One thing was clear coming into this season of college hoops: the excitement was at a high not seen in about five years. For the first time since the 2006-2007 season, college basketball has a collection of talent that rivals nearly any other time before it. That season, talents like Greg Oden, Kevin Durant and Mike Conley all played their obligatory one year of college basketball before entering the NBA.
This year we have an impressive group of freshmen starting that same journey and numerous key figures from last year all returning for another year on campus. All of this talent has scouts flooding gyms across the country to see who is going to be the right guy for their team in the upcoming draft.
Another thing becoming clear is that the top pick for the 2012 NBA Draft – even after we debated this just a week ago – has become a consensus opinion at this point.
University of Kentucky freshman phenom Anthony Davis has already won the hearts of NBA General Managers and scouts alike. He has earned this place as the leader in the clubhouse with his freakish athleticism and physical tools, stuff that hasn’t been seen or heard since 1995.
Back in 1995 another freak of nature emerged out of high school. His senior year, he averaged 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks per game as a 6-11 guard/forward. Flash-forward to today and you have Davis coming off his senior year in high school averaging 32 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocks per game as a 6-10, 220-pound still-emerging talent.
A few similarities are there between the talented 2012 Draft prospect and a future Hall of Famer and perenial All-Star Kevin Garnett.
The real compelling race now is for the spots after Davis in the upcoming draft. The options are vast.