One day after winning the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award, and two days after declaring early for the NBA Draft where he is a projected lottery pick, Wisconsin Badgers sophomore guard Johnny Davis won the 2022 Jerry West Award, which is given annually to the best shooting guard in the country.
In 31 games this season, Davis, a first-team All-American, averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per contest while leading Wisconsin to a share of the Big Ten regular season title in a season where they were picked to finish tenth (in the conference, not the nation) in the preseason media poll.
“I am honored to win the Jerry West Award and to be named the best shooting guard in college basketball this season,” Davis said. “I want to thank Jerry West and the Basketball Hall of Fame for recognizing my talents and honoring me with this award. I would like to thank my teammates and coaches for being able to help me be the player that I am and win this award. None of this is possible without the unforgettable season that we had this year.”
The other finalists were a “who’s who” of talented guards this year. Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona), Ochai Agbaji (Kansas), Jaden Ivey (Purdue) and Johnny Juzang (UCLA) will all be NBA draft picks as well and were all worthy of consideration for this award. Davis, the Big Ten’s Player of the Year too, is the first Wisconsin player to win the West Award and the third from the Big Ten to do so, joining D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) in 2015 and Carsen Edwards (Purdue) in 2018.
The Naismith Award, given annually to the best player in college basketball, will be awarded on Sunday. Davis is a finalist for that one too and Greg Gard is a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year.