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Johnny Davis, From 3-Star Rookie to Expected Lottery Pick

Leading up to NBA Draft June 23rd., Yahoo Sports will highlight the top prospects. Today’s prospect is Wisconsin quarterback Johnny Davis.

Who is Johnny Davis?

Davis was only three-star recruit who graduated from high school and preferred Wisconsin to West Virginia, Iowa, and Marquette. Davis, a 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard, was the most improved player in college basketball last season. He picked up the draft boards after a strong start to the season and remained consistent throughout the season.

The La Crosse, Wisconsin native averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 34 minutes of his second season. His biggest game of the season came in January when he faced potential top-five pick Jaden Ivey on the road. Numerous NBA scouts were in the building to watch the pair of talented defensemen go head-to-head. Davis shone in the biggest phase of his season, posting 37 points (13 of 24), 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in the win. He was the best player on the court in that game and established himself as a lottery pick.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 18: No. 1 Johnny Davis of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots the Colgate Raiders in the first half during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Fiserv Forum on March 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – MARCH 18: No. 1 Johnny Davis of the Wisconsin Badgers shoots the Colgate Raiders in the first half during the first round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Fiserv Forum on March 18, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Strengths of Johnny Davis as a professional

Davis is a strong ball handler who reads well when he hits the lane. His first wing move is confident, making him an intriguing two-sided defender who can play with or without the ball. Davis has a good game and only averaged 2.3 assists per game in 34 minutes.

One of Davis’ best offensive features is how he positions himself for offensive rebounds. According to Synergy Sports, he smashed the boards heavily throughout the year, providing a second opportunity for the Badgers and 88th-seed Davis, averaging 1.4 points per possession after offensive rebounds.

Johnny Davis questions on the next level

Davis needs to work on his 3-point shot at the next level, and that’s one of the only reasons he’s getting into a late game.

Last season, he made just 30% of his 3-point shots, hitting at least four 3s in a game. Despite his low shooting percentage from deep, he has a strong high throw shot mechanic and can hit longer defenders in crucial situations.

What the scouts say

NBA teams know exactly what they’re getting in Davis after a strong second season. He is a solid defenseman who can put up solid minutes right away and has a high basketball IQ when reading defense.

Davis reminds NBA scouts of Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs with his stamina and how much ball control he has on the lane.

“He’s a player who fits the modern game and can make a difference on both sides of the ball,” one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “Johnny will succeed at the NBA level because of his two-way versatility and how patient he is with the ball in his hands. He is still growing as a player and has not reached his full potential yet.”

Davis’ draft range is seven to fourteen, and he will most likely be a second draft pick off the bench.

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