There are plenty of times in sports where statistics don’t accurately tell the story.
In fact, there aren’t always statistics available to portray to value of a player to his or her team.
Take Central High School senior Jordan Davis as an example. Sure, his reputation stretches back a decade, and his career with the Red Raiders backed up the hype.
But when you think about future Big Ten Conference players or any Division I recruit, really, you think about dominant performances. You think of 40-point games and highlight-reel plays like the ones his brother, Johnny, makes on a regular basis.
There are plenty reasons that Jordan will join Johnny at the University of Wisconsin at some point this summer, and they mostly concern things that don’t show up in box scores.
“You know, one of the things I always told (Wisconsin coach Greg) Gard is that he is ready to defend on that level now,” Central coach Todd Fergot said of the 6-foot-4 Davis. “With the schedule we have played the last couple of years and going against players who will be at places like Ohio State and Illinois next year, I have to say he always stayed in front of them. He’s that good of a defender.”
Davis is also far from a being some kind of one-trick pony.
He can shoot, he can rebound, he can run an offense, and he rarely makes unforced mistakes. The kid is an all-round talent who certainly could have played Division I football as a wide receiver had he not suffered a couple of season-ending injuries.
The fact that he continued to get better as a basketball player while spending significant time on the shelf also speaks volumes to the kind of dedication that will help Davis succeed on the next level.
Athleticism, an aggressive approach and natural ability will, too, and Davis has all of those things to spare. He’s trying to put it together now so he is ready to show the Badgers what they want to see when he arrives in Madison.
His days at home have included a lot of weightlifting and basketball at the hoop behind his house. A stronger Davis with an even more fine-tuned shot is exactly what Wisconsin would love to see.
“We haven’t talked a lot over the quarantine, but I know they are looking for defense from me for sure, and I like to defend” Davis said. “I also think I can help with my 3-point shooting because I think I’m pretty good at it.”
Davis averaged 12.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game as a senior. He shot 33.3 percent (34-for-102) from the 3-point line and 45.2 percent overall to help the Red Raiders complete a 20-5 season that included a second-place finish to Onalaska in the MVC.
While Central was swept by the Hilltoppers in the regular season, it rebounded to knock top-ranked Onalaska out of the sectional tournament with a 55-40 semifinal victory at UW-La Crosse.
The Red Raiders never got to play Hortonville for the chance to advance to a fifth consecutive WIAA Division 2 state tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Davis said that lost opportunity still smarts.
“They beat us at our place and their place,” Davis said of the Hilltoppers, who had their last four seasons ended by the Red Raiders. “It was nice to get command of that again, and that felt good.
“We didn’t get the chance we wanted to win a state championship, but it was satisfying to be able to beat them.”
And Davis, who finished his high school career with 1,101 points, 470 rebounds, 270 assists and 187 steals, may have played his role with Central to perfection during his last game.
Fergot said he didn’t anticipate Davis running the offense as much as he did as a senior. With Noah Parcher around the previous three seasons, Davis was able to play shooting guard.
Fergot hoped that would be the case again, but Davis excelled at the extended opportunity to play the point.
“We had Brecken (Austin), and we thought Devon (Fielding) could come off the bench and play it a lot, too, but Jordan really took to it,” Fergot said. “We knew he would play there some, but he just got better and better at it.
“I thought he played a whale of a game when we beat Onalaska in the tournament. He only had four points, but that was him saying I’m going to be the distributor and get the ball to the hot hand. We really saw an evolution of Jordan, even just considering his senior year.”
In this Series
Super seniors: 8 La Crosse area high school athletes who received Division I basketball scholarships
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