Observing Johnny Davis, Trevion Williams, and Jaden Ivey

January 3rd, 2022

By Alan Lu

Today, I took the time to watch Johnny Davis and Wisconsin play against Jaden Ivey and Purdue in a Big Ten basketball game.  This matchup featured two very talented guards that were pitted against each other, and it was a highly competitive game that went back and forth. Ivey is a very athletic combo guard that came in with a lot of draft stock, as he came in projected as a possible top 5 pick of the 2022 draft, but it was Johnny Davis who stole the show, as he was excellent in Wisconsin’s upset road win over Purdue.

Purdue had strong interior play as both Trevion Williams and Zach Edey played well, but Jaden Ivey struggled in the first half before turning in a much better performance in the next half.  Wisconsin’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Johnny Davis turned in a dominant performance, as he scored 37 points and had 14 rebounds to lead his team to a tough road win over a very good Purdue team.  Here are my thoughts on how Johnny Davis, Jaden Ivey, and other various prospects fared on this day.

Wisconsin’s 6-5 sophomore guard, Johnny Davis scored 37 points and had 14 rebounds in his team’s stunning road win over Purdue.
(Photo:
USA Today Sports Images, via CBS Sports)

Johnny Davis had a tremendous showing in his team’s win over Purdue.  He had a strong all-around game, and he excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor, and he did just about everything well to help lead his team to get the victory. Davis showed a solid ability to knock down jumpers, especially from downtown.  He showed that he can make threes both off the catch and dribble, and he has a lot of range on his shot.  He dribbled off of a screen to make a tough, pull-up three, and he also used a pump fake to get fouled when he was about to take another pull-up three late in this game.  He also showed that he can comfortably score on smooth, pull-up and step-back mid-range jumpers.  Sometimes though, he would miss too often on pull-up jumpers, as he would sometimes tend to take quick, contested shots that would result in misses.

Also, Davis did a very good job of scoring in the post.  He showed a knack for scoring on smooth, turnaround jumpers from the baseline.  He also generally excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He was able to run in to score on a put back, and he also thrived as a scorer in transition.  He was able to throw down high-flying dunks on aggressive drives on the break, and he also drove up court and used a step-through move to score another time.  Plus, he also showed a knack for drawing fouls upon his defenders on half-court drives to get to the free throw line.

Also, Davis displayed adequate playmaking skills in this game.  He was able to throw timely interior passes to find his teammates on the move, and he can pass out of the post as well as off the dribble to set up scoring chances for his teammates.  Sometimes though, he would look to do too much, which would lead him to commit ball-handling turnovers.  He lost the ball a couple of times when handling it, and he also was called for traveling when he was about to take a fade away three-pointer on a separate possession. Plus, Davis did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He did a great job of chasing down balls to get boards on both ends of the floor, and he also made one terrific play where he blocked the shot early on and saved the ball to a teammate to help his team get a defensive rebound.

In addition, Davis also played satisfactory defense in this game.  He did a great job of hustling and rotating to block shots to help his team protect the paint due to possessing good athleticism, timing, motor, and instincts.  He also rotated to poke a ball away from a cutter to get a steal, and he also jumped a pass to get another.  He also did a good job of contesting shots to force misses.  On the downside, sometimes he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble, especially when guarding the initial burst, which would lead him to occasionally commit fouls and allow scores.

In general, Johnny Davis played really well, and he had a strong, all-around game to lead his team to a stunning upset road win over Purdue.  He especially thrived as a shot maker and defender down the stretch, and he made big shots to help his team get the victory.  He is an agile, sharpshooting guard that excelled as a scorer, rebounder, and defender in this game, and he could be a good pick for an NBA team in the lottery of the 2022 draft.

Purdue’s senior center, Trevion Williams (on the left) dazzled with his outside shooting and passing skills in his team’s close loss to Wisconsin.
(Photo:
Darron Cummings/Associated Press, via Lexington Herald Ledger)

Trevion Williams quietly had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Wisconsin.  He flashed some intriguing skills that he didn’t seem to show before, as he showed off a solid outside shot and he also put on a show with his vivacious and superb passing skills to help his team in this game. Williams was able to make a smooth, open spot-up three off of a pick and pop play to show his range from beyond the arc.  He also did a decent job of scoring in the post.  He was able to score on a couple of jump hooks, as he possesses good strength as well as a decent scoring touch around the basket.  He also ran the floor and caught a lob pass to draw free throws on an alley-oop layup.  Sometimes though, he would miss on jump hooks, and he also would tend to struggle to score in traffic on hustle plays.

