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La Crosse’s Johnny Davis goes from sixth man to 1st team All-American for Badgers

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FILE - Wisconsin's Johnny Davis (1) against Purdue during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin upset Purdue 70-67. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

From sixth man to first team All-American, and ready to lead the third-seeded University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament. It’s been quite a ride for Johnny Davis.

Last season, the La Crosse native was a freshman on a senior-dominated team, where he averaged 7 points a game off the bench.

Now, he’s leading the Badgers in points (19.7) and rebounds (8.2) and is second in assists (2.2) steals (1.1) and blocks (.6).

Wisconsin (24-7) opens at 8:50 p.m. Friday against 14th-seeded Colgate (23-11). It’s basically a home game for the Badgers, playing at the Milwaukee Bucks’ arena.

Davis got a taste of the tournament last year, including against eventual National Champions, Baylor. He was 4-for-5, scoring 10 points in the 76-63 second-round loss.

The Badgers enter the tourney having lost two consecutive games, while Colgate has won in a row. There is a bit of an excuse worked into Wisconsin’s losses, however. Davis was injured on a flagrant foul in the regular-season finale, forcing him to miss most of the second half loss to Nebraska.

He came back five days later and shot 3-for-19 form the field in scoring 11 points in the Big Ten tournament opener against Michigan State, which won 69-63.

While Davis didn’t use his ankle injury as an excuse, MSU coach Tom Izzo said after they beat Wisconsin it was likely a factor, if for no other reason than that Davis couldn’t practice.


The Associated Press All-America men’s basketball team with statistics through regular-season and conference tournaments:

First Team

Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky, 6-9, 255, Junior, Lubumbashi, Congo, 17.0 points, 15.1 rebounds (59 of 60 first-place votes, 298 points)

Johnny Davis, Wisconsin, Sophomore, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds (57, 294)

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas, Senior, Kansas City, Missouri, 19.7 points, 5.1 rebounds (46, 270)

Kofi Cockburn, Illinois, 7-0, 285, Junior, Kingston, Jamaica, 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds (42, 259)

Keegan Murray, Iowa, 6-8, 225, Sophomore, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 23.6 points, 8.6 rebounds (39, 248)

Second Team

Jabari Smith, Auburn, 6-10, 220, Freshman, Fayetteville, Georgia, 17.0 points, 7.1 rebounds (15, 187)

Drew Timme, Gonzaga, 6-10, 235, Junior, Richardson, Texas, 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds (14, 159)

Jaden Ivey, Purdue, 6-4, 195, Sophomore, South Bend, Indiana, 17.4 points, 4.9 rebounds (9, 157)

Benedict Mathurin, Arizona, 6-6, 210, Sophomore, Montreal, Quebec, 17.4 points, 5.6 rebounds (7, 146)

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga, 7-0, 195, Freshman, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 14.2 points, 9.6 rebounds (3, 144)

Third Team

Paolo Banchero, Duke, 6-10, 250, Freshman, Seattle, Washington, 17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds (2, 110)

E.J. Liddell, Ohio State, 6-7, 240, Junior, Belleville, Illinois, 19.6 points, 7.9 rebounds (3, 104)

Collin Gillespie, Villanova, 6-3, 195, Senior, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, 15.9 points, 3.8 rebounds (4, 83)

Walker Kessler, Auburn, 7-1, 245, Sophomore, Newnan, Georgia, 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds (0, 42)

James Akinjo, Baylor, 6-1, 190, Senior, Oakland, California, 13.4 points, 5.7 assists (0, 35)

JD Notae, Arkansas, 6-2, 190, Senior, Covington, Georgia, 18.4 points, 4.5 rebounds (0, 35)

Honorable Mention (alphabetical order)

Max Abmas, Oral Roberts; Armando Bacot, North Carolina; Tari Eason, LSU; Zach Edey, Purdue; Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers; Johnny Juzang, UCLA; David Roddy, Colorado State; Alondes Williams, Wake Forest.


More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/College-basketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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