New Orleans Pelicans call on Karl Malone to help Anthony Davis adjust to being “big-time player”

Anthony Davis has been on a torrid streak in which he averaged 32.5 points per game in his past seven games heading into Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat.

After his 40 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks against Boston on March 16, Davis said he has more of an appreciation for what stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony go through trying to play at a consistently high level.

“Its hard,” Davis said.

Well, coach Monty Williams has enlisted some Hall of Fame help for Davis, a 21-year-old All-Star.

“I’ve talked to Karl Malone about coming down and to just talk to A.D. about some of the mental aspects of being a big, big, big-time player,” Williams said.

Williams said Malone, a former Louisiana Tech and Utaz Jazz great, was receptive to the idea.

“We played text tag, but he’s busy, as we are,” Williams said. “But we’ll try to hook that up at some point. I think the biggest thing is just talking to AD about being that kind of player and all the pressures that go with it and how you balance all that.”

Williams said Malone can help from a mental aspect even though their games are quite different. Malone put the power in power forward, whereas Davis is a longer, sleeker athlete.

“Karl came into the league, he was already 250 (pounds), mammoth arms, beating everybody up. A.D.’s pushing 230 right now, so they have two different games.”

Williams said assistant coach Kevin Hanson has done a good job working with Davis, and he wants that to continue. Hanson helped the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, Williams said, before coming to New Orleans before the 2011-12 season.

Williams, who made a name for himself developing players with the Portland Trail Blazers before becoming New Orleans’ head coach, took time out to work with Davis after Thursday’s practice.

“Every so often I like to take him to the side and show him some things I’ve seen, and Kevin tries to incorporate the things I’ve seen into his game,” Williams said. “Kevin and I spend a lot of time talking about the things he can add, the things that are a little awry. So, maybe once a month we’ll have a session like that, just try to sharpen him up a little bit.”

Reason to shout

Point guard Brian Roberts could hardly contain himself. Dayton, Roberts’ college team, was in the process of knocking off big brother Ohio State in the NCAA tournament Thursday.

“I was jumping up and down in the house, screaming,” Roberts said. “I had my son. I scared him a little bit, I yelled so loud. It was a big-time win.”

Roberts said Dayton, who gained a reputation as a basketball school long ago, didn’t go the NCAAs during his years there. They played Ohio State in the postseason, losing in the NIT, he said.

“We knocked off a few top teams during the regular season,” he said, “We beat Pittsburgh at home when they were No. 6 in the nation.

“That’s something Dayton has been known to do, and they proved Thursday they are an opponent worthy of being in the NCAA tournament.”

Dayton played Syracuse on Saturday.

Blue eyes

Kentucky will play unbeaten Wichita State on Sunday in what is being called one of the biggest NCAA tournament round of 32 games ever.

That’s because, when the NCAA tournament brackets came out Sunday, the Kentucky Wildcats were seeded eighth in the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis after stumbling down the stretch of the regular season.

Davis, who helped lead Kentucky to the 2012 NCAA championship, was asked about that and the Wildcats’ chances in this year’s tournament.

“All the way, of course,” Davis said.

Told that would be pretty tough as an eighth seed, Davis responded, “Doesn’t matter. Built to win.”

Lot at stake

Greivis Vasquez has added motivation heading down this season’s final stretch.

For one, Vasquez will be with a team in the playoffs for the first time since his rookie year with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2011. His play as a backup guard in those playoffs were a reason the New Orleans Hornets traded for him before the 2011-12 season.

Although he felt the Grizzlies gave up on him too soon, Vasquez became a starter with New Orleans. A backup now with the Toronto Raptors he would like to use this stretch — and the playoffs — to again gain a starting job.

“It’s going to be an interesting run, and I’m looking forward to finishing this season strong, doing my job in the playoffs and we’ll take it from there,” said Vasquez, who finished second in the NBA in assists at 9.0 last season, his first as a starting point guard. “I still consider myself a guy that can really start for any team.

“It’s going to be an interesting summer.”

Bonus work

Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps got a chance to mix a little pleasure with his work during the weekend of March 13, when conference tournaments were being played.

Demps scouted the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, where such NBA prospects as Indiana power forward Noah Vonleh, Michigan State guard Gary Harris and power forward Adreian Payne and Michigan guard Nik Stauskas were performing.

Plus, scouting the tournament also gave Demps the opportunity to see his son perform. Northwestern’s Tre Demps is a sophomore guard who averaged 11.0 points per game this season.

Tre Demps did his dad proud in the tournament opener against sixth-seeded Iowa. He scored 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers, in a 67-62 victory, as Northwestern became the first 11th-seeded team to win a Big Ten Tournament game.

“He played well,” Demps said, beaming.

The next night, however, the Wildcats fell to No. 3 seed Michigan State 67-51.