Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that the starting power forward for the University of North Carolina would be playing for nothing more than his slot in the draft? Already projected to be a top 15 pick if he entered last season, Ed Davis returned for his sophomore year hoping to display his skills without Psycho T getting all of the media attention. I had the opportunity to go see Ed this past Sunday as he and UNC came to College Park only to get spanked by Greivis Vasquez (along with his patented shimmy) and the rest of the Terps, but what I saw from Ed Davis impressed the be-jesus out of me.
More on the #8 gentleman after the jizzump
nbadraft.net - #10
DraftExpress - #5
Coming in at 6'9", Ed Davis has tremendous length with a wingspan upwards of 7'2". The Sixers currently have a young prospect (Speights) that since draft day has been all offense and no defense. Davis can be that perfect match for the Sixers to pair up with Speights in the frontcourt for years to come. I was most impressed with Ed's defensive presence and rebounding ability. Using his freakish length, he grabbed 16 boards on Sunday making it the 11th time this season he's reached double digits in rebounds. Despite his incredible rebounding numbers, the most fascinating part of his defensive game is his shot blocking ability. Davis' blocks per game have increased by an entire swat posting 4 or more blocks in 8 games out of 24 (hey, that's almost every third game). His defensive skills are there are among the best in college basketball but it's his strength and build that NBA-ready bodies can take advantage of in the post.
On the offensive end, Davis needs some work but has shown flashes of finishing in the lane, especially on lefty hook shots, his favorite of post-moves. Our boy is currently averaging 13 points a game, many of which come from put backs courtesy of his offensive rebounding skill. His ability to finish in close is his greatest strength on this end of the court (what's that? His FG% is 58%? I'll take that any day of the week or month or year). What needs work in Davis' game is developing a nice 10 footer that could make him as dangerous as the Michael Jackson album. If he can incorporate that facet into his arsenal, he's got a future that has many all-star appearances waiting.
What I like most about Ed Davis is his defensive prowess. If he does get selected by Tony Dileo and M16 puts any effort whatsoever into defense just to become at least adequately effective, those two in the frontcourt could do damage that John Connor himself could not hope to stop.