doesnt have to be a great setup, just get Davis teh slightest gap, and then auto-lob is in full effect.

  4. yesterdays
    9:24 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    The Hornets dont have a PG. Rivers, at best, is a work in progress. Im sure he’ll figure out that he cant drive into the paint in the NBA, flop around, and draw a foul like it was college. So, he’ll have to recognize that lob. Eric Gordon, on the other hand, will be chukking them up from everywhere next year in an effort to “get his.” Thats “if his heart isnt in Pheonix or whatever.” I dont think Davis will have great stats next year- Im predicting 9 Pts/game, 11 Boards, and 2 blocks. Hes just in a tough spot this coming year and it will take him some time to figure out how to score

  5. Bob Sugar
    9:28 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    You have really outdone yourself today. Once again you have proved to the entire BBN your ignorance and lack of insight. First, Anthony Davis isn’t anywhere close to the “second college-level player to make an Olympic appeareance.” Back before KSR and “bloggers” like you polluted the world of Kentucky sports, collegiate players routinely played for their countries on the Olympic stage. Perhaps, you should look up the ’48 team for a great example. Second, Anthony Davis, if you really pay attention to the game, has a lot to learn and a lot to improve. People expecting him to walk in on opening day and drop a triple double with points blocks and rebounds need to cool it. What sets Davis apart from other players is not his ability to dunk or auto-lob. Rather it’s ability to change the game to give his team a chance to win– regardless of points scored– that makes him a long-run, special player. Ultimately, winning “rookie of the year” is a very small prize compared to the usual barometer of greatness: NBA MVP’s, NBA championship rings, All-Star games, 5 jewels of the celebrity endorsement dollar, and Gold Medals, all eclipse the insignificant “rookie of the year” award.

  6. Kidnut
    9:41 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Those arguing about the 2nd College Player quote need to use a little common sense and realize they are talking about the Dream Team era.

  7. asdf
    9:48 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Even post-1992, Davis is the THIRD college player to participate, not the second. First was Laettner in 1992, then Okafor in 2004, now Davis in 2012.

  8. KcMunk
    9:50 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Even if it is only the “Dream Team” Era. AD is at least the third. 1992-Christian, 2004-Emeka Okafor and 2012-AD23.

  9. Kidnut
    9:56 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Corey Nichols has some ‘splainin to do…

  10. just saying
    10:05 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    I never look at who wrote each article, but it never fails I get abut 25% in a post and I already know its another “Corey Story”. Posts of no significance, no actual information, and some hypothetical dream he had while holding his teddy bear

  11. wowzer
    10:09 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Haters get over yourselves and get a life. Who lives to bash other people???? Must be a pretty sad existence if you have to put others down to make yourself feel good.

  12. tom
    10:13 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    10. Agree completely. Early on, I took the time to encourage the young man (I assume it is a guy, but everyone thought Tyler was a guy too!). But never received even a quick ‘Thank you’ or ‘I appreciate it’. Corey has A LOT to learn. Even DeWayne Peevy will take a second to return an email and I will GUARANTEE that Peevy is a heck of lot busier than Corey. DeWayne gets it. Corey needs to grow up and enter the world of grown ups.

  13. theWilkman
    10:14 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, we all know stats and facts aren’t Corey’s strengths. No need to continually get upset. Read his article and then immediately dismiss it.

  14. tom
    10:17 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    11. Hey wowzer, you seem to misunderstand intentions a bit. Not putting anyone down to feel good, simply judging the product. I’m entirely disappointed and even disgusted with the UK football product, but that doesn’t make me a hater…just one who can recognize good football.

  15. what the what
    10:17 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, way to take a shot at the greatest Olympian of all time, who just happens to represent America. The smoking pot comment was irrelevant to this article. If you were trying to make a funny, you failed.

  16. tom
    10:18 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Wilkman. Just like Pete Thamel’s motto…never let the facts stand in the way of a good story! lol

  17. Mr.Economy
    10:22 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t forget Kenny Davis – another memorable Olympic basketball player from Kentucky. Played at Georgetown College – scoring over 3,000 points. Team captain on the 1972 Olympic team when those damn ruskies stole the gold medal. Only time US has lost in basketball. The 1972 teams silver medals still rests inside a bank vault in Switzerland.

    Remember the ’72 Olympics is when the Israeli’s were slaughtered.

    And now children, you have learned something….

