Even as I wrote the title of this article, I realized the word "ever" encompasses a scope that far exceeds my experience with Kentucky basketball. I expect there will be some people who have memories of Kentucky players far before my time who can add more depth to the conversation.
I don't put this out there as something I'm trying to convince people of, I honestly think that being "the best" in a basketball context is such a highly subjective term, it almost has no meaning. Davis certainly isn't the best shooter UK has ever had, or best rebounder, or best assist man, or best with intangibles. The only thing he is unquestionably the best ever at is blocking shots, and his record in that stat may not only eclipse Kentucky's record, but also the NCAA record as well, although that would seem to require a heroic effort from here on out.
I suppose what I mean is that, as a freshman, was anyone ever better production-wise? I realize that limits the field to players post-1972 (and several periods prior to that around World War II and the Korean conflict). We have the Tendex, Modified Tendex, Non-Scoring Tendex and Prouty ratings available since 1979 to prove that he is arguably the best since then by most (but not all) measures, but these measurements are statistical in nature.
Follow me past the jump for more, including a poll.
So what I'm doing is "crowdsourcing" this out to include more than just stats, but impressions from the experts -- you, the Kentucky fan. What say you?
Is Davis the best freshman ever to put on a Kentucky uniform, or is somebody else? The poll below includes several other impact freshmen, but not many. For someone else I left of the list, just choose "other" and write your choice and why in the comments.
So, Big Blue Nation, what say you?
Who is the best freshman men's basketball player in Kentucky history?
Anthony Davis (373 votes)
Jamal Mashburn (80 votes)
John Wall (53 votes)
DeMarcus Cousins (8 votes)
Terrence Jones (0 votes)
Brandon Knight (1 vote)
Rajon Rondo (6 votes)
Somebody else (54 votes)
575 total votes