Thursday's Big Ten: Wisconsin's Johnny Davis, Purdue's Jaden Ivey declare for NBA Draft

Associated Press

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.

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

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.”

Purdue's Jaden Ivey announces he's entering NBA draft

Purdue's Jaden Ivey has entered his name in the NBA draft, forfeiting his final two seasons of college eligibility.

“This has been a lifelong dream of mine and I am beyond excited for this journey,” Ivey posted on his social media accounts Thursday.

Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and was named to The Associated Press All-America second team. He joined Duke’s Paolo Banchero as the only players this season with 600 points, 175 rebounds, 100 assists, 30 steals and 20 blocked shots. Ivey is the fourth Big Ten player in 30 years to achieve those marks.

Purdue's Jaden Ivey (23) drives past Saint Peter's KC Ndefo (11).

The 6-foot-4 guard from South Bend, Indiana, is projected to be selected early in the first round of the June 23 draft.

Ivey played his best against ranked opponents, averaging 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists in nine games. He scored in double figures in 33 of his 36 games and had a team-best 14 games of at least 20 points.

Ivey had a combined 40 points and shot 5 for 10 on 3-pointers in the Boilermakers' first two NCAA Tournament games. He struggled in the regional semifinal loss to Saint Peter's, with nine points and six turnovers.

Ivey is the third Purdue player in recent years to declare for the draft as an underclassman. Caleb Swanigan did it in 2017 and Carsen Edwards in 2019.