Wisconsin 2020 Signee Breakdown: Johnny Davis
Wisconsin's men's basketball program will welcome six players as part of its 2020 class. AllBadgers.com will begin a series where we hope to discuss and break down these new Badgers, with the help of their coaches.
LaCrosse Central head coach Todd Fergot believes Johnny and Jordan Davis came to his Saturday morning youth basketball program when they were about four years old. He could tell at an early age that they were athletic kids.
"They were always quicker," Fergot told AllBadgers.com on Tuesday morning. "They could jump higher than basically anybody that they would go against, and so you knew they had some athleticism, some God-given talents that they were born with."
Over the years, Fergot has seen the twin brothers develop a work ethic that complements their natural abilities. Now two of his former players will make their way to Wisconsin as part of a 2020 class that includes five scholarship signees and one walk-on.
"Even from their freshman year in high school until their senior year, their approach to the game, the time they put into developing their skills in the offseason, every year has grown," Fergot said. "That's going to continue to grow when they're down in Madison, and so I'm really excited to see. I think they're going to come in and be really, really good players early on -- and probably, Johnny having a chance to be a little bit more impactful probably early on -- but I think both of them are going to be really huge assets for the Badgers moving forward."
Fergot answered AllBadgers.com's questions about both brothers, but for this installment, we will focus on Johnny Davis. The four-star prospect, according to Rivals, was recently named Wisconsin's 2020 Mr. Basketball award winner. WisSports.net's profile reports the future Badger averaged 27.2 points per game in 25 contests this season for the Red Raiders.
Current strengths that Johnny Davis will bring to the Wisconsin men's basketball program:
Fergot: "Well, he is a very competitive individual. I've coached a lot of guys over the years, and I hate to compare one to the next, but he is as competitive as any player I've ever coached. I coached one year at the college level -- I was an assistant too, coached some really good players, was blessed to be able to work with a lot of really talented kids -- but I mean he is very, very competitive and he wants to win every possession.
"I think his ability offensively to score the basketball, really now at all three levels. He can get to the rim, obviously. His pull-up jump shot, mid-range game is outstanding, and now he's developed into becoming a really good three-point shooter. I think he shot like 42 or 43% on the year for us from three. He's just so difficult to stop, and he's just relentless. He is going to score the basketball, whether it's again, pull-up jumper, a three(-pointer), or maybe an offensive rebound. He's just going to find a way to score, and I think that's going to help the Badgers early on."
On areas of improvement and where he will be able to grow further once he gets to Wisconsin:
Fergot: "With all the kids that we coach who have gone on to play college, him as with anybody else, he's got to get stronger. Obviously, the physicality of the Big Ten is a significant step up from high school basketball for sure, and he knows that. He knows the weight room is going to be real important for him, and he's just got to continue to work on his skills, never be satisfied with his ability to shoot the ball. I mean it comes so easy for him at times that you can become comfortable, but I see him not being satisfied. He's going to meet the challenge. He wants to play, wants to play early, and he's going to compete. ... Again, he's got to get stronger. He's got to hit the weight room, and he will continue to work on his shooting. I think those are areas that -- I wouldn't say that they're weaknesses -- but those are areas that he's gonna have to really focus on moving forward."
One play that stands out from Johnny Davis from coaching him at the high school level:
Fergot: "The first one that I remember was his freshman year when we were down at the (2017 WIAA) state tournament. We were playing Waunakee in the semifinals and there was a breakaway layup, and Johnny runs the length of the court and just kind of comes out of nowhere and blocks the kid's shot as he's going up for a layup. I mean that was extremely impressive for a freshman to do that. So I think as a freshman that probably stood out.
"There's been so many plays throughout his career. That was the first one. Just some of the plays that he made offensively where he's attacking the rim and all of a sudden he elevates over some very talented players and gets above them and is able to dunk over the top of them.
"Boy, as we're talking about it, I'm thinking of being down at Florida this year when we played in the Montverde (Academy Invitational) Tournament. They're (the) No. 1 team in the nation. ... One of the (other) teams we played had seven guys that were being recruited by Division I schools, and Johnny was the best player on the floor. He's jumping over guys that are going to Ohio State, guys that are going to Illinois, whatever, and he was clearly the best player... I remember the first one his freshman year, but there were just so many against high-level competition that, boy, it's hard to really narrow it down to one beyond that."