Detroit Pistons draft: A two-way prospect from Wisconsin

Wisconsin Badgers guard Johnny Davis Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Wisconsin Badgers guard Johnny Davis Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, NBA Draft Lottery
People look at the draft lottery order after the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

NBA teams are officially evaluating this year’s group of prospects for the 2022 NBA Draft. Outside of the three-man race at the top of the lottery, there are several intriguing talents that the Detroit Pistons should and most likely will consider with their fifth pick.

One of those talents is shooting guard Johnny Davis, who declared for the draft after a breakout sophomore season at Wisconsin. The former Badger is projected to be a lottery pick in this year’s draft after his All-American year, where he led Wisconsin to a 25-8 season record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Pistons draft: Johnny Davis’ strengths

At 6-foot-5, 194 pounds, Davis is a physical guard that excels at getting downhill and into the paint. His frame allows him to physically punish smaller guards, and to take contact en route to finishing at the rim. Once he’s at the rim, Davis has a deep package of finishes, along with sneaky athleticism that allows him to always almost get a shot off.

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The All-American also has a strong left hand, which he demonstrated when teams forced him to his weak side. With an average of 8.2 rebounds per game last season, Davis created opportunities on both ends with his ability to snag boards, and finished first amongst guards for rebounds per game in the Big Ten.

Davis is also capable of using his frame on defense to disrupt passing lanes, and keep his body in front of guards. With such a strong frame, Davis has a unique ability to overpower opposing guards with his size on defense, rather than just sheer lateral quickness. While he didn’t generate a ton of steals in college (1.2 steals per game last season), Davis was tremendous at forcing his man into tough shots by exerting his frame to dictate angles, and creating ill-advised opportunities for his opponent.

While the numbers may not suggest it (shooting slash line of 42.7% FG, 30.6 3PT%, 79.1 FT%), Davis showed legitimate three-level scoring potential at the next level. Outside of scoring in the paint, the 6-foot-5 guard made plenty of turnaround mid-range jumpers. Coupled with his ability to get downhill, Davis was just as easily able to get into his pull up jumper.

Even with defenses centered around stopping him, and forcing him into tough shots, Davis continually found different ways to score throughout the year, and finished the season averaging 19.8 points per game.