Class of 2011

For Anthony Davis, it's all new and exciting

June 12, 2011 

McDonalds Game Boys

West center Anthony Davis, from Perspectives Charter School in Chicago, dunks during the second half of the McDonald's All-American High School boys' basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, March 30, 2011. The East won 111-96. (AP Photo/Brian Kersey)


Anthony Davis

Position: Power forward

Height: 6-10

Weight: 220

Hometown: Chicago

High school: Perspectives Charter

Rivals ranking: No. 2

Scout ranking: No. 1

ESPN Ranking: No. 1

MaxPreps ranking: No. 6

The story of Anthony Davis is almost impossible to believe at a time when dozens of recruiting Web sites track hundreds of high school players in a search for the next big star.

So how does someone go from a virtual unknown to the consensus No. 1 player in a matter of months? In Davis' case, with the help of an 8-inch growth spurt.

As a 6-foot-2 sophomore guard, Davis was being recruited by a handful of small schools in the Midwest. Hometown DePaul was the only BCS-affiliated program to show any interest.

That all changed about a year ago.

Unlike most players who experience massive growth spurts and take awhile to adjust to their new bodies, Davis flourished.

As his junior season progressed, more stories started popping up about the 6-foot-10 player from Chicago who could handle the ball like a point guard, knock down three-pointers and block shots at will. By August, had named him the No. 1 player in the country.

So long, Cleveland State. Hello, Kentucky.

"It's been kind of easy for me to be honest," Davis told last summer. "Since I was a guard I could always dribble and shoot, my skills have stuck with me. It's been easier for me matching up against other big men because I can take them off the dribble, get an open shot."

The result was a matchup nightmare for opponents. Davis averaged 32 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots as a senior despite getting all the attention. His team failed to log double-digit wins, a predictable result for a squad so overmatched that Davis was constantly advised to switch schools for his senior season.

"People told me to transfer. I stuck it out with these guys. I love them," Davis told ESPN after his final game. "I never was going to transfer, ever. This is my team. This is who I've been with since sixth grade through my whole high school career."

It's that attitude that made coaches and analysts fall in love with Davis. And he still gets excited about things that would seem ho-hum to some of his peers who spent the last four years constantly hearing from college basketball's elite.

His father told about such an occasion: Davis' first UK visit in February.

"It's totally awesome that you can go somewhere and have fans recognize you when you haven't even played a game for them yet," Anthony Davis Sr. said. "He mentioned to me he was getting goosebumps because he wanted to get out there on the floor."

Ben Roberts

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