Tag Archives: Anthony Davis

One on one with prospect Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis - BDN Photo

Anthony Davis is a Chicago native whose uncle taught him the game of basketball in grammar school.  The budding prospect has been getting better ever since.  Davis is coveted for his versatility and some of the nation's top schools are after him.  In an one on one interview during the NBAPA Top 100 Camp, Davis sat down to chat with BDN.

You have two games under your belt and have been participating in drills.  What have you learned thus far in the camp?

It's been a great experience so far with some of the players past and present and they're teaching me a lot of things post wise and shooting wise.  Since I was a guard last year being 6-2 or 6-3.  I always had my guard skills where I can dribble and shoot.  So they're trying to teach me more ball handling as a big because if you're a big that can shoot and dribble, you can score.  A lot of bigs here don't have that same skill set..

Describe your game for those who have not seen you play in your own words?

Tayshaun Prince.  A lot of people compare me to Kevin Durant because I'm a big guy long and lanky who can really shoot the ball and get up and down the floor.  The person I work out with, we do a lot of Kevin Durrant skills work, like stepping through the man on the post to create space to where your shots are not contested.

Are you [private] still growing?  You had quite the growth spurt this past year.

A lot of people say I may end up 7-0, but I don't know if that'll be the case.

And your list of schools are?

Kentucky, Ohio State, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Kansas State.  All have offered except Duke and North Carolina, they want to see me in July at the Peach Jam and that's when they'll offer.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

No, not really.  I watched the Big Ten and Big East growing up and I followed Illinois while growing up.  I know a couple of the guys who went there and me and my cousins pulled for them back in the day, but now I watch a lot of schools play to see how they play and how they might use me.

Will distance play a role in your decision?

Actually it would.  I don't want to be more than 6 or 7 hours from home.

So that might eliminate schools like Duke or North Carolina?

Not really.  When I take a visit down there if I really like it and could see myself being there it wouldn't effect my decision at all.  There are some schools, you know, that I'm wishy-washy about, but not so much them.

What are you looking for in a school?

First they need to have my major, sports management because you have to have something to fall back on because basketball doesn't last forever.  Also, the population, I want to go to a big school.

What about a coach?  What are you looking for from him?

Good background for building a squad to be a national championship caliber team.

Obviously you have your eyes on the next level of college hoops and then the NBA.  What position do you feel you might play?

I would say a three or four, maybe a three.   It doesn't matter really, I'll just be happy to be there for the opportunity.

What is Anthony Davis like off the hardwood?

I'm a fun guy to be around, way cool and all and most people think I'm fun to be around but I really just play a lot of basketball with other players.

Do you consider yourself a hard worker?

Yes, I work on my game almost everyday.  One day I go into the weight room and the next day put up some shots.  I'll try and hit the weight room a lot this summer.

I'm from ACC country.  You list Duke and UNC.  Your thoughts on the two schools?

North Carolina has a great program.  They produce a lot of NBA players and Duke, they do the same thing.  They both like to get up and down and they both fit the way I play.  They like to go inside out and Duke allows freedom and they do too.  They're both really good.

Do you look at or are you concerned with other players your list of schools are recruiting?

Not really.  I just want to see whats best for me.  They're not recruiting just me but other people to build a championship caliber team.  I want to win a championship before I leave college.

College or Pro basketball.  Which do you watch most?

Pro, I like the NBA.  I was pulling for the Celtics because I don't pull for Kobe Brynat, but it's good he got another championship, so ...  they had a lot of character coming back and Kobe resalized he needed his team to win, he couldn't do it on his own and he made adjustments.

Five second left down by one.  Are you the kind of player that wants the ball in his hands?

I am, but if I'm going to the hoop with two seconds left and I see an open man with a higher percentage shot I'm going to get it to him.  It's all about trust.

When will you get serious about deciding where you will play your college ball?

At the end of July toward the end of Peach Jam.  I expect to make a decision shortly after that before my high school season.

Where does Anthony Davis go from here?

I go to the Kevin Durrant Camp and the LeBron camp, a Nike Camp and then the Peach Jam.

Thanks for your time and good luck with the recruiting process.

