Big Ten Player of the Year Declares for NBA Draft
Wisconsin sophomore guard Johnny Davis will enter the 2022 NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility by hiring an agent, he told Malika Andrews on ESPN's NBA Today on Thursday.
"After taking some time off and discussing everything with my family and coaches, I have decided to pursue a lifelong dream by declaring for the NBA draft with the intent of hiring an agent," Davis said.
Davis, the No. 9 prospect in the ESPN 100, was named Big Ten player of the year and a consensus first-team All-American after averaging 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 34 minutes per game.
"This season was an unbelievable ride," Davis said. "People didn't expect us to have the season we had, but the players in our locker room and our coaching staff always knew we had the potential to be a special team."
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 relinquished the lead when Davis went down with an untimely ankle injury, which continued to hamper him in the postseason.
Davis is a finalist for some of the most prestigious postseason awards in college basketball, including the Wooden, Naismith and Lute Olson awards, all of which are presented annually to the top player in Division I men's basketball.
Davis grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin -- 143 miles from Madison -- and was named the state's Mr. Basketball. He was also an all-star quarterback and played alongside his twin brother Jordan, a wide receiver. Jordan Davis is a key reserve on the basketball team at Wisconsin.
Johnny Davis' ascent from three-star high school recruit to arguably the best player in college basketball was remarkable. He was part of the USA Basketball team that won a gold medal at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia this past summer, but few expected him to emerge as a potential top-10 pick just a few months later with the Badgers.
The NBA draft combine will be held May 16-22 in Chicago, and the draft will be June 23 in Brooklyn, New York.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service used by NBA, NCAA and international teams.