ESPN 100 No. 9 prospect Johnny Davis of Wisconsin Badgers to enter NBA draft



Wisconsin sophomore guard Johnny Davis will enter the 2022 NBA Draft and waive his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent, he told Malika Andrews on ESPN’s NBA Today on Thursday.

“After taking some time and discussing everything with my family and coaches, I decided to pursue a lifelong dream of declaring myself for the NBA draft with the intention of hiring an agent” , Davis said.

Davis, the No. 9 ESPN 100 prospect, was named Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus All-American after averaging 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 34 minutes per game.

“This season has been an incredible run,” Davis said. “People didn’t expect us to have the season we had, but the players in our dressing room and our coaching staff always knew we had the potential to be a special team.

“With so many great teams and players in our league, obviously it was a huge honor to win the Big Ten Player of the Year, but to win the Big Ten regular season and play in the NCAA tournament was so much more enjoyable I’d like to think that NBA teams have seen a player who is tough, competes on both ends of the court with every possession and will do whatever it takes to help my team win. Every time I put my feet on the ground, I want to be the best player.”

Davis led Wisconsin to a Big Ten championship, which the Badgers shared with Illinois after losing at home to Nebraska in the final game of the regular season. The Badgers led by 10 points at halftime, but gave up the lead when Davis injured his ankle, which continued to hamper him in the playoffs.

“I wasn’t 100 percent, but I was confident that if I played we still had a great chance of winning the Big Ten Conference Tournament as well as advancing in the NCAA Tournament,” Davis said. “I wanted to be out there with my guys giving it my all.”

Davis is a finalist for some of college basketball’s most prestigious postseason awards, including the Wooden, Naismith, and Lute Olson awards, all of which are given annually to the top player in Division I men’s basketball.

Davis grew up in La Crosse, Wis., 143 miles from Madison, and was named the state’s Mr. Basketball. He was also a star quarterback and played alongside his twin brother Jordan, a wide receiver. Jordan Davis is a key reserve for the Wisconsin basketball team.

Johnny Davis’ rise from three-star high school freshman to arguably the best player in college basketball has been remarkable. He was part of the USA basketball team that won gold at the FIBA ​​U19 Basketball World Cup in Latvia last summer, but few expected him to become a potential pick. top-10 a few months later with the Badgers.

“Coach [Greg] Gard and my teammates believed in me and gave me the confidence and the opportunity to have a much bigger role than my first season,” Davis said. “Deep down I always knew that I I could be that caliber of player, but my success and experience with Team USA last summer took my confidence to another level and I took it this season. I trust the work I’ve done over the years, and I’ve had the good fortune to work every day with my toughest defender, my twin brother, Jordan, for as long as I can remember.

“I think NBA teams can learn that the path to the NBA isn’t the same for every player. I wasn’t highly ranked in high school and I went to Wisconsin to change the narrative around our program. My father always told me that production will always trump potential and I will focus on playing hard and winning, and that stuck with me.”

Drawing comparisons between NBA scouts and Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 pick in the 2021 draft, Davis has a rebound, defensive versatility and toughness that put him on NBA radars early on as Wisconsin defeated Houston to win the Maui Invitational in November, with Davis scoring 30 points in the Finals and earning MVP honors.

He continued to carry a heavy scoring load for the Badgers in Big Ten play, becoming his team’s leading ball handler and one of basketball’s top pick-and-roll and midrange scorers. college, while hitting 37 3-pointers and 155 free throws. in 31 games.

“I know the pace and style of play in the NBA is different, but I think it fits my skill set extremely well,” Davis said. “My ability to get my way with my defender, my athleticism and my strength to finish on the edge, and being a three-tier scorer combined with extra spacing in the NBA will give me the opportunity to succeed.

“…My hope is to effectively fulfill the role that my next team will ask of me, which will hopefully lead to our team winning games. I ultimately want to be one of the reasons why a team of the NBA becomes a championship organization.”

The NBA draft will take place May 16-22 in Chicago, and the draft will take place June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private drafting and analysis service used by the NBA, NCAA and international teams.