Covering High School Sports in America
Photo courtesy of Nike Basketball

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis of Kentucky was named the Naismith College Player of the Year on Sunday, completing a remarkable rise that began 24 months ago at an AAU tournament in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Davis averaged 14.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per contest this season, leading the Wildcats to tonight's national championship game against Kansas.

His smooth transition to the college level has many asking if MaxPreps.com's No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2012 – Nerlens Noel – can have the same type of impact.

There are some similarities between the two. Both are in the 6-foot-10 range with sleek builds and the ability to change games with their shot-blocking ability.

Though he manned the 5 spot for Kentucky, Davis is considered a more versatile offensive prospect with the ability to play multiple positions and operate efficiently with the ball in his hands all over the court. Noel is more of a true center prospect at this point, though he was impressive at times at Tilton School (N.H.) playing on the wing and handling the ball. His defensive prowess is seen as slightly ahead of Davis – though it will be difficult to top the Kentucky freshman's 4.6 block per game.

Davis is a finesse athlete and uses his length to overcome his lack of physical strength. Noel is more explosive and abrupt and perhaps a little more willing to mix it up underneath.

Noel could draw even more Davis comparisons if he chooses to follow his path to Kentucky. The Wildcats are one of three schools in the mix for his services along with Georgetown and Syracuse. He will make that decision April 11.