Tag:Anthony Davis
Posted on: November 20, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Even Kentucky has its limitations right now



By Matt Norlander

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — There wasn’t one minute that went by Sunday afternoon when I didn’t think about just how freakily athletic Anthony Davis was. Or how staunch Michael Kidd-Gilchrist played. Or how yoked Terrence Jones became in the offseason.

It was my first time seeing UK since last year’s Final Four lost to Connecticut. Team looked good. Looked physical, intimidating and about the closest thing to an NBA collection of talent we’ll be seeing this season.

But despite all that skill, Kentucky merely managed an ugly, 62-52 win over Old Dominion. The game was in doubt until the final five minutes. There’s already talk — planted proudly and publicly by John Calipari — that ODU provided the blueprint for how to handle Kentucky. Ah, that mystical documentation that decodes Big Blue. Each season, it’s the Holy Grail.

Hogwash, largely. Teams are going to beat Kentucky this year be either A ) Shooting incredibly efficiently, B) Having at least two NBA players on their roster, C) Food poisoning. Old Dominion used its system and had its guys up for the biggest or second-biggest game it will play this season. Kentucky was playing in front of 3,000 people, for the second straight day, in a far-away arena in the middle of Nowhere, Connecticut.

“Kansas, we were really pumped up because we were playing at the Garden. We were just amped,” Davis said. “Here, you know, we were amped, but we weren’t ready to go.”

I can’t take much from this kind of win. I just came here to watch a team that’s quickly becoming college basketball’s version of The Beatles. The amount of Kentucky fans here was truly reprehensible — Connecticut isn’t worth a trip, folks — and you can already see how possible (and easy?) it could eventually be for Kentucky to get to back-to-back Final Fours. Right now, the team’s following a pattern that’s existed the past two years, Darius Miller said.

“It’s kind of the same. The last two years we’ve struggled early on to figure out what we were going to do,” Miller said. “Eventually we’re going to find out exactly how we want to play, everybody’ s going to have their role and know what they need to do.”

What I learned: Kentucky can’t always dictate the terms by which it will win this year. And when a team has five or six future pros, that’s pretty amazing. But the youth and all that, you know? You get that young, you don’t deserve the right to say how and why you will win or lose. UK couldn’t push it, no matter how hard they tried. I can’t help but think of North Carolina played Old Dominion on a neutral court in three days that the Tar Heels would put up 75 with ease.

UNC has a point guard with experience and savvy. Kentucky has Marquis Teague, a flashy player who played god-awful Sunday. Teague had a stat correlation no one ever wants: as many points as turnovers (six).

For more than an hour, Old Dominion made it a fun game. An ugly one, but still fun.

“The only thing I regret is those last five minutes could have been an awful lot of fun,” Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor said. “We worked pretty hard the first 35 to get to the last five, and then we didn’t get to have fun down the stretch.”

Taylor’s team shook UK’s mental toughness. Jones and Davis were genuinely challenged and rattled at times. It’s what Calipari want to see right now—a team threaten his team without really threatening them. Kentucky does no good to itself by rolling fools to the tune of 96-63 each night.

Kentucky pasted Penn State Saturday, and what can we take from that? Nothing, really. Penn State's young and rebuilding. Old Dominion has some experience, an idea of what it can do.

“When you’re winning by 50 you can kind of put cotton in your ears sometimes,” Taylor said. “Not very many people had zoned them. So, one they hadn’t seen it … I thought we were kind of catching them at a point where we didn’t know what they were going to do or react. And they’re used to having their way, and the zone didn’t let them have their way, or give them immediate gratification, which they’re used to.”

“I think it’s just chemistry, to tell you the truth,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “It’s the chemistry on the court. We’re still figuring stuff out and we’re very young. But we’re very and we’re going to be very good. I’m not worrying about anything.”