Ahem, thank you. [/private]

BDN talks with rising prospect Anthony Davis at the Nike EYBL

LOS ANGELES - Information is so fluid and immediate and basketball has become a twelve month a year sport that it is extraordinarily rare to find a rising senior, particularly one that is considered to be a consensus top ten caliber player, that stealthily moves under the radar in America, let alone in its third biggest city, Chicago. And yet, that is exactly what occurred with the nearly 6'10," 195 lb forward, Anthony Davis. He has exploded onto the scene through a combination of a late growth spurt, a decision to once again play AAU basketball, and the sheer frustrated determination to prove that he deserves to be considered amongst the best players in the nation, regardless of where he chooses to attend high school. With a reported 3.8 grade point average, the Perspectives Charter school star is now garnering interest from Duke and Harvard Universities. In a span of two months, the athletic shotblocker from MeanStreets has gone from being a relative unknown on the national level to being one of the most coveted prospects in the country. During this weekend's Nike EYBL tournament in Los Angeles, Davis spoke with Blue Devil Nation about a variety of topics.

How do you feel about coming out of nowhere to being viewed as a potential top ten player in such a short amount of time?

It feels good, I mean, from not being known, to now when I walk into the gym people saying, "That's Anthony Davis." It feels good, you know what I'm saying.

I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Yeah, man, it feels good.

Now, how do you stay humble and keep your eye on the prize?

Oh, I just come out and play hard everyday because, as quickly as it came, it can all go away. I just need to keep working hard, don't get a big head, and stay humble.

What about the decision to play AAU ball again? How did you come to that?

Oh, well, at one of my home games in high school, Tai Streets and Carlton came over and saw me play. They asked my dad if I wanted to play for their AAU program. I said, "Sure, why not?" because I figured at least it might get my name out there. I went to the gym and played with their guys and I liked it. So, I was happy to be a part of them.

How about the decision to stick with Perspectives? I heard other programs were trying to, well, encourage you to leave [private] and  knocking your competition.

Well, I mean I've been there since sixth grade and now they all want me to transfer or knock my competition and numbers. They say I'm hiding.

I like that. If you're comfortable and you've now got the exposure, why do you have to leave?

Right, I mean these guys don't say it to my face, but they all say I'm scared and all of that, but I'm committed to my team and apparently I'm not that scared if I'm coming out here and doing what I've been doing. You know putting up good numbers. I'm not scared of them. I'm committed to my team. If I want to leave, I can leave, but I don't want them telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing.

Now, how did you choose Perspectives in the first place? I  know it's a charter school.

Well, they had a good reputation for academics and small class size. So, my mom tried to get me in there. Then, in my sophomore year, things got a little hectic, you know what I'm saying it got real bad, but I didn't want to transfer and start somewhere new in my junior year.

Having had that late growth spurt and having been a guard, do you feel that brings you a different perspective or advantage, from how you look at the court versus other big men, in terms of seeing the court as a guard views  it and, as a result, being able to get open?

Yeah, definitely. Most big guys just pick a spot and stand there waiting for a guard to throw them the ball. They don't know how to move and get open. They're not looking for the right angles. I always try to be in the right place at the right time so that the guards can get me the ball in a good spot to either score or make another quick pass. I know how a guard thinks because I used to be a guard myself. I figure if I know what they're going to be doing and how to get open, it's going to make the game a whole lot easier.

Absolutely, let's move onto recruiting. Which schools have offered you and which schools have expressed interest?

The schools that have offered me are Syracuse, Providence, Memphis, Ohio State, Illinois, and DePaul. The schools that have expressed some interest are Kentucky, Louisville, and Duke.

What position are most schools recruiting you for?

Mostly the 3/4.

What's your go-to move at this point?

If a big man is on me, I like to take him outside and either shoot right over him or break him down off of the dribble. If I got a little guy on me, then I'll take him on the block. I really don't have a move down there, though. Whatever way they're playing me, I try to figure out a way to be effective against it.

How tall are you now, 6'8" or 6'9?"

I'm 6'10." It all just came together at the right time.

Are you looking to add strength?

Yeah, I'm definitely looking to add strength so I can be more effective around the rim.

Do you have a gym that you work out or lift at nearby?

Yes, right near me.

Who are some people that you will seek guidance from, whenever you do decide on a college?

Probably Evan Turner.

Another Chicago kid.

