LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were members of ESPN analyst Dick Vitale’s midseason candidates for post-season accolades, while senior Darius Miller was an All-Rolaids Special team member. Vitale tabbed Davis as one of six players to watch for Player of the Year honors. He selected both Davis and Kidd-Gilchrist among the players making waves for Freshman of the Year awards. Miller earned recognition as one of the top reserves in the country.
The trio has played a major role in Kentucky’s 15-1 start to the season and No. 2 national ranking. Davis leads the country in blocks per game with 4.5 and currently averages a double-double in points (12.7) and rebounds (10.6). He’s swatted three or more shots in 13 of Kentucky’s 15 games this season, and has narrowly missed on a triple-double in a win over St. John’s with 15 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks.
Vitale ranked Davis as the No. 5 prospect for Player of the Year honors and the top candidate for selection as the nation’s best freshman.
“His shot-blocking ability makes him the total package for John Calipari’s Wildcats,” Vitale wrote. “He can score inside, rebound and changes games in the lane with his defensive prowess. His length makes him a real factor as a game-changer blocking shots.”
Kidd-Gilchrist has logged a pair of double-double efforts in arguably Kentucky’s two biggest games of the season thus far. He notched a 17-point, 11-rebound effort in a win over top-five rated North Carolina in early December. The Somerdale, N.J., product then struck for career-highs with 24 points and 19 rebounds in a victory over No. 4 Louisville.
Vitale tabbed Kidd-Gilchrist as the second-best contender for Freshman of the Year honors behind only his teammate in Davis.
“Simply look at the line against Louisville in the rivalry game: 24 points, 19 rebounds,” Vitale wrote. “I love watching this young man play basketball.”
Miller recently became the 58th member of the 1,000-point club at Kentucky with 15 points in a victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday. For the season, Miller averages 10.6 points per game and has dished out three or more assists in eight games.
Vitale’s All-Rolaids Special team honors players who contribute to their team’s success, but may not always receive recognition.
Miller was honored by Vitale because, “He has experience and has accepted his role on John Calipari's squad.”
For a complete report on Vitale’s candidates for mid-season honors and his All-Rolaids team visit ESPN.com.