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What the Davis brothers bring to Wisconsin

Bob takes a spin at their future impact and areas of growth

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-San Jose Practice Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday, the La Crosse twins Jonathan and Jordan Davis committed to Wisconsin, as the world of Badger recruiting continued its wave of good news.

They both recently participated in the Wisconsin team camp, and they showed well.

I’ll tell ya, I’m really looking forward to watching these two play for the Cardinal and White. Not just because of their strengths, but also because of their room to grow. In fact, I think it’s reasonable to expect them to surpass Marcus and Michael Trotter as the best Badger twins that I can remember.

If someone has a database of twins in Wisconsin Athletics, let me know. But “American Ninja Warrior” does not count.

Looking at the highlight reel, Jordan seems to be the better shooter between the two. At least he takes more traditional jumpers based on the footage.

It’s hard for me to get a sense of Jordan’s overall ability, but anyone who could develop into a strong three point threat is welcome on the isthmus.

Jonathan is the one I am really excited about. I don’t have the expectation that he becomes as good as Alando Tucker, but his play reminds me of Tucker. Jonathan has an excellent ability to finish at the rim, and his athleticism jumps off my screen and dunks on me so bad I had to sit in the corner crying like the Northwestern kid.

Jonathan also as the ability to use his athleticism and strength to create a little bit of space and hit a fadeaway. He can get the rock in the hole from mid-range in traffic

Anyways, Tucker was a bit taller, but I expect a year of training and nutrition in Madison will bulk up Jonathan to that type of body. Take a look at some of these Tucker highlights and let me know if I’m in the right ballpark.

What I really appreciate about Jonathan is his sixth sense for where a play will develop. He seems to find a way to be in the right place at the right time.

However, I am a bit concerned about his traditional jump shots.

As I was watching his highlight video, one angle showed that the ball seemed to rotate at a slower rate than expected. If you all know me, this led to a full-on math attack.

First, I looked to the Journal of Sports Sciences and Chau M. Tran and Larry M. Silverberg’s 2008 article “Optimal release conditions for the free throw in men’s basketball.” According to Tran and Silverberg (2008), the optimal rotation on a free throw is 3 hz, which is 180 rotations per minute. I found some others who said the best RPM on shots should be around 140, but everyone agrees it needs to be well above 100.

Then, I went through Jonathan’s (and Jordan’s) highlight reel and picked out each jump shot. Both of these videos are 30 frames per second, so I went frame by frame on each video to count how many frames passed before one half revolution. Then, I converted the data to RPM.

Hey, I do it so you don’t have to. Please note that I could not measure each shot due to the lighting; I recorded the frames only for the shots I was confident I was correct with no more error than one frame. This is not an exact science; my margin of error is about 10 rpm.

Davis Twin Shot Rotation

Athlete Timecode Frames for half rotation RPM
Athlete Timecode Frames for half rotation RPM
Jonathan 0:33 11 81.8
Jonathan 0:43 9.5 94.7
Jonathan 1:19 13 69.2
Jonathan 1:59 10 90.0
Jonathan 2:09 10 90.0
Jonathan 2:34 15 60.0
Jonathan 3:09 10 90.0
Jonathan 3:15 12 75.0
Jordan 0:21 12 75.0
Jordan 0:26 7 128.6
Jordan 1:02 11 81.8
Jordan 2:12 9 100.0
Jordan 2:19 10 90.0

Jonathan’s RPM’s ranged between 69.2 RPM and 90 RPM, averaging a shot rotation of 81.3 RPM.

That is well, well below the scientifically perfect shot of 180 RPM.

I had a harder time with Jordan’s highlights because of the lighting, but his ranged form 75 RPM to 128 RPM with an average of 95.1 RPM.

I’m mildly concerned about this, since backspin can help transfer momentum into the rim and slow the basketball down. It helps get that “shooter’s bounce” and, therefore, consistency.

81 RPM might be the right rotation for Jonathan -- he could shoot knucklers and I won’t care if he makes it. But if he runs into inconsistency as a shooter, he may need to tweak his technique. Technique, however, is something that can be trained. It’s not, say, as complicated as remedying a free throw shooter who has lost all confidence.

You might be interested in how the Davis twins shot the three ball in high school. It’s actually is much easier to reverse engineer the spin rate on their jumpers than find accurate high school stats. Seriously, Drew and I sent out the finest men and women in SBN’s disposal, and no luck.

However, I have eight games of AAU stats to go off of thanks to

The bottom of the barrel has been thoroughly scraped.

Davis Twins AAU 16U Stats (Per Game)

Athlete Games Played Points Minutes Field Goal Attempts FG% Three Point Attempts 3P% Free Throw Attempts FT%
Athlete Games Played Points Minutes Field Goal Attempts FG% Three Point Attempts 3P% Free Throw Attempts FT%
Jonathan 8 17.12 27.1 11 54.50% 0.62 40.00% 6.12 79.60%
Jordan 8 9.38 25.6 7.25 51.70% 1.38 54.50% 1.75 64.30%

Looks like Jonathan doesn’t shoot much from distance considering his highlight reel and AAU stats. Hopefully that is a point of growth in his last year of high school ball.

There is a lot to be excited about the Davis twins, and there is a lot of upside. If Jonathan can develop a consistent outside shot, he will be a significant piece of the puzzle