It was reported yesterday that Badgers basketball guard/forward Jordan Davis would be entering the transfer portal. In my off-season preview, I mentioned him as a player that could potentially be on the move but it’s always unfortunate to lose home grown talent. Considering what his brother Johnny did in Madison last year to become an NBA lottery pick, it was tough to see Jordan struggle at times.
We don’t know exactly why Davis decided to transfer, but it could be a good sign for the program overall. Jordan Davis began this season as a starter before being moved to the bench in favor of truth freshman Connor Essegian. Even though Davis did have a few solid games, he didn’t develop to be the player the program needed him to be. He averaged 20 minutes while scoring 5.1 points and grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game.
For a team that was on the young side and needed multiple veterans to emerge, Davis fell a bit short. Part of the expectations were due to his brother, which are completely unfair. With that said, Jordan Davis showed flashes of being an impactful player but couldn’t find the consistency.
What this means for the program
Losing a veteran player who was a reliable bench presence is tough, especially for a team that lacked depth. With that being said, this opens up major minutes for a potential transfer. I doubt Davis is the only house hold name we see transfer out this off-season as the Badgers need some major roster upgrades.
Depending on what Tyler Wahl does, there are potentially 50+ minutes per game available before any other transfers are announced. Wisconsin has been in contact with a large amount of players that have announced their addition to the portal list. Greg Gard has also commented about how important it is to add talent this off-season and fill the holes that plagued the team this year.
Bigger picture, Davis deciding to transfer could mean difficult conversations were had. We likely won’t ever know for sure but there are two potential reasons why Davis decided to transfer.
- He saw the writing on the wall. He lost his starting spot to a true freshman and even though he still got decent minutes, they weren’t overly productive. With there being a large amount of players around his height on the team and him struggling with consistency in his third year with the program, it may have been time to find a different fit.
- Greg Gard had a difficult and uncomfortable discussion with him about his future with the program. This isn’t something most of us envision Gard doing but is unfortunately part of being the head coach of a major basketball program. These are the kind of discussions that I can imagine haven’t happened much at Wisconsin and a rough year may have added some urgency.
Regardless of what pushed Davis to move on from Wisconsin, it’s a sign that the program is taking this years results seriously. With constant reports of transfer portal players that Wisconsin has reached out to, it’s easy to envision a scenario where next years roster looks a lot different at the top. As much as we love being the under dogs and over achieving, at some point you just need more talented players on the roster. We’ll likely find out quickly if the Davis transfer is a sign that the Badgers basketball program is evolving or if it was just a coincidence.
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