The Washington Wizards got their man in Johnny Davis with the 10th overall pick. Love or hate the selection, the Wisconsin product certainly brings a few tangible skills in areas of need for the Wizards.
Davis made a huge leap as a sophomore for the Badgers, going from bench scorer to bona fide first option in the span of one year. The increased role further highlighted some of his strengths while shedding light on some of his areas for improvement.
Here are five stat areas worth learning about Johnny Davis’s breakout campaign with Wisconsin in 2021-22:
5 stat superlatives that define Johnny Davis
Stat #1 - USAGE
To say that the Wisconsin Badgers relied on Johnny Davis to carry the load on offense would be a massive understatement. He was their offense.
According to the T-Rank database, Davis’s usage rate jumped from 18.0 in his freshman year to taking up 31.6 percent of possessions this past season. To put that in perspective, there were only 12 NBA stars who breached the 30 percent plateau last season. The closest to Davis’s rate? LeBron James at 31.7 percent.
His mark is just as outlandish compared to his peers. Johnny Davis was one of just 52 college players above the 30 percent plateau, ranking 29th among the thousands of qualified NCAA players last season.
Out of the 40 players from the 2022 NBA draft class who played in the NCAA last season, only three others had a usage rate above 30 percent. Davis was the only one above 31.0 percent.
Stat #2 - TURNOVERS
One area where Johnny Davis impressed was in taking care of the basketball. Despite being the clear focal point of the Wisconsin offense, rarely did those possessions result in a turnover.
He averaged 2.3 turnovers per game which doesn’t look too small at first glance. But coupled with his sky-high usage rate, the rate at which Davis turnover over the ball was remarkably low.
His 12.7 percent turnover rate was the 5th lowest in his draft class despite owning the highest usage among those same 40 NCAA peers. None of the four players ranked lower than him in Iowa State’s Keegan Murray, Duke’s Mark Williams, Trevor Keels, and AJ Griffin were primary ball-handlers, either.
Stat #3 - EFFICIENCY
While he did limit his mistakes, Johnny Davis wasn’t exactly efficient when it came to scoring the basketball. He finished with 42.7 percent shooting clip from the field, which on its own is already far from ideal for a primary scorer.
The advanced efficiency metrics were even less kind to J.D. His effective field goal percentage (46.3 percent) and true shooting percentage (52.2 percent) were amongst the worst in the class, ranking 37th out of 40 in both categories.
Davis was largely hurt by his lack of a reliable shot from the three-point line, both taking relatively few threes (3.9 3PA) and being poor at knocking them down (30.6 3P%).
Stat #4 - MIDRANGE
Johnny Davis’ preferred weapon of choice is the midrange jump shot, which partly explains why the efficiency numbers were pretty harsh on him.
Davis was one of just 10 players in the NCAA last season who attempted over 200 shots from the midrange. He ranked second to worst on that list when it came to actually making them, connecting on 84 out of 228 attempts, good for a pedestrian 36.8 percent knockdown rate
He took the most in the 2022 NBA draft class by far, owning a 20-shot attempt lead over second placer E.J. Liddell of Ohio State, who was much more efficient with a 99-for-208 clip for a 47.6 percent rate.
Stat #5 - REBOUNDING
Johnny Davis takes a lot of pride in his defense. A key part of that for him last season was being one of the best backcourt rebounders in the country for Wisconsin, averaging 8.2 boards per game. That mark was exactly double his average from the previous season while getting less than a 50 percent increase in minutes.
Davis achieved this by drastically improving his defensive rebounding rate, actively crashing the glass after getting stops on that end of the floor. He went from a 14.9 percent D-Reb rate to 23.8 percent as a sophomore, which places him fourth in the 2022 class right behind Chet Holmgren while being ahead of other centers like Walker Kessler, Jalen Duren, and Mark Williams.
Stats never paint the entire picture when it comes to evaluating NBA draft prospects. But they do sketch some of the outlines that shape what the player is ultimately capable of at the next level.
It’s up to the Wizards coaching staff to use the data available on Johnny Davis to maximize his development in the coming season.