Yeah, I mean he was another kid that was somewhat overlooked coming out of high school and he was from my area. He was Westside.

What are you looking for ideally in a college?

First of all, they've got to have my major, a good basketball program, a good environment, and not really a rural environment. I'm more comfortable in an urban environment.

What are you hoping to major in?

Sports Management

What would you like the audience to know about you away from the court?

That I'm a funny guy.

Who's the best player you've faced so far?

I've got to say Wayne Blackshear.

Yeah, I saw you guys go head-to-head. I thought you got him in that particular game.

Who do you try to model your game after?

Kevin Durant

When do you hope to decide on a school?

I'm not absolutely sure, but it'll be right before my school year or right after my school year.

Why do you think that you fell so under the radar?

I think because I went to a really small school, like a hundred kids, and didn't play any of the so-called big competition that nobody noticed. I've been proving for the last month that people should've been paying attention to the numbers I was putting up.

What do you bring to a program?

My defense and my mid-range game. Big men think, oh well, he can't hit that or they don't want to be taken off of the dribble.

What do you need to get better at?

I need to lift. i need to get stronger. I'm about 195. I need to get like 220 to 225 before the school year starts so..I just need to get stronger.

Have you taken any visits unofficially?

No, nothing serious.

Do you have any planned?

I might check out a couple pretty soon, but nothing's planned.

You mentioned before that Duke had started to express some interest in you. If they start pursuing you more seriously, will you start to look at them more seriously?

Yep. Yes, definitely.

I don't know if you follow college basketball, but what do you know about them from afar?

Yeah, absolutely, they're a good basketball program. I watch them a lot. They just won the tournament this year. They're a good basketball program and academically too. They're one of the top academic programs in the country.

Thanks, Anthony, for your time. Keep playing hard.

Absolutely, thank you. [/private]

The latest on Duke Basketball Recruiting from BDN Premium

Everybody wants to know whats up with Austin Rivers - BDN Photo

BDN takes a look at how things are going on the recruiting front in our latest detailed update.  If you want to know who the Blue Devils are seriously interested in and their likely strategy, read on.  Join BDN Premium for full site access and be there every step of the way as we cover every major AAU event as warm weather rolls in.  At BDN, we focus in on the players you want to hear about by concentrating only

A lot of talk surrounds Austin Rivers these days, [private] but nothing has really changed.  Duke expects to sign Rivers by the end of summer but as I have stated numerous times, the decision could come sooner and maybe, just maybe, even later.  The bottom line is that Duke has a significant lead and that has been the case throughout the threads which total 50,000 views collectively where people hang on every little blip on the radar.  My suggestion is to sit back and relax and allow this to happen for it is on pace.  The Rivers camp will not make any kind of move until the NBA playoffs are over and that could be in July if they keep winning.

Duke recently reached out to Anthony Davis, a top notch prospect from Chicago, Krzyzewski's old stomping grounds.  They will be taking a good long look at him once they are allowed to take in events.  Andrew and myself will be sure to keep a eye out for him as we get to know him better together.  With a busy AAU tournament schedule coming up, we see no reason in calling him before we see him play.

The Duke staff will also continue to evaluate players they've developed early relationships with. Among those will be Quincy Miller, Marshall Plumlee and Amir Williams. The Blue Devils will be looking at other players as well to see who emerge as the humid days of summer give way to September.

Duke will continue to recruit Miller while look at others as well. BDN Photo

One of the questions I often get is how may players does Duke look to sign in 2011.  The answer is that number could vary from three to five.  Duke is happy having steady swingman Michael Gbinije and ever improving Tyler Adams in the fold and they of course want Austin Rivers as well.  The fourth and fifth guys would come into play of Duke experiences a mass exodus to the NBA.  That is a pretty good possibility for Mason Plumlee and Kyrie Irving could join Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith in the first round.  If Duke somehow defends the title this is almost certain to happen but we all know how hard that is.  Regardless, Duke will have a target on on their backs again in that they are the likely pre season number one team in the country.  Duke will only sign a guard in 2011 if Irving or Curry leave.

