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Fellow rookies favor Davis as top impact-maker this season

POSTED: Aug 23, 2012 11:55 AM ET

By John Schuhmann

BY John Schuhmann


Anthony Davis (center) and his former Kentucky teammates are highly regarded in Rookie Survey.

Training camp is just over five weeks away, and it can't come soon enough. One of the things we're all looking forward to is checking out the new rookie class, what kind of players they'll be and what kind of impact they'll make.

We can't see them on the floor just yet. So for now, we'll have the rookies tell us about themselves. At the annual Rookie Photo Shoot this week, surveyed 39 incoming rookies about the best in their class. The Hornets' Anthony Davis is clearly at the top of the heap, but the group brings a lot of talent beyond the No. 1 pick.

Note that players were not allowed to vote for themselves, their NBA teammates or their college teammates. So, six of the 39 (Davis himself, his four Kentucky teammates, and Hornets teammate Austin Rivers) were unable to vote for Davis for any question. And if a player did try to vote for themselves or a teammate, that vote wasn't counted.

Who will be the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year?

Anthony Davis was the runaway favorite to be the Rookie of the Year and have the best career.

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 47.1 percent

2. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 17.6 percent

T-3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte & Thomas Robinson, Sacramento -- 11.8 percent

5. Dion Waiters, Cleveland -- 5.9 percent

Others receiving votes: Will Barton, Portland; Bradley Beal, Washington

Worth noting: Davis won this category by a pretty wide margin, but not as wide as Kevin Durant won it in 2007, when he garnered 53 percent of the vote. Maybe if Kentucky didn't send its entire starting lineup to the league, Davis could have matched his USA Basketball teammate.

Which rookie will have the best career?

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 40.6 percent

2. Harrison Barnes, Golden State -- 12.5 percent

3. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 9.4 percent

T-4. Thomas Robinson, Sacramento & Dion Waiters, Cleveland -- 6.3 percent

Others receiving votes: Bradley Beal, Washington; Kim English, Detroit; Bernard James, Dallas; Perry Jones, Oklahoma City; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte; Kendall Marshall, Phoenix; Fab Melo, Boston; Austin Rivers, New Orleans

Worth noting: Each of the top seven picks in the Draft got at least one vote here. And so did two second rounders: James (33rd pick) and English (44th).

Which rookie is being most overlooked?

T-1. Draymond Green, Golden State, Perry Jones, Oklahoma City, Andrew Nicholson, Orlando & Tony Wroten, Memphis -- 8.8 percent

T-3. Jae Crowder, Dallas, Jared Cunningham, Dallas, Kim English, Detroit, John Jenkins, Atlanta & Tyler Zeller, Cleveland -- 5.9 percent

Others receiving votes: Quincy Acy, Toronto; Harrison Barnes, Golden State; Bradley Beal, Washington; Bernard James, Dallas; Orlando Johnson, Indiana; Doron Lamb, Milwaukee; Arnett Moultrie, Philadelphia; Miles Plumlee, Indiana; Austin Rivers, New Orleans; Terrence Ross, Toronto; Jared Sullinger, Boston; Royce White, Houston

Worth noting: As usual, this question got a ton of different responses, including four guys taken in the top 10 picks of the Draft.

Which rookie is the most athletic?

T-1. Quincy Acy, Toronto & Perry Jones, Oklahoma City -- 17.6 percent

3. Terrence Ross, Toronto -- 14.7 percent

T-4. Jared Cunningham, Dallas & Andre Drummond, Detroit -- 11.8 percent

T-6. Meyers Leonard, Portland & Damian Lillard, Portland -- 5.9 percent

Others receiving votes: Maurice Harkless, Orlando; Darius Johnson-Odom, L.A. Lakers; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte; Miles Plumlee, Indiana; Thomas Robinson, Sacramento

Worth noting: "Dude's just a freak of nature," one player said of Acy. "He's got super bounce and his hands are ridiculously big." This was the only question (of the first eight) in which the Wizards' Bradley Beal didn't receive a vote. Beal didn't win any category, but we'll give him the unofficial title of Mr. Versatility.

