Badgers’ Johnny Davis and Greg Gard earn AP Big Ten honors


Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis is the Associated Press Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and the Badgers’ Greg Gard is the Coach of the Year.

Davis took top honors over Iowa’s Keegan Murray on Tuesday, and the two were unanimously chosen for spots on the AP All-Big Ten team along with Purdue’s Jaden Ivey in a vote by reporters covering the conference. .

Nebraska freshman Bryce McGowens is the newcomer of the year.

Joining Davis, Murray and Ivey on the all-conference first team are Ohio State’s EJ Liddell and Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn. Liddell is a repeat first-team pick, and Cockburn was a second-team pick a year ago.

The second team consists of Ron Harper Jr. of Rutgers, Trent Frazier of Illinois, Trayce Jackson-Davis of Indiana, Zach Edey of Purdue and Hunter Dickinson of Michigan.

Davis burst onto the national scene this season after playing a total of 18 minutes and scoring eight points in 13 games as a rookie. He averaged a nation-leading 24.1 points in eight games against Top 25 opponents, and his season average of 20 points per game is the best by a Wisconsin player since 1994.

Davis scored a career-high 37 points in a win over Purdue and has two more 30-point games. He has scored 25 or more goals in six other games.

McGowens was the first five-star rookie to sign with Nebraska and he lived up to the hype. He’s averaging 20.8 points over his last five games and leads all true freshmen nationally with 17.2 points per game.

Gard, who lost four starters on the 2020-21 team that won an NCAA Tournament game, coached his young team for a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.

The Badgers’ 24 wins are their best in five years, and they’ve been ranked No. 8 and appeared in the Top 25 every week since Dec. 20. They are 15-2 in games decided by six or fewer. points for the “closest” victories in Division I.

The 2022 AP All-Big Ten team, with players listed with school, class, height, weight, and hometown (“u” indicates unanimous selection):
FIRST TEAM
u-Guard – Johnny Davis, Wis., So., 6-5, 194, La Crosse, Wis.
u-Guard – Jaden Ivey, Purdue, So., 6-4, 195, South Bend, Indiana.
Center – Kofi Cockburn, Ill., Jr., 7-0, 285, Kingston, Jamaica.
Forward – EJ Liddell, Ohio State, Jr., 6-7, 240, Belleville, Illinois.
u-Forward – Keegan Murray, Iowa, So., 6-8, 225, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
___
SECOND TEAM
Guard – Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers, Sr., 6-6, 245, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
Guard – Trent Frazier, Ill., Sr., 6-2, 175, Wellington, Fla.
Forward – Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana, So., 6-9, 245, Greenwood, Indiana.
Center – Zach Edey, Purdue, So., 7-4, 295, Toronto.
Center – Hunter Dickinson, Michigan, So., 7-1, 260, Alexandria, Va.

Coach of the Year – Greg Gard, Wisconsin.
Player of the Year – Johnny Davis, Wis., So., 6-5, 194, La Crosse, Wis.
Newcomer of the Year – Bryce McGowens, Fr., 6-7, 179, Pendleton, SC.

AP All-Big Ten Voting Panel: Chris Basnett, Lincoln Journal Star; Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News, Big Ten Network, Fox Sports; Dave Eanet, WGN Radio, Chicago; Brian Fonseca, New Jersey Advanced Media; Marcus Fuller, Minneapolis Star Tribune; Adam Jardy, Columbus Dispatch; Mike Hlas, Gazette of Cedar Rapids (Iowa); Stephen Jones, Penn State Sports Network; Andrew Kahn, MLive.com (Ann Arbor, Michigan); Ryan McFadden, Baltimore Sun; Indianapolis star Zach Osterman; Jim Polzin, Madison.com (Madison, Wis.); Scott Richey, Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette; Dylan Sinn, Fort Wayne Gazette, Indiana; Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press.


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