The great thing about winning the national championship is that Duke can once again be selective and with another banner season seemingly coming, the Blue Devils will remain hot and in the spotlight.  That means they'll take their time with a bevy of names that will grow in the coming months.   We told you last summer that Duke assistants loved Alex Murphy's game and he is a hot name at the moment, but Coach K needs to check out his game.  Shabazz Muhammad has impressed them immensely.  It helps that the Team USA training facility is where Duke can keep a close eye on the talented Vegas native.  While some would have you think J.P. Tokoto is already a Tar Heel, Duke is not buying that just yet and they are still involved withthe athletic prospect.  Amile Jefferson, who Andrew interviewed just last week is also an early name on the radar.  Again, there are other names that will come to light some of which you already know of  and others who will be new when Duke can get their views in July an open period for events.  Duke is not rushing the process with any of the above mentioned names at this time.

I was waiting for some new info but it has been delayed so I'll add an addendum later. [/private]

BDN Exclusive – Tom Konchalski shares his thoughts on Duke prospects

Sir Tom Konchalski is the Godfather of talent scouts - Mark Watson

Tom Konchalski, the publisher and editor of High School Basketball Illustrated, has been covering high school basketball for more than thirty-five years. The 6'6" sexagenarian, with an eidetic memory, is a McDonald's All-American voter and a ubiquitous presence on the summer AAU circuit. He generously spoke with Blue Devil Nation recently about one dozen Duke recruits and verbal commitments in the 2011 and 2012 classes.

Amile Jefferson: He has an extremely mature feel for the game for a guy who's only a sophomore. He's very young physically, but, in terms of his understanding of the game, he's a veteran, wise beyond his years. He's got to get stronger, not only upper-body wise, but also his legs as well. He's very efficient and he's always around the ball. The ball always manages to find him. He's got good hands. He's a very good finisher inside. He's got a very good drop-step, can reverse around the basket, things like that. He can put the ball on the floor and he can pass. He's not a consistent outside shooter. He doesn't have the leg strength right now to get his legs into it. Down the road, I think he'll be a perimeter forward. He's a guy who has a terrific understanding of the game. He plays to the situation. He doesn't try to showcase his skills set. He does whatever the situation requires. I don't think he'll be a step-out four. I think he'll be a three. as his legs get stronger, he'll be able to guard away from the basket very easily. He's got to shoot the ball away from the basket more consistently, but I think he'll be a three.

Tyler Adams
Tyler Adams

Tyler Adams: The [private] only time I've seen him since last July at the Reebok All-American Camp and the Peach Jam with the Jackson Tigers was recently at the Boo Williams. I don't know if his skills have improved that much or…, um, he's a very nice kid. He's a good teammate. He has a big-time body. He has an SEC football body, forget about an ACC basketball body. Really, this year, just like last year…in the class of 2011, just like the class of 2010, there just aren't a lot of great big guys in the class. I'll tell you what he's got a good attitude and he'll work hard. I think he'll be extremely coachable. He's not a guy who's going to go in thinking he's going to be the main guy. I think he can be a contributor. He's a guy who comes in without a lot of offense and he's a big, strong kid. That's what I think, in the past, Duke has lacked. Brian Zoubek gave them that this year. The Plumlees will hopefully give them that next year. A wise old coach once said that you can never have too many big men. I think he's about 6'8" or 6'9" right now.

Shabazz Muhammad: I haven't been able to see him in a while because he was injured and wasn't able to play in the Beach Ball Classic.  What I remember is that he was extremely active. He had a good motor and really played every possession. He pursued relentlessly loose balls and offensive rebounds. He's a left-hander, which screws people up defensively. He didn't have a lot of range to his game. He was like a 6'4" small forward at the time. I'd like to see to what degree he has developed his skill set, but, to be a really effective college player, he's really got to expand his offensive skill set and take his game at least a little bit further away from the basket. Then again, I haven't seen him recently, but, hopefully, I'll be able to see him again at the Bob Gibbons tournament. He played for Dream Vision last year. They won the tournament and he was the MVP. He's a guy who plays extremely hard. There's a lot of quickness to his game and he's just so active. He's got to be able to score from outside against defenses. He's got to be able to start his drives towards the basket a little further from the basket. He has a tendency to get the ball either at the short baseline or at the high post and just slice to the basket. He's got to put a change of direction to his game and be a little more careful with the ball. I can say this, as a left-hander myself, he's got to improve his right-hand a little bit and definitely improve his change of direction. There's a slightly broken feel to his game. He's got to move his game away from the basket. He's a wing right now and, hopefully, in time, he'll develop the skills to be a guard.

