Johnny Davis declares for NBA draft after breakout season for Badgers
MADISON, Wis. – After winning the Big Ten Player of the Year and being named a National Player of the Year finalist, Wisconsin Badgers guard Johnny Davis decides to try his luck in the NBA.
Davis, who averaged 19.7 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in a second breakout season to help lead the Badgers to a Big Ten conference title, made the announcement Thursday on ESPN’s NBA Today.
Davis says he’s hiring an agent, which means he won’t be eligible to return to college basketball.
Badgers head coach Greg Gard released a statement after Davis’ announcement, saying he and his staff are proud of Davis and excited about his future in professional basketball.
“He’s one of the best to ever play in Wisconsin, and wearing that Wisconsin uniform meant a lot to him,” Gard said. “We are grateful for all he has done for this program and look forward to following his success in the NBA.”
Davis, along with his twin brother Jordan, joined the Badgers as part of Wisconsin’s 2020 recruiting class. After being named “Mr. Basketball” during his senior season at La Crosse Central High School, Davis averaged just over 24 minutes per game as a rookie during the 2020-21 season, with a averaged 7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
After his rookie season, Davis played for Team USA in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup, an experience he says helped him take his game to the next level while playing with – and against – some of the best young players in the world. It also helped him get noticed nationally – much like his performance at the Maui Invitational to start the 2021-22 season, as he propelled the Badgers past tough competition early in the season. season and led them to a tournament title.
Behind Davis, the Badgers had their best start to the season since the 2014-15 team made a run for a national championship, climbing into the Top 10 of the AP standings. However, Davis seemed to struggle at times during the later games of the conference schedule as teams began to focus most of their defensive energy on him.
The Badgers’ season took a turn for the worse in their regular season finale at the Kohl Center against Nebraska, when Davis was injured on a flagrant foul and had to leave the game. Davis returned to the ground in the Badgers’ Big Ten Tournament opener but struggled as he attempted to play through injury, shooting just 3 for 19 from the field.
Davis struggled again in the NCAA Tournament as he didn’t appear to be fully healthy, shooting 8 for 20 in Wisconsin’s opener against Colgate and 4 for 16 in the Badgers’ second-round loss to Washington. ‘Iowa State.
Despite finishing his season slowed by injuries, Davis is widely considered a possible top-10 pick in the NBA Draft this summer. CBS Sports predicted that Davis would finish 6th overall for the Sacramento Kings in their most recent pre-NCAA Tournament simulation draft, but has also been linked to other teams that could potentially make the Top 10, including the New York Knicks.
The official NBA draft order won’t be set until after the May 17 draw, which will determine the draft order for the 14 teams that won’t make the NBA playoffs. The 2022 NBA draft will take place on June 23 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
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