One day before the Wildcats take the court in a highly anticipated Final Four matchup with state rival Louisville, Davis was named the Associated Press’ player of the year, adding another honor to a banner season.
Davis received 43 of the 65 votes from the national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25 and joins Kevin Durant (Texas) as only the second freshman to win the award. He’s also the first player from Kentucky to earn the distinction. Kansas forward Thomas Robinson finished second with 20 votes and Michigan State’s Draymond Green garnered the final two votes.
The 6-foot-10 forward with a seemingly endless wingspan averaged 14.3 points, 10 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game while shooting 64.2 percent from the field. He set a school record for blocks in a season with 175 (and counting) and will once again be a key defensive presence in the paint against the Cardinals on Saturday.
Davis briefly left Sunday’s South region final win over Baylor with a knee injury — causing much distress among the masses of Kentucky fans and NBA scouts watching — but returned to score 18 points, grab 11 rebounds and blocks six shots.
Projected by many as the top pick in June’s NBA draft, Davis is expected to leave Kentucky — along with several of his underclassmen teammates — for the NBA after the season.