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers: Well, first of all, there's no one in high school basketball who has a better skill set, regardless of position. He's great playing off of the dribble. He can get to the basket. Because he has been parented and coached by a former pro and a current NBA coach, he has a lot of the tricks of the trade. He's spent intensive time developing his point guard skills at the Steve Nash Skills Camp as well as the Deron Williams Skills Camp. He has a lot of Steve Nash's unorthodox skills. He drives to the basket and takes what I call a half-volley shot, where he takes a half-volley layup in the lane off of the wrong foot to throw off or stay a step ahead of the defenses. In spite of the fact that his left thumb affects his shot far too much..to the point where he almost shoots a two-handed jump shot, just by repetition, he's made himself into a lethal three point shooter. Somewhat streaky, but he's a lethal three-point shooter when he gets into a groove. When I first saw him, as a ninth grader, I thought he made his teammates better. I thought he saw the court really well and made his teammates better. I think he's gotten a little caught up recently with playing one-on-one. I think he looks for his offense too much. A player who is highly touted always in the back of his mind wants to be the number one player in his class and he's absolutely a contender to be that, but I think because of that he's tried to change his game.  At the next level, he's got to change it back and return to making plays for others, instead of only for himself. In the event that he and Kyrie play together, I think they'll share the ball and whoever gets the ball will just take it up and initiate the offense. Duke has played that way in the past and quite well.

Alex Murphy: I haven't seen him since we saw him together. I was in Providence last week and hoped to see him there, but his team was upset by the Granite State Jayhawks, who are really no great shakes. I can tell you that people are saying that he's playing very well and he's got a lot of personality. He's much more extroverted than Erik was. I think he can be a really good player. I think he needs to get stronger, but I think that's sort of a family trait. The three boys are all very tall and the youngest one, Tomas, who's in fifth grade, Jay says is going to be the tallest one. The mother played in Scandinavia. She's a big-boned woman, but the boys really take after the father. Jay has gotten thick now, but he was pretty skinny coming out of high school and when he entered Boston College. Alex is about 6'8" right now. I'd say 6'8."

Quincy Miller

Quincy Miller: I saw him twice at Boo Williams and both times they got blown out. The first game I saw them against the Drew Gooden Soldiers and they were down 46-16 at the half. In the next game, they played the Saint Louis Eagles and they ended up losing 98-60. He isn't playing with a great team. He's 6'8 1/2 ", although they often list him at 6'10." He is skilled and has a predilection for playing on the perimeter. He can shoot the three, but he tries too much to be a perimeter player. In the past, and this is a function of his lack of strength, but he's taken a lot of plays off. he's got to learn to play with more intensity.  He is 6'8 1/2" to 6'9" and he's got to learn to use his body. His body should be a weapon in his arsenal. He can't be or play in denial of his height. There are plenty of players who would give their eye teeth for his height. He's got a great deal of skill, very mobile, very good in the open court. He can shoot the three, handle the ball a bit, but he's got to bulk up a bit. More than anything else, though, he's got to calcify his nose and get tougher. He's got to learn to play 6'9" and do the dirty stuff inside. He's transferring to Westchester. I won't be going to Houston or LA, but, given their performance at Boo Williams, they're unlikely to qualify for the Peach Jam. That said, Quincy will definitely be picked up by one of the good squads and I hope to see him there with an improved squad. He'll definitely be playing at the Peach Jam, but I don't think it will be with D-One Sports. Someone will definitely pick him up.

L.J. Rose: I saw J-Mychal Reese and him last year for the first time and, although Reese came in with a bigger reputation, I thought Rose outplayed him at the event. I then saw him at the Boo Williams twice, but, at this point, I have to say that I really don't have a clear feel for him. I couldn't tell you much about him.