Also, Williams did a very good job of passing the basketball.  He excelled as a passer from the post, as he would often find teammates on backdoor cuts, and he also threw a nice, wraparound bullet pass to find an open corner shooter.  He also received the ball on a cut and then threw a nifty, behind-the-back pass to get the ball to a corner shooter another time.  Late in this match, he threw a crisp, very long inbounds pass to set up a score for Edey all the way down court, as he threw a terrific pass to him in order to get the assist.

He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball in this game.  Williams was especially active at crashing the offensive boards, and he would chase down balls to get them for his team.  Plus, he also played decent defense in this game.  Williams would contest threes to force misses.  He also was able to deflect a pass and poke a ball away another time to help his team get deflections.  On the downside, he would sometimes sag too far off of his man and be late on his rotations, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores. 

In summary, Trevion Williams played well in this game, and he showed off promising skills for the next level.  He displayed the shooting touch to be able to make shots from long distances, and he also passed the ball really well.  Williams is a strong, mobile big man that may be a significantly underrated prospect, and he could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the second round range of the 2022 draft.

Purdue’s Jaden Ivey (on the left) had a slow start, but he turned in a fairly solid, but still relatively disappointing showing, as he didn’t dominate this game that was expected of him in his team’s loss to Wisconsin.
(Photo:
Darron Cummings/Associated Press, via ABC News – Walt Disney)

Jaden Ivey had his ups and downs as he had a disappointing first half due to his inability to knock down outside shots early on, and he also ran into foul trouble, which caused him to sit out for an extended stretch.  He then played well in the second half, and he both shot the ball well and excelled as a scorer as he turned in a decent showing overall, even if his defensive performance wasn’t nearly as stellar as anticipated.

Ivey didn’t shoot the ball nearly enough, as he tended to defer too much at times.  He did shoot the ball fairly well overall, and he did a good job of knocking down spot-up threes, as he can make them from far out.  On the downside, he had trouble scoring on pull-up, mid-range jumpers.  He didn’t always take great shots, and sometimes he would take tough, off-balanced shots that would lead to misses.

He also showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  Ivey has a quick, very good first step, and he was able to score on a speedy drive after using a hesitation move to get past his man.  He also showed a knack for driving hard to the hoop to get fouled by defenders to often get to the free throw line.  On one play though, he drove up court, but missed on a rushed, off-balanced running layup off the glass.

Plus, he also displayed decent playmaking skills in this game.  Ivey would throw timely passes to find open shooters to notch assists, and he also threw a behind-the-back pass to set up another score for his teammate.  He can make an assortment of passes, and he also can find his teammates on the move.  On the downside, sometimes he would rush his moves and play too carelessly, which can lead him to commit turnovers.  Ivey threw a low inbounds pass that ended up getting dropped and intercepted.  He also drove in too wildly another time, and collided into a defender, which resulted in him committing a charging foul.

He also was able to leap up to get several defensive boards, and he would usually bring the ball up afterwards.  On one play though, he didn’t box out his man, which led him to allow a put back score to his opponent.  On the downside, Ivey didn’t defend very well in this game.  For the positives, he would sometimes contest jumpers, which enabled him to force some misses.  However, he would sometimes take bad angles as he would struggle to defend opponents off the dribble and off the ball, and he would not always stay attached to shooters, as he would allow them to score on three-point shots.  He also would then overcompensate by closing out too hard, which would lead him to foul jump shooters.

Overall, Jaden Ivey had some impressive moments, and there were moments where he took over as a shooter and scorer in the second half.  However, those moments turned out to be fleeting and sparse, and his play was relatively disappointing in his team’s loss to Wisconsin.  Ivey seemed to fade into the background too much at times, especially late in the game, and he didn’t defend nearly as well as hoped.  Still, he is a very athletic guard that can score and defend, and he currently projects to be a lottery pick in the 2022 draft.

Purdue’s Zach Edey had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Wisconsin.  The 7-4 sophomore center would often get deep position and overpower his opponents in the post to score and grab rebounds down low, and he also would outwork his opponents on the offensive glass.  He was able to score 24 points and get 10 rebounds, and he was able to keep his team competitive for nearly the duration of the entire game.