    Mr. Kyle

  18. katie mac
    10:28 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    It seems like somebody has to come on every post and bash one of the KSR writers. I don’t understand why if someone doesn’t like the site why theycontinue to visit the site and feel compelled to write negative comments. If I don’t like it, I’m not going to waste my time. I happen to like the site very much. I don’t love every post but appreciate the work these writers put into their posts.

  19. asdf
    10:35 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Corey has great potential and style. He just needs to FACT CHECK everything he writes as a final step before he posts it, as any and every writer should do anyway.

  20. theWilkman
    10:50 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    16. Exactly! haha. 2nd college baskteball Olympian sounds better than 53rd or whatever he actually is.

  21. Manbearpig
    10:56 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Saying Anthony Davis is raising the bar for Anthony Davis is like saying Corey Nichols is lowering the bar for Corey Nichols

  22. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    10:59 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    19 – Corey has great potential and style?

    And maybe he should try fact-checking BEFORE he actually writes the post. Why on earth would the dude wanna go back and take complete sentences out left & right?

  23. Nothing new
    11:13 am August 1, 2012 Permalink


  24. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    11:23 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    23 – lol I don’t know about Lobatron but does anyone call Andre, Iggy Hop? I was wondering that during the game yesterday. It’s very fitting

  25. 54 40 or fight
    11:35 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    So Ms. Corey Nichols created another low-grade piece to share with Kentucky fans young and old. I really enjoy how self-righteous pieces of garbage defend this insult to UK supporters. When people say ‘don’t you have something better to do,’ we get a bird’s eye view of exactly why peopl around the country day Kentucky is full of idiots. When you defend this consistently bad writer with terrible logic as ‘don’t you have something better to do’ you prove that you have nothing better to do with your own time than attempt to gain some sort of moral high ground over a fellow UK fan. Save us from your obtuse ways and keep your defense of the galactically uninformed at a bare minimum. Usually when people take the time to comment on this site, they have a legitimate critque of the information presented to the numerous readers. Oh and BTW fire Joker Phillips.. you’re talking about a guy who hasn’t and won’t get the job done. I know KSR is trying to manipulate you into thinking Joker is Vince Lombardi reincarnate, or that Kentucky is simply “not a football school” for whatever half-a**** excuse like in-state recruiting is poor, or money and fan support isn’t there, or Mitch Barnhart got us second in the capital one bowl, or Kentucky Basketball is all we’ll ever have, or the SEC is just too good, or the practice facilities aren’t as good as other teams, or rich brooks got us to great bowl games and now we can get back to them, or our schedule is so hard with it’s 3 cupcakes and and Louisville and Vandy every year, or any of the other same 50 excuses they’ve made for Joker in the last two years.

  26. burger
    11:59 am August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Corey Nichols has moved the bar to the ground.

    And this decision to call players on other teams “fools” by Matt and now you is more evidence of a slipping of grip with all things in the world.

    Random players were never called fools before Matt’s midlife crisis (losing the TV gig). I’d expect that type of talk from a Marc Maggard type. But I guess Matt’s losing some of the important things in life (respect) because he thinks that others aren’t giving it to him.

    What a joke.

  27. burger
    12:06 pm August 1, 2012 Permalink

    #18 – katie mac – This wasn’t somebody, it was everybody.

  28. Spenser
    12:58 pm August 1, 2012 Permalink

    I would not be surprised if Davis did lead the NBA in blocks his rookie year. The reason being: As an elite shot blocker at the college level, I think a few of the NBA vets will try and test him throughout the season so they can make the highlight reel themselves. Also, many of the NBA’s point guards are utilizing a teardrop/floater in the lane. Davis has already shown he is capable of blocking such a shot. These two scenarios should get him 2-2.5 block/game.

  29. njcat
    4:20 pm August 1, 2012 Permalink

    Damian Lillard will be Davis’s competition for rookie of the year. He’ll have the ball in his hands – so will have much more opportunity to get noticed and make an impact.

  30. jorgepancho
    3:51 am August 2, 2012 Permalink

    Way back in Aught-9, when I wrote for a Louisville-based web site, my posts were reviewed by – what we called in my day – an “editor.” Why on God’s green (or blue) earth this well-read blog can’t simply edit before it publishes is beyond this relative old-timer.

    Then again, this very comment comes on the heels of quite a few “editors,” doesn’t it? So why waste the money and manpower doing what any knowledgable reader will likely do? Well played, pseudo-journalists. One can only hope the means saved buys you a higher quality of libation.