J.P. Tokoto: A tremendous athlete. He has so much natural athleticism. He can handle the ball. He's got to shoot the ball more consistently. He's great going to the basket. He can make plays. He can really pass the ball. He's big enough. He can rebound. I think he has to add a little more toughness to himself, but I think he's going to be really, really good. He's a big wing player with skill, but he's got to become a more consistent outside shooter. He can really handle the ball. He has skill and athleticism and that's a lethal combination. He can be really, really good. The guy who brought him to Duke's attention is a guy by the name of Dave Cooks, who is in a wheelchair. I don't know if he was in an accident. I've known him for about fifteen years and he coaches Marquette high school in Milwaukee. He always works the Duke camp. Tokoto said that he's going to spend this summer working on his shot and I think he has to. Right now, his strength is driving to the basket and making plays off of the dribble. He has the size and can rebound. He has quickness, but he's got to get stronger. He has a nice frame. I'd rather see a young kid with a body like that than, well, someone who looks likes he's topped out. He's listed at 6'6." He's probably 6'5," maybe 6'5 1/2." He's going to be a heck of a player.

Amir Williams: I saw him at the Peach Jam and at Boo Williams. He didn't make it here. I like him. There are other big guys, who are probably more athletic. He has very good hands. He's efficient and I think he knows what he is. He's not a perimeter wannabe. He makes simple plays and is a good finisher inside. Ben Franklin said more than two hundred years ago "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." That's the first step on the road to success. Know what you are. I think he realizes that he's 6'10" or 6'11." His skill set has got to be tailored to interior play. That's why I think he's going to be an effective player. He goes to a very good school. He's a smart kid. Hopefully, there is some transferal from off of the court to on the court or vise versa. I think he'll be very good.

Michael Gbinije: Gbinije is a good player, very skilled perimeter player. There are some guys who are more explosive, but he has very good skills and size. He plays within the flow of the game and generally lets the game come to him. He plays with a very good AAU team and a good high school team, Benedictine, and so he doesn't have to do everything himself. It's not as if he has to be a volume shooter for the teams to be successful. I think he will be a very good player for them.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera: Well, he's young. He's a sophomore. He should be thinking about preparing for his junior year and not whether Duke will be recruiting him. He should be thinking about getting good enough to play at Duke. He's good. He's about 6'3" and he's strong. He's a player who has a toughness to him and a strength. He plays for a good program and a good coach and he's won a championship. All else being equal, coaches like to recruit players from winning programs because they know about sacrificing and usually it's important for them to win. A kid who has never won sometimes raises a red flag that the young man may care more about individual success than team success. He's a tough kid, that plays hard, and comes from a winning program. He's got to get a little more quickness and develop into more of a perimeter player. He's listed as a 6'4" wing now that is strong enough now to play inside, but he's got to be able to guard outside. If he ever wants to be a guard, he's got to get a lot quicker. I know he's said about waiting to play some point, but I think he ought to forget about it because I don't think he'll ever develop that level of quickness to be able to take players off of the dribble or withstand pressure. I don't think there's a lot of growth left in him. I think he's about 6'3" right now.

Anthony Davis: He hasn't played AAU ball since the eighth grade. I've known Loren Jackson for a long time and Loren's father and son. He told me about Anthony and then I read more about him in a profile, while I was waiting at O'Hare  to fly here. There are two major leagues in the Chicago Public League: the Red, which is stronger, and the Blue, which is the weak one. If you finish in last place in the Red, you're demoted to the Blue. Well, Anthony has played for Perspectives high school, which plays in the Blue-West. There have been a lot of schools that have wanted him to transfer, but he's stayed at Perspectives and remained loyal to his school and coaches, who he likes. He's been going there since the sixth grade and just liked it there. He's got great grades there. He looks like a tremendous prospect. I think he's more of a four than a five, although he has to add some strength. He's got a nice jump hook, can drop-step, and he can finish on either block. He has good feet. He has great hands. He has good energy and instincts. He can block shots and gets into the passing lanes and adds pressure. He can put the ball in the basket and can hit the three, like he did today again in the semifinal against Indiana Elite. You mentioned he hit two in the game before that. I think he can be very, very good. Here's a guy who obviously hasn't played nearly as much basketball as some of his peers, who have played AAU ball or against nearly the same level of competition. AAU ball can supplement high school competition. He's grown so much over the past year, but, right now, I would recruit him more as a four than a five. He seems like a very coachable kid. Loren Jackson told me he's been a great kid to deal with and Davis listens. [/private]