Edey showed a solid ability to score in the post.  He would often get deep position, and he would use powerful moves to score, usually on right-handed, hook shots.  He also managed to score on a running hook shot while drawing an extra free throw once.  He also caught a very long inbounds pass and scored on a powerful dunk late in this game.  Sometimes though, he may struggle to score in traffic.  He doesn’t always get enough shooting touch, and sometimes his moves can be too mechanical, which can lead him to miss shots around the basket.

He also thrived at scoring on hustle plays.  Edey was able to score on a couple of tip-ins, and he also ran in to score on a powerful tip slam once.  He also managed to draw free throws on a dunk attempt off of a roll to the rim.  He also showcased fairly average playmaking skills.  Edey can pass out of the post, and sometimes he would recognize double teams and then pass out to find the open man.  However, he was also fairly turnover prone on offense.  When posting up, he would sometimes be called for clearing out with his elbow, which would lead him to commit offensive fouls and turnovers.  Another time, he didn’t catch a catchable interior pass down low, which led him to commit another turnover.

Also, Edey did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was particularly active at crashing the offensive glass, and he would score on quick tip shots to help provide his team with second chance points.  Defensively, he struggled in this game.  On one good play, he held his ground when defending in the post, and he contested the shot to force a miss.  However, he had trouble defending opponents in space, and he would sometimes play too physically, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Zach Edey is a tall, physical big man that is comfortable scoring and rebounding around the basket.  He is a good fit for college basketball, and he is an old school, throwback type of center that especially thrives in offenses that revolve around post ups and the big man.  He is a strong, bruising big man that would bully smaller opponents around the basket to get points and rebounds, and he also played energetically.  On the downside, he’s only an average athlete, and he didn’t really seem to show much perimeter skills or agility that would help him in the modern NBA.  He didn’t look to take jump shots from further out, and he didn’t really look to pass or handle the ball too often.  He’ll need to extend his range and show teams that he can defend opponents out on the perimeter.  Currently, he projects to be a borderline second round candidate whenever he decides to enter the NBA draft.

Wisconsin’s fifth-year guard, Brad Davison also played well in his team’s win over Purdue.  He is an agile combo guard that can knock down outside shots and score in bunches. He shot the ball very well, and he also made key plays down the stretch, as he was able to make a three-point shot and a crucial skip pass to help his team get the victory.

Davison shot the ball very well, especially from beyond the arc.  He showed a knack for making spot-up threes off the catch to provide floor spacing for his team on offense.  He has a lot of range on his shot, and he also ran off of a pin-down to score on a quick, open corner three early on.  Plus, he also dribbled to his left to score on a smooth, pull-up mid-range jumper from the baseline.  Davison also can change speeds, and he also managed to score on a crafty, switch of hands layup in traffic.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Davison passed the ball well, and he was able to throw an accurate skip pass to notch an assist late in this game.  He also was able to chase down balls to help his team get several defensive boards.  Also, he played satisfactory defense in this game.  Davison was able to successfully draw a charge when defending on a drive to get a stop for his team.

Overall, Brad Davison had a solid showing in his team’s win over Purdue.  He thrived as a shooter and shot creator, and he also passed the ball well when his team needed him down the stretch.  He has been inconsistent as a shooter and scorer at times this season, but he is a talented shooter whose ability to knock down outside shots could enable him to compete for a roster spot in the NBA someday, or at least to carve out a playing career in professional basketball in the future.

Purdue’s 6-6 sophomore swingman, Mason Gillis had a fairly solid showing in his team’s loss to Wisconsin.  He especially thrived as a spot-up shooter early on, and he showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes off the catch.  He also managed to draw a non-shooting foul on a backdoor cut another time.  On the downside, he had trouble defending opponents in one-on-one situations, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Gillis played fairly well in this game.  He thrived as a spot-up shooter from beyond the arc, and this could be an encouraging sign for him, as he can build off of this performance in the future.  Gillis is a mobile swingman that can shoot the basketball, especially off the catch.  He will need to be much more assertive and aggressive in looking to take shots, and he will need to improve his on-ball defense.  He will need to stay in school, but if he can continue to improve and develop his game, he could project into a shooting specialist role in the NBA someday.

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