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Anthony Davis: 2012 NBA Draft Scouting Report

April 16, 2012

Anthony Davis

University of Kentucky
6-10 power forward / center
232 pounds

NBA Projections as of April 16, 2012

NBADraft.net – 1st overall
Draftxpress.com – 1st overall
ESPN’s Chad Ford – 1st overall

FromCollegetoPros.com Prediction – April 16, 2012

I predict that Anthony Davis will become a very solid NBA player, not a superstar.  He will start in the NBA for a long-time.  In terms of prediction of All-Star Game appearances will depend if he is on the ballot as a center or a power forward.  As a power forward, he will most likely make no all-star appearances.  As a center, he might make a few more but will depend on whether there is a dearth of big men in the league. I expect a career that is better than Marcus Camby and Tyson Chandler but not as great as Kevin Garnett.  Picture an offensive production of Rasheed Wallace and a defensive production of Chandler and Camby.  From a defensive stand point, he is more Camby and Chandler rather than Dwight Howard.  Keep in mind that Dwight Howard is currently the most dominant defensive big man in the game by a wide margin. I expect a career average of around 16 to 18 points and 8 to 10 rebounds.  He will not be a 20-10 guy in most years. The reasons why I make this prediction is explained below. See Scouting Criteria for my definitions and examples.  In a nutshell, it is because of 1) his preference for efficiency over offensive aggressiveness and 2) he’s not quite like Dwight on the defensive end.

Aggressiveness

Anthony Davis is moderately aggressive.  His aggressiveness is shown through two types of action, 1) in attacking the offensive boards and 2) in taking the ball up after receiving an underneath pass from his teammates. Additionally, Davis is highly efficient.  According to statsheet.com, he is ranked 4thin the nation with an offensive rating of 133.64. However, watching Davis game tape, he lacks offensive aggressiveness.  The exceptionally high offensive rating insinuates that he is probably not taking enough shots for a player of his talent level.  At this point of his development, Davis doesn’t aggressively post-up or face up.  His offensive aggressiveness certainly was very low in the beginning of the year when his post up game was non-existent.  Towards the end of the season, his offensive aggressiveness increased some.  In the Final Four games against Louisville and Kansas, there were portions of the game where Davis was getting the ball on the block. I believe that Anthony Davis has the ability to develop a very good offensive game.  See “Ability to create shots” section below.  What I fear and predict is that he won’t use it much.  I am a believer in the phrase “you are who you are.”  Players rarely change their tendencies.  They can change for a short period of time but will always revert back towards their natural tendencies.  People might see that he will grow into a dominant offensive post-up threat.  People might say that his offensive game is still developing and that is why he doesn’t get the ball down low often. A comparison can be made between Anthony Davis versus DeMarcus Cousins. See article. Both players given the same situation but responded differently based on their natural tendencies.  I believe that Davis’ efficient nature will lead to the under utilization of his offensive skills and is the biggest reason why he won’t be a superstar in this league.

Ability to Create Shots

Anthony Davis scores high on the “ability to create shots” area.  In the Final Four game against Louisville, Davis showed post up and face up moves.  It was pretty impressive.  In the NCAA Championship game against Kentucky, Davis reminded us that he is still far from a finished product.  He made some aggressive offensive moves but he looked undeveloped and was not accurate.  My opinion is that Davis will develop this skill eventually in the NBA. As mentioned in the aggressiveness section above, even though I believe he will develop this part of his game, his lack of aggression and propensity for efficiency will result in the under utilization of this area of his game.

Performance against the best teams and players

For Anthony Davis’ particular case, I don’t really think looking at this area tells us much.  The reason I say this is because at this point of his career, his scoring is reliant on passes from his teammates.  He does score through offensive rebounds but that is not what I’m looking for. Let’s look at his stats anyway for fun. The table below shows Davis performances during Kentucky’s biggest games during November and December.  His best game was against Louisville, which is a team that does not contain an NBA-type first round talent post player.  The three other teams do.  His averages were below his season average.  However, we have to keep in mind that Davis is young and progressed as the season went on.

Date

Opponent

Score

Points

Reb

Blocks

15-Nov

Kansas

W 75-65

14

6

7

3-Dec

UNC

W 73-72

7

9

2

10-Dec

@Indiana

L 72-73

6

9

3

31-Dec

Louisville

W 69-62

18

10

6

Average

11.3

8.5

4.5

During SEC play including the SEC tournament, Davis averaged 15.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.7 blocks.  He dominated the other two best teams in SEC, which are Florida and Vanderbilt.  In those 5 games, he averaged 18 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 blocks.  He played against Festus Ezeli of Vanderbilt and Patric Young of Florida.  NBADraft.net has Ezeli going in the later part of the first round in 2012 while Young going in the later part of the first round in 2013. Let’s now take a look at Anthony Davis during the NCAA tournament.  He struggled against Kansas’ Jeff Withey but he dominated Louisville.

Date Opponent Score Points Reb Blocks
15-Mar W. Kentucky W 81-66 16 9 7
17-Mar Iowa State W 87-71 15 12 2
23-Mar Indiana W 102-90 9 12 3
25-Mar Baylor W 82-70 18 11 6
31-Mar Louisville W 69-61 18 14 5
2-Apr Kansas W 67-59 6 16 6
Average 13.7 12.3 4.8

Mental Make-up

On this area, I give Davis a neutral rating, leaning on the positive side.  I don’t read about anything negative or highly positive.  I haven’t read about any situation that he went through some tough times and how he responded to it.

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