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 joined 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, and a breakdown on what Johnny could bring to the program was discussed on Tuesday. For this installment, we will focus on Jordan Davis, who is rated a three-star recruit by 247Sports composite rankings and Rivals.
What strengths do you feel that Jordan will bring, once he gets up to Madison?
Fergot: "Jordan is a very good defender, and so I think that's gonna lead him to play maybe a little bit earlier than what some people would say. I mean, normally you come into Wisconsin, it's gonna take some time, and I'm sure it will both with him and Johnny. But I think Jordan's ability to defend, to stay in front of guys is going to be something that is going to be certainly valued at Wisconsin, so I think that's going to help him.
"In addition, mechanically, he's a very good three-point shooter. He just needs to continue to work on getting more and more reps. But when you see him shoot, you're gonna say, 'Boy, it just looks good,' and so I think as he gets more and more reps, continues to work on that shot, I think he can be an outstanding three-point shooter for the Badgers."
Once he gets to Madison, what areas of growth do you think that he'll develop going forward when he gets to Wisconsin?
Fergot: "Well one thing I'll say that he did for us this year -- and we weren't planning to necessarily have him do it as much as he did -- but he played the point (guard position) for us about 80% of the time. That's something that he hadn't really done before to a large extent, and so you have a kid that's almost 6'5, who's a very good athlete, and he could handle the point. I think his ball handling will continue to get better, and he may be able to help him in that capacity at some point. He's not coming out of high school as a, 'This is a true point guard,' but I think it's certainly a position he can play. He played more of a shooting guard for us, but ... we had some really good players the last few years prior to this. ... A kid that went and played Division II up in Northern Michigan that was a really good point guard, so it was better for us to have Jordan at the two prior to this year. But then this year, we moved him to the one and he was really effective for us."
What was a play or plays that stands out about Jordan from his time with La Crosse Central?
Fergot: "Boy, let me think. There were a lot of them. Probably just his ability last year when we put him on (five-star 2021 forward) Michael Foster at the (2019 WIAA) state tournament. Michael Foster's a kid that ended up going -- I think he's ranked like third or fourth nationally -- he's at some prep school down in Arizona, and we're playing Milwaukee Washington. [Ed. note: Foster is now at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Ariz., and currently is ranked the No. 9 player overall for the 2021 class by 247Sports composite and Rivals. The former lists him as the No. 4 overall power forward for that class, the latter has him as No. 3 at that position.]
"Really when Jordan was on him, he held him to like, I want to say like six or eight points, and that was when we played overtime. Now, he did score a little bit more. Foster I think had 12 for the game [Ed. note: Foster had 14], but it wasn't Jordan. It was some other guys that were guarding him at that particular time because we were doing some trapping or whatever. But I thought Jordan really throughout that game, really shut down a kid who is considered to be one of the top players in the nation. Jordan was able to really just minimize what he could do. So I think just that game overall, is something that really stands out to me for Jordan."