Commentary

Anthony Davis: Best year ever!

Updated: July 27, 2012, 12:30 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

Team USA basketballGarrett W. Ellwood/Getty ImagesKevin Durant, LeBron James and Chris Paul help Anthony Davis to his feet after he scores a 3-pointer, in Team U.S.A.'s exhibition game against the Dominican Republic.

In my 30-plus years covering college basketball at ESPN, I cannot remember a player having a more rewarding year than Anthony Davis.

Right now, he is preparing for the Olympics as a member of the U.S. team. Just being able to practice and compete against the likes of Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler and company, as well as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, has got to make Davis a better player. That is like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae, baby!

Think about it -- can you remember anybody having a better year?

Let's go down the list:

• He was a unanimous first-team All-American.

• He was voted the Best Freshman of the Year, winning the Wayman Tisdale Award.

• He almost won every player of the year honor, from the Wooden Award to the Oscar Robertson Award, the Naismith Award, the Adolph Rupp Trophy and the AP Player of the Year.

• He dominated on the defensive end, capturing AP Defensive Player of the Year honors.

• He was named Most Outstanding Player of the big dance, leading the Wildcats to the coveted gold trophy as national champions.

• He was the first pick in the NBA draft, going to the New Orleans Hornets.

That's a pretty good year!

In fact, has anyone had a better year in any sport this year? You can make a case for King James, but it is pretty tough for even LeBron to top Davis' accomplishments.

For this kid, it is only the beginning. He is class personified, and they will love him in the Big Easy. He will fit into New Orleans' team concept wonderfully with his quality personality, will to win and unselfish play. It is about the name on the front of the jersey for Davis.

Right now, that jersey is red, white and blue. The perfect way to cap his incredible run is with a gold medal.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.