A consensus All-American and the Big Ten Player of the Year, Johnny Davis broke out as a sophomore following his appearance with the FIBA U19 USA team. As a sophomore, Davis averaged 19.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.7 BPG, and 2.3 TOPG on shooting splits of 43/31/79. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Johnny Davis
Wingspan/ standing reach: N/A
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: Wisconsin
Tools: Scoring, defense
- Can play passing lanes well; deflects passes/finds ways to interrupt offenses
- Good jump shot form
- Comfortable with both hands
- Skilled post shooter
- Advanced turnaround jumper
- Good athlete
- Capable defender due to quick twitch ability on defense
- Good cutter
- Underrated athlete
- Comfortable absorbing contact and drawing fouls
- High motor
- Good shooter on the move
- Great rebounder
- Needs to create better separation for jumpers without going to post ups
- Needs to get better at creating without using screens
- Can be predictable behind screens
- Averaged more turnovers than assists in college
- Must get more consistent from 3
- Struggles to separate against great defenders and to shoot over long defenders
Johnny Davis is a scoring guard with defensive skill, ability to play off-ball, and overlooked athleticism.
Offensively, Davis had a strong scoring load at Wisconsin as a one-man-show, being both the primary scorer and facilitator, while also being the featured off-ball threat and a key component of Wisconsin’s defensive identity. While it is unlikely for Davis to face that same role in the NBA, it allowed for him to learn how to play many different roles, which could help him scale up to the NBA either as a role player or a high-ceiling player.
Off-ball, Davis does well coming off of screens and catch & drive situations. His smooth jumper works best when he doesn’t have to create off of dribble moves against tight defense, but rather when the screener does the separating for him. Davis essentially becomes a dual-threat player in this situation, either spotting up for a jumper without a dribble, or to attack the collapsing defense as a 3 level scorer off the dribble.
On-ball, Davis does well off of dribble hand-offs (DHO) and give & go’s. With the frequency of give & go sets with bigs in the dunker spot (which in turn becomes a hand-off spot), Davis should be able to find immediate success as a creator. While he struggles to get his shot off quickly and cleanly consistently against the tightest defenses (see: Penn State game), he generally has enough counters to be relied upon in the NBA in a variety of sets when he has more weapons around him than he did at Wisconsin.
In order to become a full-time creator in a starting lineup, Davis will need to become more unpredictable in how he uses screens, become more consistent from 3 point range, and learn to create space without a pick & roll. As a sophomore at Wisconsin, defenders went under his screens a lot, which opened up quick 3s off of quick right-to-left or left-to-right movements before a stop & pop jumper. How Davis adapts and learns to score out of pick & rolls, particularly as a shooter, will be key in his scoring translating to the NBA.
As a playmaker, Davis’ assists numbers don’t do him justice, since his team was rather mediocre around him. Davis sees the floor well in finding shooters, post-ups, and passing out of double teams both on the perimeter and on drives. While playmaking won’t be his focal point in the NBA, he can be trusted to make the right decision with the ball against pressure and double teams.
Defensively, Davis has strong defensive instincts, both on-ball and in creating steals in the passing lanes. At worst, Davis should be a neutral defender due to his athleticism, length, motor, and IQ.
Similar to: Bojan Bogdanovic, Arron Afflalo, Brandon Roy
Projected draft range: 7-14
Expected role: Scoring guard that can do lots of roles on both ends.
Unplayable if: Lack of separation ability as a scorer limits his overall scoring volume, and if he never gets consistent as a 3 point shooter.
Exceeds expectations if: Scoring translates cleanly with 3 point shooting consistency, and playmaking develops enough to be trusted as a lead guard in some possessions, while maintaining his defensive intensity.