To almost everyone's surprise, the Wisconsin Badgers won a share of the Big Ten regular season title for 2021-2022. They were projected to finish 10th at the start of the year.
Now, to almost no one's surprise, the Badgers are earning two big honors from the AP All-Big Ten awards. Sophomore guard Johnny Davis was voted as the Big Ten's Player of the Year for the 2021-2022 season after averaging 20 PPG and 8.1 RPG and breaking out as a star two-way player. Badgers head coach Greg Gard was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year after beating all expectations with this team and developing a very young roster.
Davis was a unanimous first team All-Big Ten selection, along with Iowa's Keegan Murray and Purdue's Jaden Ivey. Illinois' Kofi Cockburn and Ohio State's E.J. Liddell were also selected to the first team.
Gard led the Badgers to a 24-6 record in the regular season with a 15-5 record in conference play. After what happened with last year's roster and a huge amount of turnover among the players, Gard was able to navigate this team through the best basketball conference in the country and clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Young players such as Davis, Chucky Hepburn, and Tyler Wahl have seen massive improvements over the course of the season and the job he's done with this team has been remarkable.
Davis is a finalist for the John Wooden Award and a strong contender for the National Player of the Year. Winning this award in a conference loaded with other contenders bodes well for his chances to win the national awards.