DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are the two best Kentucky big basketball men in the last 3 years. Both of their situations at Kentucky couldn’t be more alike. However, they are just two different players with different games.
- Cousins stayed one year in Kentucky. Many expect Anthony Davis to do the same.
- Both were part of very good Kentucky teams. Cousins was a part of the 35-3 2009-2010 team that went to the Elite Eight. Davis was a part of the 38-2 2011-2012 team that won the National Championship. Cousins’ teammates were John Wall, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, and Daniel Orton. All of them went in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft. Davis’ teammates were Marquis Teague, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb. There is a high likelihood that all of them will be selected in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft.
- DeMarcus Cousins was drafted 5th overall in 2010. Anthony Davis is currently projected to be the number one overall pick in 2012.
- Cousins was the far more aggressive player. In is lone season at Kentucky, Cousins averaged 9.7 field goal attempts and 7.1 free throw attempts in 23.5 minutes a game. Davis averaged 8.4 field goal attempts and 5.1 free throw attempts in 32 minutes a game, a total of 1.3 less shots and 2 less free throws in 8.5 minutes more in playing time.
- Davis was the far more efficient player. Cousins had an offensive rating of 113.1 compared to Davis offensive rating of 133.6. Davis was 4th in the nation in this category.
- Davis was the far more superior defensive player. He averaged 4.7 blocks compared to Cousins 1.8 blocks per game.
The difference in aggressiveness between Cousins and Anthony Davis is one of the reasons why I do not believe that Davis will be great in the NBA. He has the tools to be offensively dominant but his tendency is to be efficient and less aggressive. Put in similar situations, Anthony Davis chose to be efficient while DeMarcus Cousins chose to be aggressive.
Anthony Davis won a championship as an efficient player. His tendency is already to be passive. I expect him to have the same tendency in the NBA. People will point out that he is a much more skilled defensive force. I do agree that he will be a very good defender in the NBA but I don’t necessarily think he will be dominant like a Dwight Howard. College shot blockers don’t always translate well in the NBA.
Additionally, I am not saying that DeMarcus Cousins is a success in the NBA. In fact, he is having one of the worst statistical seasons for a big man. Anthony Davis was a college basketball player superstar. However, he won’t likely be a superstar in the NBA.