Posted on: November 18, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 2:32 pm
 

No debate: NBA execs agree Davis likely top pick

By Jeff Goodman

There will be no debate about No. 1.

No, I'm not talking about whether it's North Carolina or Kentucky for the top overall spot in the poll.

I'm talking about the discussion of who will be the top overall pick in the NBA Draft - as long as there is such a thing as the NBA Draft this June.

After speaking to a handful of NBA executives since Tuesday night, there's only one name that surfaces right now - and that's Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis.

True, he's only played a few games thus far - but it doesn't take a genius to see the potential.

He's a game-changer - on both ends of the floor.

He's got the length that NBA types drool over.

He plays hard - and has a feel for the game.

He's versatile.

The lone drawback with the 6-foot-10 Davis is that he's not ready to come in - from a physical standpoint - to the NBA.

However, it's all about potential - and his ceiling is higher than any of the other candidates (i.e. Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Lamb, Jared Sullinger).
Posted on: October 24, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 2:31 pm
 

The SEC Media has done it again

By Gary Parrish

Remember when the SEC Media didn't vote John Wall on the preseason SEC First Team?

I do.

I wrote this about it.

Now they've done the same thing to Anthony Davis, and I think I'll just cut what I wrote about Wall, paste it here and change the names where necessary. It'll make the same point and save some time. Here goes:

The SEC media poll and preseason awards have been released.

Kentucky is picked to win the league.

That's smart.

John Wall Anthony Davis was voted Second Team All-SEC.

That's dumb ... and you'll see why in time, I'm certain. Speaking of, I have a friend who watched Kentucky practice recently. When it was over he sent the following text: "Just done watching UK practice. Wow. John Anthony is incredible."

Anyway ...

Now I know what you're thinking: Who cares, Parrish?

Answer: I care. And you do, too. That's why you're reading this. And though I realize there are no hard and fast rules to voting for preseason teams, they should, in my opinion, try to serve as predictions for how the postseason team might look. Using that as the gauge, not having Davis on the SEC First Team is undeniably stupid. He's the most talented player on the most talented team in the league. Like I once wrote about Wall, you'll see in time, I'm certain. And please don't mention how "Davis hasn't even played a college game yet," because that's the dumbest thing college basketball fans annually spend October saying about incoming freshmen. Remember, Jared Sullinger had never played a college game, either ... until he did. Then he got 19 points and 14 rebounds in Ohio State's season-opening win, and that shouldn't have surprised anybody.

Why?

Because some guys are just obviously gifted.

Jared Sullinger is one of those guys.

Anthony Davis is, too.
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:59 pm
 

No, we didn't forget Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor

By Gary Parrish

Jeff Goodman and I spent Monday doing a 2012 NBA mock draft.

We alternated picks.

I took Harrison Barnes first.

Goodman took Anthony Davis second and said he would've taken him first.

(Note: Looks like I'm the smart one. Again.)

Then we knocked out the next 28 picks and among the players never selected was Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor, which led to a few emails that asked the following questions: "Are you an idiot? Did you forget about Jordan Taylor?"

Answer to Question No. 1: Maybe

Answer to Question No. 2: No

As everybody should know by now, being a great college player doesn't necessarily make somebody a great NBA prospect, and Taylor might be an example of that. I'm not ready to give up on his NBA prospects just yet because he could reasonably go late in the first round of any draft and then develop into a quality NBA point guard. I don't know. But the fact that Taylor is a tremendous college guard means nothing ... except for that he'll be a First Team Preseason All-American.

Speaking of, I decided to take a look at how some preseason All-American teams might look.

If I'm doing two teams, here's what I've got:

G: Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin)
G: Austin Rivers (Duke)
F: Harrison Barnes (North Carolina)
F: Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
F: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State)

G: Tu Holloway (Xavier)
G: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
F: Jeremy Lamb (Connecticut)
F: Terrence Jones (Kentucky)
F: Perry Jones (Baylor)
 
 
 
 
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