If you need evidence of the amount of talented young players Kentucky is churning out, look no further than ESPN’s ‘Top 25 Under 25.’ Four former Wildcats have been ranked, including Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker and Julius Randle.
Anthony Davis ranked No. 1 on the list (unsurprisingly). Here’s what ESPN said about him.
Davis is still just 23 with an incredibly high ceiling. Injuries and a struggling supporting cast have dampened the excitement around him, but he has still been superb: an efficient volume scorer and a dominant defensive rebounder with a burgeoning inside-out skill set.
After years of underachieving defensive impact, he is finally growing into his potential as an elite and versatile defender.
There’s just one player between Davis and Towns, as Towns comes in at No. 3. ESPN loves his versatility and sees him as one of the greatest future big men.
Towns has emerged as the league's top candidate for "center of the future." He and Davis are the only solid bets to finish the season averaging more than 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. Towns is also already a decent 3-point shooter and ranks in the top 15 in blocks per game.
It is fair to consider him a future MVP candidate. Towns should reach his enormous potential under the smart coaching of Tom Thibodeaux, and will start to look even better as his teammates learn how to play with and off him.
Devin Booker is next, as he ranks 17th on the list. ESPN loves his scoring ability, even if he isn’t a great defender.
Booker is enjoying a full season of an expanded role as one of his team's primary options offensively, and he's done a decent job of efficiently pumping in the shots.
What's tantalizing about Booker is his age. Putting aside the quality of his team, you have to marvel at a 20-year-old averaging better than 20 points per game in the NBA. His defense leaves a lot to be desired, and a player his size should be a better rebounder, but when you buy Booker, you're buying the immense potential he has.
Last on the list is Julius Randle, as he rounds out the list at No. 25. ESPN loves Randle’s versatility and effort.
Randle is a good example of how a player can find success before he really masters skills by just competing very hard. His physique and skill set let him impact games with playmaking, scoring and rebounding. Few players have that potential.
He looks to be a little less skilled than famed Laker Lamar Odom, though he has a hotter motor and a similar game overall. The Lakers would be thrilled if Randle grew to that level, which is a distinct possibility.
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