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Link: Davis the best defensive prospect since the 1980's

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Anthony Davis has set a school record with 98 blocks in the first 21 games of his college career. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Anthony Davis has set a school record with 98 blocks in the first 21 games of his college career. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
We've all seen the mock drafts projecting Anthony Davis as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. We've heard and read experts drool over his long-term potential and we've seen dozens of scouts turn out to watch him and his Kentucky teammates player.

However, Ethan Strauss of hoopspeak.com made an effort to quantify just how special of a prospect the freshman forward is beyond reciting his record-setting block numbers.

Using a statistical measurement called the "Stock Spread," Strauss says Davis stacks up favorably with any of the NCAA's elite defenders in recent years:

The offensive efficiency is nice but it's not why I care about Anthony Davis. I care because Davis plays a caliber of defense I have never seen before and am not entirely sure if I'll ever see again. I mean what I say, there is no hyperbole in my intent. Any reluctance to tell you this would merely be me, protecting my own ego from looking laughably wrong in the future.

I'm just struggling to find an NCAA player who had so many blocks and steals while fouling so rarely. Check his latest stat line. The 27 points on 12 shots is impressive, as is 14 boards. To me, the most staggering aspect is, "seven blocks, no fouls."

Who does that? What college freshman averages 4.6 blocks, 1.5 steals, while fouling only 2.1 times per game? I looked back at some formerly hyped defensive prospects to see if anyone had similar stats. I am using the quick and dirty measure of blocks + steals ("stocks") - fouls. Our result is the "Stock Spread," which is a bit like the Ted Spread, if the Ted Spread measured controlled defensive awesomeness as opposed to international credit insecurity. The Stock Spread is far from a fine-tuned predictive metric, but I like how it represents destruction rendered vs. destruction punished.

Strauss goes on to show Davis compares in that statistic to players like Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Tim Duncan. A spoiler: only Olajuwon is Davis' equal. Check out the full story to read more.

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