He is gone, but definitely not forgotten. And even as Nerlens Noel is in dogged pursuit of his single season blocks record, former Wildcat Anthony Davis was named Kentucky Sportsman of the Year. Here is more information from the UKAA:
Former Kentucky men’s basketball National Player of the Year Anthony Davis was named the Lexington Herald-Leader 2012 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year at the second annual Bluegrass Sports Awards banquet Thursday night.
Davis was selected from a group of finalists including Teddy Bridgewater, John Calipari, Randall Cobb, Dermonti Dawson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tom Jurich, A’dia Mathies, Darius Miller and Charlie Strong. The 2012 National Player of the Year by various organizations, Davis earned the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Adolph Rupp Trophy, the Associated Press Player of the Year, Naismith Award, Sporting News Player of the Year, Basketball Times Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Award. He also was named a 2012 NCAA consensus first-team unanimous All-America selection, earning the national Freshman, Defensive Player and Big Man awards. Davis helped lead Kentucky to its eighth national championship in men’s basketball and was named the 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player for his efforts. Furthermore, the Chicago native set a new standard in the NCAA freshman record books for blocks in a season with 186 swats.
The new mark also stands as a conference and UK single-season record. He led the league in blocks (186), field-goal percentage (.623) and double-doubles (20). The overall No. 1 draft pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis was also a member of Team USA that won Olympic gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The Sportsman of the Year award, given annually since 1981, is voted on by sports media statewide.
It’s a great and well deserved honor for Davis, but you have to question the sanity of some of the voters, according to A Sea of Blue’s Ken Howlett:
Look whose back, back again, Billy;s bacl, tell your friends … No, I don’t really get it either but furmer Aggie/Wildcat coach Billy Gillispie will attend Saturday’s game in Texas:
Billy Gillispie told The News on Wednesday that he plans to attend the game, at the invitation of Aggies coach Billy Kennedy, a longtime friend. Gillispie said Kennedy extended previous invites earlier this season. “Actually, I’m playing golf [in College Station] on Friday,” Gillispie said. “I said, ‘Who are y’all playing Saturday?’ They said, ‘Kentucky,’ and so I said, ‘I think I’ll go.’ But it’s no big deal.”
No big deal? As college basketball fans are well aware, Gillispie coached Texas A&M from 2004 to 2007 and Kentucky from 2007 to 2009. No big deal? Gillispie, 53, has been out of the public eye since Sept. 20, when he resigned under pressure from Texas Tech, citing health concerns after one tumultuous 8-23 season with the Red Raiders. His exit from Kentucky was sudden, as well, with the school firing the 40-27 Gillispie for what it called “incompatibility.”
Now, after five months of silence since the Texas Tech breakup, he is dipping his toe back into college basketball, if only for one Saturday, as a neutral observer. Along with Kennedy, Gillispie considers Kentucky coach John Calipari to be a friend. “It’s two coaches that I have a great deal of respect for, and I want to watch their teams play,” Gillispie said.
Hey it’s a free country, so I won’t comment on Gillispie. But I will call our friends at the Dallas News out. If you link to the BCG story, notice on the right hand side, they are publishing the SEC standings … in football still. Come on guys.
John Calipari has six commits for 2013 and already arguably has the best recruiting class ever … but that does not mean NOT to watch UK in the spring signing period. In a pay Insider article on ESPN, Reggie Rankin lists UK as one of the teams to watch:
As loaded as Kentucky’s No. 1 recruiting class is already, I will be watching the Wildcats simply because they could still add another five-star player and secure the best recruiting class ever based on where the players were evaluated and ranked in high school. Kentucky is still actively recruiting No. 1 prospect Andrew Wiggins, No. 4 Julius Randle and No. 7 Aaron Gordon — and quite frankly, I don’t see the Wildcats going 0-for-3. It will be very interesting to see how things play out this spring on the Kentucky roster in terms of who stays, how many go to the NBA and, most importantly, who is added to this already off-the-charts recruiting class that in my opinion will be a better team at this point next season than the current Kentucky squad is now.