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Indiana Basketball 2019-20 Player Previews: Trayce Jackson-Davis

The 2019-20 Indiana University men’s basketball season is right around the corner.  To help get you ready, The Daily Hoosier is profiling every player on the 2019-20 IU roster.  You can see all of our player profiles in one place here.  If you are looking for the 2019-20 IU basketball schedule, you can find that here.

McDonald’s All-American, Top 30 recruit, Indiana Mr. Basketball.

As the headliner of Indiana’s 2020 recruiting class, Trayce Jackson-Davis arrived in Bloomington with all of the accolades.

Jackson-Davis has been on the radar since he was a raw and lean high school freshman at Center Grove.

Four years later he is a Hoosier, and now at 6-foot-9 and 245 pounds, Jackson-Davis has completely transformed his frame and appears to ready to be a major contributor as a true freshman.


Trayce Jackson-Davis
Credit – IU Athletics
  • Height:  6-foot-9
  • Weight:  245
  • Position:  Forward
  • Class:  Freshman
  • Hometown:  Greenwood, Indiana
  • High School:  Center Grove


Archie Miller on Jackson-Davis —

“Very, very proud of him in terms of what he’s done this summer and how he’s embraced the off-season. He’s gotten himself in terrific shape as of right now. He’s got to continue to go with that. His athleticism, his conditioning, are all very, very impressive. He’s a gifted young guy and he’s coachable.

He’s a guy that sponges it up. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and he asks questions. He’s improved as a player, but he’s going to go through some really hard times. I feel like college basketball is harder for young bigs than it is guards because they’re not used to the pounding and the size, and in some cases in the Big 10 the age difference.”

Jackson-Davis on playing against Joey Brunk and De’Ron Davis every day —

“It’s really good leadership.  Just battling them every day, that Big 10 toughness and physical style of play, I think that’s going to help me in the long run, especially going against those two guys every day in practice.”

Joey Brunk on Jackson-Davis —

“Trayce is a great kid before anything else on the basketball court.  He has a great opportunity in front of him and has a very, very high ceiling.  I’m really excited to get to play with him, watch him, and root for him.”



With college basketball veterans Joey Brunk and De’Ron Davis in the mix, job one for Jackson-Davis will be to carve out a role.

In high school he played mostly as a back to the basket center, but that is a crowded spot on the IU roster.

If he wants to maximize his minutes, Jackson-Davis will need to gravitate out to the perimeter so he can be on the court at the same time as his fellow big men.  Miller spoke about his freshman big man’s potential in that area.

“His lateral mobility, athleticism, and watching him here early as the season goes, he knows he has to defend on the perimeter,”  Miller said of Jackson-Davis.  “He’s going to have to do that to be able to play with other guys. He’s going to have to learn early and probably go through some hard times getting used to guarding college actions and scouting and whatnot.”

If he can make the adjustments and extend his game beyond the paint, Miller believes that Jackson-Davis’ athleticism provides the opportunity to carve out a big role in year one.

“For the betterment of him and our team, that’s one thing I think that we’re all hopeful for, is he can take that role as a guy who can defend inside and out a little bit,” Miller said.  “He’s not a prototype typical big. He’s very mobile, athletic, he’s got great endurance for a young player. He’s just going to have to get some experience under his belt.”

On the offensive end, Jackson-Davis will likely surprise with his ability to run the floor, handle the ball and knock down perimeter shots.  He is by no means an elite shooter or ball handler, but he has more talent in those areas than what he needed to show in high school where he could just dominate in the paint.

Jackson-Davis isn’t likely to be a high volume scorer early in his career when it comes to running the offense through him.  Instead, he should contribute much more in other areas such as blocking shots, rebounding, and getting points off of put backs and in transition.

With his athleticism and quickness, Jackson-Davis should also be effective on the offensive end on ball screen actions where he slips or rolls to the basket.

Moreover, Jackson-Davis is someone that will likely be a fan favorite who can energize crowds with what should be a lot of powerful dunks and blocks.  He is an explosive athlete that should have plenty of moments that get the fan base excited.

What will Jackson-Davis’ first season look like from a numbers perspective?

Year one will be a success if the freshman big man can average around 8 points while adding 4-5 rebounds and a block per game while scoring efficiently.  As Miller stated, on the other end Jackson-Davis needs to become a reliable defender both inside and outside of the paint.


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