Wisconsin's Davis says he's entering NBA draft, hiring agent

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Wisconsin's Johnny Davis shoots in front of Iowa State's Aljaz Kunc during the first half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis is ready to turn pro after delivering a superb sophomore season.

Davis announced Thursday that he’s entering the NBA draft and hiring an agent. The 6-foot-5 guard is regarded as a likely lottery selection and could be Wisconsin’s first top-10 overall pick since the Charlotte Hornets took Frank Kaminsky ninth overall in 2015.

The only other Badgers to be selected in the top 10 of an NBA draft are Don Rehfeldt (second in 1950) and Devin Harris (fifth in 2004).

“I can’t wait for what happens next,” Davis said while making his announcement on ESPN’s “NBA Today.”

The draft is June 23.

Davis added that “after talking it over with my coaches and my family, they thought (entering the draft) was the best decision for me.”

Davis is an Associated Press All-America first-team selection and the Big Ten player of the year. He is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award, both given annually to the nation’s top player.

Kansas’ Ochai Agbaji, Iowa’s Keegan Murray and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe join Davis as Naismith finalists. Those four along with Gonzaga’s Drew Timme join Davis as Wooden finalists.

Davis also was one of the nation’s most improved players. After averaging 7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 24.4 minutes in a bench role as a freshman, he had 19.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season while helping Wisconsin (25-8) win a share of the Big Ten regular-season title and earn a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Davis scored Wisconsin’s last 14 points and finished with 25 in a 67-60 first-round victory over Colgate before shooting 4 of 16 and recording 17 points in a 54-49 second-round loss to Iowa State.

“My time here at Wisconsin was great,” Davis said. “It was an unforgettable experience. I thank all my coaches and my teammates that I had in my corner.” ___

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