UK Basketball: Anthony Davis says he is only thinking about this season, not the NBA
nthony Davis (23) continues to block shots for Kentucky and put his name into the UK¿record book. However, he still insists he¿s thinking only about this season and winning a national title and not looking ahead to what might happen in the NBA draft. (Victoria Graff)
Davis has a school single-season record 89 of UK’s 177 blocked shots and lead the nation. He had 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in Tuesday’s win over Arkansas. Jeremy Lundald of ESPN.com noted that Davis is the first player to reach all three of those levels in a game since Herbert Hill of the Providence in 2007. No freshman has reached all three in at least in the past 15 seasons.
Davis has blocked more shots himself than all but 34 NCAA Division I¿teams this season.
If the Wildcats play 38 games, the number they have played the last two seasons, Davis would block 178 shots at his current pace. That would be a new Southeastern Conference record and rank sixth in NCAA single-season history. It would also put him fifth on UK’s career list.
Going into Saturday’s home game with Alabama, Davis is averaging 13.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game (he leads the team with 28 steals). He’s shooting 65.8 percent from the field and 69.9 percent at the foul line.
Here are some insights Davis offered after Tuesday’s win over Arkansas:
Question: How much does it help you when Marquis Teague plays as well as he did against Arkansas?
Davis: “It makes it a lot easier. He is keeping the defense honest with his jump shots. He is making the right plays, smart plays. He is listening to coach Cal more. If he keeps playing like that, we will be an excellent ball club.”
Question: Did Arkansas players really overhear you telling teammates to let Arkansas players drive inside because you would just block the shot?
Davis: “No, that’s not the first time I have said that. I just tell my teammates when you come in, just put your hands up. You are altering the shot and they won’t shoot over you and somebody can come over and block it. Doron Lamb stopped on one play and I just told him to keep his hands up and not commit a silly foul and I¿would come over and block it. There’s no point in getting silly fouls the way we can block shots.”
Question: What do you make of setting a single-season blocked shot record only 20 games into the season?
Davis: “It’s just a confidence boost. My teammates reminded me I¿had the record, but we just have to move on to the next game.”
Question: How much better can you get?
Davis: “Just keep putting in the work, stay in the gym and I¿can get a lot better. That is for everybody else on the team as well. We just have to keep getting in the gym and getting better and better.”
Question: Does that mean we have not seen all Anthony Davis can do?
Davis: “Not really. I still have more than I¿have been showing. I just have to keep getting better by working on my shooting, ballhandling, free throws and finishing at the rim.”
Question: How did you learn to block shots so well since you were a 6-2 guard until your late growth spurt as a junior?
Davis: “I just remembered when guys used to block my shots and it kind of made me mad. It just became a habit. Nothing special about it.¿I just learned how to do it.”
Question: Did you ever play on a shorter rim when you were younger and think how nice it would be to play that high above a 10-foot goal?