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Anthony Davis the ultimate game-changer for Kentucky


Mike Miller


Mike Miller

Three undeniable truths emerged from Kentucky’s 73-72 win Saturday against North Carolina.

Don’t believe me? Look at that photo.

His block on John Henson’s last-second shot attempt – Henson swears it was going in – was one of those “how did he do that?” moments when an elite athlete shows off abilities most players simply can’t do. UNC seemed to think so. (It also supplants Hakim Warrick’s block on Michael Lee as the most “where’d he come from?” moment I’ve seen.)

Henson had a good look. Davis, the 6-10 freshman who’s
swatting shots like he’s the second-coming of David Robinson, just closed on it. From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

“Where did (Davis) even come from?” Kentucky forward Darius Miller asked later. “I thought Henson had a clean look at it. That was a crazy blocked shot.”

In the rich lexicon of UK basketball, the play that saved victory over the Tar Heels will go down as The Block.

“I just sprinted as fast as I could and jumped with my hand as high as I could get it,” Davis said. “I thought I could get to it.”

Henson, North Carolina’s leading shot blocker, got a taste of how the other half lives.

“It’s funny, because I do the same thing to other guys,” Henson said, “and he did it to me for the game. It was a great play by a great player.”

The scary part is Davis was a guard roughly two years ago. He sprouted as a high school junior, going from 6-3 to 6-8. He’s still learning how to play center and all the responsibilities that come with interior defense. Blocking shots on weakside help or rushing at a shooter coming naturally to him (36 in eight games).

As the rest of his game progresses, Kentucky will be even tougher to beat. The ‘Cats are already long, energetic and loaded with guys who’ll be in the NBA. But Davis is the ultimate game-changer and may be the difference come March.

After all, how’s a team supposed to beat Kentucky when they can’t get a good look?

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