Kentucky coach John Calipari made it clear here Thursday during Media Day that 6-9 freshman Anthony Davis is not a center. However, he made it clear Davis, who has been named a preseason All-American, is indeed special.
"He's really good. He's a great kid. This kid has a smile on his face. If I told him, you're playing center and you're going to have to slug it out, he would say, okay," said Calipari. "And the reason we changed our (fast) break is I keep watching our team and saying, ‘I don't want to run him to the rim because that's not what he is.' Get out there and run and make plays, and then slide in there if you need to. He's not a center."
Davis has enjoyed the limited practice time he's had under Calipari and likes the potential he sees in this year's team.
"Everybody is really competing against each other, and so far we are making each other look good," Davis said. "Our goal is to win a national championship and if you keep talking about your goal, you can accomplish it. So that's what we try to go out there and do. We want to win games and work hard to reach our goal."
Here is more of what Davis had to say Thursday at UK's Media Day:
Question: How have the first seven one-hour practices been?
Davis: "They have been good. Everybody goes hard to make each other better. It has been real fun."
Question: Do you agree with Calipari that UK?really doesn't have a true center this year?
Davis: "I do agree. We really don't have a center, but everybody can do the same things. Everybody can dribble, shoot, pass, whatever it may be. We try to put in offensive sets that work for us."
Question: Will that be a weakness with no true center or a strength that opposing teams have to figure out how to match?
Davis: "I think it definitely will be a strength. People will have to try and match up with it and their bigs won't be able to do what our bigs can do. It will be hard for them to match up against us."
Question: Do you feel any pressure at all?
Davis: "I wouldn't say it is pressure. There are a lot of people that expect a lot. Everybody wants you to be great here. Everybody only wants the best from you. It's more like a family wanting you to do well."
Question: Is that still hard to accept as a freshman?
Davis: "You really don't know what to expect, but that is what all the veterans are here for. Darius (Miller), Terrence (Jones), Doron (Lamb) really help us out and tell us what to expect and tell us what to do and what not to do. That's really helpful."
Question: What is the best advice one of them has given you?
Davis: "Darius always says when coach Cal will curse you out or whatever, don't make any facial expressions. Just take it. When he talks bad, don't make the situation worse. Just calm down and take it in."