How Good Was Anthony Davis in College and Why Was He the First Pick in The 2012 NBA Draft?

Published 03/20/2021, 1:47 AM EDT
Jan 10, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball during the first quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on January 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Anthony Davis is arguably one of the best forwards the NBA has seen in a long time. The 6’10” forward is capable of playing as a power forward and as a center too.

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He is probably one of the most well-rounded players in the league with unreal defensive as well as offensive impact on the floor. But how good was ‘the Brow’ in his college?

Anthony Davis’ career with the Kentucky Wildcats

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Starting his career with the Kentucky Wildcats, Davis was one of the most unique prospects. The 6’10” big man had played as a guard in his high school. Despite playing in an average high school team, Davis’ dominance was evident. In the 13 games he played, he averaged 32 points, 18 rebounds, 7 blocks, 4 assists and 4 steals per game.

This was enough for the Wildcats to sign Davis. Despite being new to his forward role, the 6’10” young star proved to be a gem for the Wildcats. The then 18-year-old was the standout performer in a star-studded Wildcats team.

In the 40 games he played, Davis averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4,7 blocks at 32 minutes per game. He was the leading scorer, rebounder and the shot-blocker and even led the whole roster in field goal percentage.

The star-studded Wildcats team had a near perfect record in the with only two losses in the 40 games they played. Undoubtedly, the Wildcats became the NCAA champion.

With such an all-round game, Davis was one of the top prospects for the 2012 draft and was the consensus first pick of the draft.

Davis’ career in the NBA so far

After being drafted as the number 1 pick in the 2012 draft, Davis showed promise in his rookie season with the New Orleans Pelicans averaging 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

The 19-year-old was impressive but doubts were creeping in on how good Davis was. In his second year, AD silenced hi doubters in some style. There was a significant increase in his output in the second year. He was becoming a class scorer for the Pelicans averaging 20.8 points, 10 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.

His amazing performance for the Pelicans also earned him first All-Star appearance. It was just the start of a phenomenal career for ‘the Brow.’ For the next five seasons, Davis continued to perform for the Pelicans but with a rather lack luster supporting cast, the Pelicans were underwhelming.

They only made the playoffs twice in those five years and could win only a single playoff series. Frustrated with the lack of success, AD wanted a move away from the Pelicans.

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After a torrid 2018-19, the Pelicans finally traded their disgruntled star to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for some exciting young players and multiple picks. It was a win-win for the teams, as the Pelicans ensured their future, while the Lakers formed a formidable duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Feb 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) and Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) battle for a loose ball during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

In his very first season with the Lakers, AD was the standout performer in the regular season. The Lakers then steam-rolled past other teams in playoffs, and Davis won his first NBA trophy.

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Given that the 27-year-old is just hitting his prime, Davis is in for a stellar career.

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Aditya Mohapatra

704 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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