There's no question Kentucky Wildcats freshman Skal Labissiere is one of the most talented big men in college basketball this year before he even plays in his first game.
You simply don't see 6-11 big men with the ball-handling, shooting ability and shot-blocking ability that Skal has before even playing a college game.
That was the case with Anthony Davis when he first joined the Kentucky Wildcats in 2011. Skal has drawn comparisons to the man who is now one of the two or three best basketball players in the world.
Stop the madness.
Skal may be super talented and already projected as the No. 1 pick in next year's NBA draft, but John Calipari knows he's nowhere close to what Davis was, as he told the Louisville Courier-Journal.
"He's not that. Believe me, Anthony Davis is a freak of nature. I mean, Anthony Davis I'm guessing within the next few years will be the best player in the universe. Like, the universe, OK? So like Skal – all these kids are different. They have different mental makeups. They have different work capacities. They have different toughness about them because of how they were brought up. They're all different."
Calipari is used to having uber-talented freshman drawing ridiculous comparisons before they even play a college game, so he knows how to help Skal handle expectations and ignore the noise while focusing on what he needs to do to become the best player he can be.
"All I want him to do is be the best that he can be. I'm not comparing him to anybody. I'm telling you he's got a ways to go. He knows it, though. He'll be the first to tell you. But he's a great kid. He really is. He's trying to find his way. Now, for us to be what we can be as a team, he's got to have a presence. Like people got to know, 'Oh man, look at this kid.' And then he makes a jump hook, he makes a jump shot."
A better comparison for Skal may be Karl-Anthony Towns, but more because Karl took a while last season to really find his groove and become the player that would go on to be the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
"He's really skilled. But you start saying, 'This kid's for real.' He's basically like Karl. He's learning how to run. How about that? Just, 'You don't run right. Let's teach you how to run.' That's what we're starting."
There's no question Kentucky's season will largely be determined by how good Skal ends up being, though it won't be based on how good he is in October, November and maybe even December. How good he is in January, February and March is what's most important to UK's success this year.