Davis Tabbed <em>Sporting News</em> National Player of the Year
March 6, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sporting News has selected Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis as its National Player of the Year the magazine announced on Tuesday. Davis has also been honored as the Freshman of the Year, a first-team All-America selection as well as Freshman All-America.
In addition to Davis’ honors, classmate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist earned second team All-America and Freshman All-America accolades by the magazine as well.
Davis is only the second Wildcat freshman to receive one of the national Player of the Year awards in program history. John Wall received three national player of the year honors in 2010 from Rivals.com, Yahoo! Sports and The Rupp Trophy.
Davis enjoyed a tremendous freshman campaign with 14 double-double efforts and leading the Wildcats with 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He set the new single-season block record by a freshman at UK as well as the best output by a first-year player in Southeastern Conference history with 146 rejections.
At the conclusion of the regular season, Davis leads the nation in blocks per game (4.7) and ranked second nationally in field-goal percentage (.661). Furthermore he was the only freshman to rank among the top five in the SEC in both points and rebounds.
Davis exceled at both ends of the floor, in addition to his blocking ability he led the Wildcats in steals for the season. To complement his efficient shooting clip, he was equally impressive at the free throw line with a .713 clip, sinking more than 100 made free throws for the year.
Kidd-Gilchrist was UK’s do-everything performer ranking in the top three in nearly every statistical category for the Cats including rebounds (7.8), steals (1.2) and blocks (33) and he was fourth in scoring (11.9). He posted six double-double efforts on the year including three against top-10 ranked opponents.
In one of his most explosive performances of the season, Kidd-Gilchrist scored a career-high 24 points and pulled down a career-best 19 rebounds against fourth ranked Louisville. The 19 rebounds are the most by a single player in the series’ history en route to earning Player of the Game honors by the Bluegrass Sports Commission
Kentucky will return to action in the SEC Tournament on Friday, March 9 at 1 p.m. ET. UK will face the winner of the Arkansas/LSU game.