Which rookie is the best shooter?

1. John Jenkins, Atlanta -- 48.6 percent

2. Bradley Beal, Washington -- 16.2 percent

3. Jeremy Lamb, Houston -- 10.8 percent

4. Kim English, Detroit -- 8.1 percent

T-5. Damian Lillard, Portland & Terrence Ross, Toronto -- 5.4 percent

Others receiving votes: Evan Fournier, Denver; Kyle Singler, Detroit

Worth noting: Jenkins' 48.6 percent here was the highest mark for any player on any question. He shot 44 percent from 3-point range over three years at Vanderbilt.

Which rookie is the best defender?

1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte -- 28.6 percent

2. Anthony Davis, New Orleans -- 14.3 percent

T-3. Fab Melo, Boston & Jeff Taylor, Charlotte -- 8.6 percent

T-5. Jae Crowder, Dallas, Jared Cunningham, Dallas, Kim English, Detroit, John Henson, Milwaukee, Tony Wroten, Memphis -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Quincy Acy, Toronto; Bradley Beal, Washington; Andre Drummond, Detroit; Festus Ezeli, Golden State

Worth noting: They say that defense wins championships, so it's appropriate that the national champs had the two best defenders in this rookie class. "He irritates you," one player said of Kidd-Gilchrist. "He takes pride in his defense."

Which rookie is the best playmaker?

Phoenix guard Kendall Marshall is viewed as the best playmaker among the 2012 rookie class.

1. Kendall Marshall, Phoenix -- 45.7 percent

2. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 14.3 percent

T-3. Dion Waiters, Cleveland, Royce White, Houston -- 8.6 percent

5. Bradley Beal, Washington -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Jared Cunningham, Dallas; Scott Machado; Austin Rivers, New Orleans; Thomas Robinson, Sacramento; Marquis Teague, Chicago; Tony Wroten, Memphis

Worth nothing: In his two years at North Carolina, Marshall had more assists (581) than field goal attempts (407) and free throw attempts (132) combined.

Which rookie is the funniest?

1. Fab Melo, Boston -- 22.9 percent

2. Kyle O'Quinn, Orlando -- 20.0 percent

3. Will Barton, Portland -- 11.4 percent

4. Jared Sullinger, Boston -- 8.6 percent

T-5. Bradley Beal, Washington, Draymond Green, Golden State & Tony Wroten, Memphis -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Jae Crowder, Dallas; Terrence Jones, Houston; Jeremy Lamb, Houston; Quincy Miller, Denver; Tyshawn Taylor, Brooklyn; Marquis Teague, Chicago; Dion Waiters, Cleveland

Worth noting: Oh to be a fly on the wall of the Celtics' locker room to see how the rookies' sense of humor goes over with Kevin Garnett.

What will be your biggest adjustment to the NBA?

1. Speed or pace of the game -- 38.6 percent

2. Length of season -- 32.9 percent

3. Size and strength of opponents -- 15.7 percent

4. Lifestyle -- 8.6 percent

Also receiving votes: Different rules, Travel

Worth noting: Our favorite answer for this question was "Having a lot of money," which we filed under "Lifestyle." Mo money, mo problems, perhaps.

Who is your favorite player in the league?

1. LeBron James, Miami -- 31.0 percent

2. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers -- 18.1 percent

3. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City -- 10.0 percent

T-4. Kevin Garnett, Boston & Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas -- 5.7 percent

Others receiving votes: Carmelo Anthony, New York; Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia; Tyson Chandler, New York; Tim Duncan, San Antonio; Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers; Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers; Derrick Rose, Chicago; J.R. Smith, New York; Amar'e Stoudemire, New York; Dwyane Wade, Miami; Deron Williams, Brooklyn

Worth noting: Bryant owned this category two years ago, but everything's going LeBron's way these days. All it takes is one championship to alter your rep in the minds of the youngsters. One other note: Four different Knicks received votes, including J.R. Smith!

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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