Johnny Davis enjoyed his interview with Knicks

CHICAGO — Wisconsin sophomore capturing guard Johnny Davis is an easy child with an easy recreation.

Superb defender. Strong scorer. A dive-to-the-floor scrappiness. A lethal shot from mid-range. Nothing too flashy.

So when groups requested him an offbeat query about his private life in the course of the NBA Draft Mix interviews in Chicago, Davis didn’t deviate.

“They requested me what could be my ‘wild’ second,’’ Davis mentioned. “It’s realizing I’m within the NBA. And taking part in towards anyone who’s been there. I simply made positive I am going by way of interviews with my head on straight.’’

The 20-year-old Davis staged his professional day Saturday, although he didn’t do capturing or drills, as a part of agent Jeff Schwartz’s Excel Administration secure. The Knicks, who additionally interviewed him Thursday, attended. Davis is within the Knicks’ vary with the No. 11-overall draft decide, however he has interviews with groups forward of them, together with the Spurs at No. 9.

Davis mentioned it was an honor to fulfill coach Tom Thibodeau, who can’t stroll down the Chicago streets with out getting stopped as a former Bulls teaching star.

Johnny Davis
NBAE by way of Getty Pictures

“It went rather well,’’ Davis mentioned. “It was good to see acquainted face [in Thibodeau] and someone who’s been a part of the sport for some time. It was superb to speak to him after seeing what he’s completed with loads of groups. He’s a really acknowledged coach within the league.
“I heard from folks he likes guys like [me],’’ Davis added. “So hopefully I can slot in with them and so they’ll be invested in me sufficient to draft me.’’

Davis, whose father is former NBA participant Mark Davis, additionally met with the Spurs. However he didn’t see coach Gregg Popovich, who’s in Serbia scouting the EuroLeague Closing 4.
The Spurs might be the most important risk to Davis falling to the Knicks, although some mock drafts have Davis going to the Pelicans at No. 8 as the proper backup to CJ McCollum.
“Clearly, taking part in underneath coach Popovich, probably the most well-known coach in NBA historical past, is one thing I’d actually wish to occur,” Davis mentioned.

Whereas protection is a calling card, Davis feels he could be an explosive NBA scorer, too, and tries to emulate Devin Booker on the offensive finish. For now, he’s a terrific mid-range scorer who wants to enhance his vary.

“Yeah, Devin Booker. I don’t know him personally,’’ Davis mentioned. “His energy and skill to attain in a wide range of methods. I don’t know an excessive amount of about him as a defender however he competes.’’

No person was viewing Davis as a possible lottery decide as a freshman, when he had a small function on a senior-dominated workforce and averaged 7 factors per recreation in 2020-21.

However this previous season as a sophomore, he turned “Mr. Badger” — the featured man and it led to his effectivity stats tumbling due to the eye paid to him by the defenses. Davis completed averaging 19.7 factors, 8.2 rebounds and a couple of.1 assists. However he shot 42.7 % total — 30.3 from 3-point vary.

“It undoubtedly doesn’t signify me,’’ Davis mentioned. “I might’ve shot higher from the free-throw line — from 3 particularly. I assumed later within the season I took much more contested photographs. Later within the season, groups keyed on me extra due to the success I had earlier within the season.’’

There’s an intangible spirit to Davis, who helped Wisconsin win a share of the Huge Ten regular-season title, that may’t be captured with analytics.

“For Johnny, every little thing begins along with his competitiveness, his killer intuition and his will to win,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard mentioned just lately. “That’s on the high of his motivating elements. However he additionally had a full offseason within the weight room, outdoors of a pair weeks with Workforce USA [Under-19 roster]. That helped him add energy and explosiveness.’’

Davis is a twin, and his twin brother, Jordan, performed with him at Wisconsin. His father, a former small ahead, performed professionally for 13 seasons after being drafted by the Cavaliers within the 1985 NBA Draft.

“[He told me] simply be certain that to have enjoyable, not put an excessive amount of strain on myself and assume too extremely,’’ Davis mentioned. “Simply keep within the second.”

Requested what he’d be fascinated about on June 23, draft evening in Brooklyn, when his identify known as, Davis mentioned: “I’ll be fascinated about my mother and father. They have been in a position to put me on this place. They raised me to be the person I’m in the present day. The whole lot I do is for them.”

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