Anthony Davis won every possible individual award as the 2011-2012 College Basketball season concluded, including the 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding player, the MVP of the weekend. Unlike most of the guys who have won the award in recent years, Davis should go number one in the draft, the first MOP winner to go numero uno since Danny Manning in 1988. Unless something very extraordinary happens – Davis staying on for another year or not going first.
But the future doesn’t necessarily mean a great NBA career for Davis, who averaged 14.2 point, 10.7 rebounds and 4.7 blocks during his freshman year with Kentucky. Surveying the careers of the last 10 MOP winners, chances are against Davis, despite being a rare talent, becoming a huge success in the NBA.
Juan Dixon, Maryland
Dixon won the ACC’s player of the year award in 2002, eventually leading Maryalnd to a national title in 2002 and their only Final Four appearances (2001-2002). He scored 18 points in the final against Indiana, averaging 25.5 points over the Final Four weekend.
He was the 17th pick in the 2002 NBA draft, beginning his pro career with the Washington Wizards alongside Michael Jordan. He moved on to Portland, Detroit, Toronto and D.C. again before leaving to play in Europe. NBA career numbers – 8.4 points per game in 19.5 minutes. He shot a bad 41.3% from the field in his seven seasons.
Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
Another Oak Hill Academy grad, Anthony spent only one year under Jim Boeheim, leading the Orange to their only tournament championship in 2003. Anthony was huge in the Final Four, scoring 33 points against Texas in the Semi Final and 20 against Kansas in the 81-78 win.
In the NBA, Anthony has been one of the league’s biggest stars over the last 8 years, although a little short in playoff success. He’s 5 time NBA All-Star, currently playing for the New York Knicks and so far, the last real superstar out of the MOP club. He’s averaging 20.6 points and 6 rebounds this season.
Emeka Okafor, Uconn
Okafor player 3 seasons for Jim Calhoun in Uconn, helping the Huskies win their second national title. Okafor averaged 17.6 points and 11.5 rebounds during his Junior year, having an extremely dominant Final Four weekend against Georgia Tech and Duke, averaging 21 points 11 rebounds.
He was the number 2 pick in the 2004 NBA draft behind Dwight Howard, but hasn’t really evolved offensively as most expected him to. He has played for the New Orleans Hornets since 2008 and his numbers in pretty much everything, according to his playing time, have been dropping since the first day.
Sean May, North Carolina
May left the Tar Heels after three years, winning the 2005 Final Four MOP and being a 2004-2005 consensus All-American. He averaged 17.5 points and 10.7 rebounds during his junior year, leading the Tar Heels against Michigan State and Illinois in the final weekend. He was huge in both games, averaging 24 points and 8.5 rebounds.
May was the 13th pick in the 2005 draft, going to Charlotte, same as Okafor. Too many injuries meant May never played more than 37 games during his NBA career, lasting four season so far. He’s currently playing his basketball in Europe for Montegranaro (Italy).
Joakim Noah, Florida
Noah won two national titles with Florida under Billy Donovan, the only titles won by the school in men’s basketball. Noah was very Anthony Davis like in the 2006 Final Four, doing everything. He averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5 blocks in the wins over UCLA and George Mason, playing alongside Al Horford and Corey Brewer.
Since entering the NBA (9th pick with the Bulls) Noah has established himself, especially over the last couple of seasons, as one of the best defensive big men in the league averaging double-double numbers over the past three seasons for the title-contending Bulls.
Corey Brewer, Florida
It was Brewer’s turn to shine in 2007 among the same group that won the title in 2006, although I actually think Al Horford should have won the MOP that year after the wins over Ohio State and UCLA. Brewer averaged 16 points over those two games, leaving after his Junior year.
The 7th pick in the NBA draft by the Timberwolves, Brewer has since moved on to Dallas and is playing for the Denver Nuggets this season, averaging 9.3 points in 21 minutes a night. He won the title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, playing a very minor part.
Mario Chalmers, Kansas
Brandon Rush and Darrell were probably the bigger stars on that Kansas team, but Chalmers got to hit the game tying shot with 2.1 second left on the clock against Memphis. The Jayhawks had to get through the Tar Heels to make reach the final, similar to this season, with Calipari waiting as an opponent. Chalmers scored 18 points against Derrick Rose and the Tigers.
Chalmers was only a 34th overall pick by the Miami Heat, and is currently usually the guy LeBron James vents his anger at after turnovers and other bad moments.
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
Wayne Ellington actually had a better Sophomore year than in 2008-2009, when the Tar Heels won their second national title under Roy Williams, with Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson leading the team. Ellington was big in the games against Villanova and Michigan State, averaging 19.5 points, while Lawson probably deserved to win the MOP award.
Lawson has been having the better NBA career than Ellington, who was the 28th pick in the 2009 Draft, also going to the Timberwolves. He has averaged 6.5 points per game in his three seasons with the team.
Kyle Singler, Duke
Kyle Singler actually stayed the whole four years, but is the only player on this list who hasn’t played an NBA game. He stayed on for another year after winning the national title with Duke, probably hurting his stocks, as he fell to the 33rd spot, picked by the Pistons. He preferred to play in Spain during the lockout, staying with Real Madrid. He averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds in the wins over Butler and West Virginia.
Kemba Walker, Uconn
It was one UGLY final four the Uconn won in 2010, beating Butler 53-41 after beating Kentucky 56-55. Kemba Walker, a Junior, averaging 23.5 points per game was the least terrible player on the floor in that final four, averaging 17 points in the two wins, while shooting an awful 32.3% from the floor.
He was the 9th overall pick in the 2011 draft, going to the black hole called the Charlotte Bobcats. Walker has been averaging 12 points and 4.2 assists per game while keeping awful field goal shooting numbers – 36.9%.