Johnny Davis named to Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list

Sophomore guard listed among best players in the country

Johnny Davis has established himself as one of the best players in college basketball, which was endorsed Jan. 5 by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, as the sophomore guard was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list.

The list, comprised of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor, was determined by a poll of national college basketball experts based on the performances during the 2021-22 season thus far.

The 2021 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament MVP, Davis has burst onto the scene as one of college basketball’s most dynamic playmakers. Davis ranks third in the nation averaging 22.3 points per game, also leading Wisconsin in rebounds (7.2 per game), assists (2.6) and steals (1.5) and ranking second for UW with nine blocks.

Davis is the first Badger to appear on the Wooden Midseason List since Ethan Happ in 2019. Wisconsin has had a player go on to appear on the Wooden Award final ballot eight times, including Happ in 2019. Frank Kaminsky won the award in 2015, becoming the first player in program history to do so.

Davis has authored a number of signature performances this season, including a 37-point, 14-rebound effort to lead the Badgers to a win at No. 3 Purdue on Jan. 3. His performance marked the most points by a Badger since the aforementioned Kaminsky scored a school-record 43 points against North Dakota on Nov. 19, 2013.

Davis is one of nine players making their debut on the Wooden Watch, joined by James Akinjo (Baylor), Izaiah Brockington (Iowa State), Zach Edey (Purdue), Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona), Wendell Moore Jr. (Duke), Keegan Murray (Iowa), David Roddy (Colorado State) and Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky).

The Big Ten leads all conferences with nine selections on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, followed by the Pac-12 with four, the Big 12 with three, the ACC, SEC and WCC with two selections each, and the Big East, Mountain West and Summit League with one selection apiece.

Davis and the players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason or midseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award National Ballot. The national ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award.

Nearly 1,000 voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2022 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.