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Mar 17, 2022; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Johnny Davis (1) answers questions during practice before the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin Badgers star Johnny Davis announced his intent on Thursday to declare for the 2022 NBA draft.

Davis, the Big Ten player of the year, averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this past season. He helped Wisconsin earn the No. 3 seed in the Midwest region and reach the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament.

A 6-foot-5, 196-pound guard from La Crosse, Wis., Davis took a major leap in 2021. As a freshman, he averaged 7.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He started all 31 of his games and played 34.2 minutes per night, up from 24.3 his freshman year, as a sophomore.

Davis joins a select group of Badgers who left Wisconsin early. Rashard Griffith declared after his sophomore season and was taken in the second round of the 1995 NBA draft. Devin Harris was taken No. 5 overall in the 2005 draft following his departure after his junior season. Most recently, Sam Dekker left after his junior year and was selected with the No. 18 overall pick in 2015. In the 1980s, Cory Blackwell (1984) and Wes Matthews (1980) both left after their junior years.

Wisconsin hadn't had a player chosen in the NBA draft since 2015, when both Frank Kaminsky (No. 9) and Dekker were selected. Davis will likely become the fifth Badgers player taken in the first round this century, joining that pair, Harris and Alando Tucker (2007).

Named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, Davis shot 42.7% from the floor and 30.6% from behind the arc in 2021. He scored 25+ points on 10 different occasions and poured in a career high of 37 on 13-of-24 shooting Jan. 3 against Purdue.

“What he was able to accomplish during his career was phenomenal,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said in a statement. "Not just the stats and the championships, but as coaches, we couldn't have asked for anything more as a player, a teammate and a member of our community.

“We always knew Johnny was tough and he showed that all season long, never more than down the stretch. We knew he was hurting, but he laid it all on the line for his teammates. That's a toughness that will translate at any level.”