Monday night is when the National Championship will be decided. The Wildcats of Kentucky will take on the Jayhawks of Kansas down in “The Bayou”(New Orléans). Not only is a national title on the line, but so is the #1 pick in the NBA draft. Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Kansas’ Thomas Robinson are the two best big men in the country, no questions about it. But at the end of the game on Monday, we will know who is better.
Davis has had one of the greatest seasons by a freshman in college basketball history. I could recite his numbers (14, 10, 4.6, and 64% from the field), but it’s not about that. I think he is very deserving of being the #1 pick in this year’s draft. He is long, athletic, talented, and considered a “game-changer” (by many). What he has been able to do this season has been phenomenal. Some of the blocks and alley-oops have been sensational. But consider this, just about every big man in the NBA is talented, long or athletic, and is better than Davis (obviously, they have done it much longer). I think he has a really bright future at the next level if he can put on some weight and develop his mid-range game to the point he can knock-down a 17-ft jumper with the regularity of Kevin Garnett in his prime. That means hours upon hours spent in the gym, getting better.
Let’s not forget about the other guy in this equation, Robinson. After playing behind the Morris brothers (Marcus and Markieff) for two seasons, Robinson has absolutely busted onto the college scene this season. He averaged 18 and 12 for the season, having the most double-doubles in college basketball while leading an under-appreciated Jayhawk team to the national championship game. He has a better body than most NBA players right now! He is an explosive athlete who has expanded his mid-range as the season has gone on. He figures to be a Top-5 pick in the draft, but his draft stock could soar even higher (if that’s even possible) if he comes through on Monday night. When these two teams met, back in November, Robinson fouled-out in 27 minutes (he scored 11 points on 5-12 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds) while his counter-part, Davis, had 14 points and seven blocks.
While most would say that there has been little argument about who has been the best big man in the country this season (most would say Davis without hesitation), Robinson will have the last say. If Kansas wants to beat Kentucky, they will need to get a great performance from Tyshawn Taylor, but an even better performance from Robinson.
Robinson is the only man for the job.