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IU basketball assistant believes quick exit by Jalen Hood-Schifino can help in long run

IU basketball assistant coach Kenya Hunter didn’t come out and say point guard Jalen Hood-Schifino is leaving for the NBA Draft, but he did confirm on Monday evening what has been widely speculated to this point.

The bottom line — it would be a major surprise if Hood-Schifino suits up for the Hoosiers next season.

After averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists while earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, the 6-foot-6 Hood-Schifino has risen up the NBA Draft boards and is now a near consensus first round pick.

If there was any doubt about Hood-Schifino’s potential at the next level, his 35-point outburst to slay Purdue in West Lafayette likely put the questions to rest.

Obviously Indiana would love to have Hood-Schifino lead the way for four seasons in Bloomington, but that isn’t reality in 2023 for a player with his attributes.  And while he’ll be difficult to replace, Hunter sees the positive side of a potential one-and-done stop in Bloomington by Hood-Schifino.

“Things are pointing the direction that we probably will end up losing him, and I feel good about that because one, he helped us this year, and two, the kid that he is and the work ethic that he has, he deserves to be in the NBA,” Hunter said on a Twitter Spaces hosted by Rising Coaches.

Hunter went on to say he believes the high school players IU is recruiting now will be influenced by Hood-Schifino’s quick path the NBA.

“And that’s only going to help us in recruiting.  I know most people don’t think that, but I really believe that the things he was capable of doing in one year, and Coach Woodson putting him in those situations has afforded him (the opportunity) for things to happen.”

Hood-Schifino played at Montverde Academy in Florida, a national prep program that has produced some of the best high school talent in the country in recent years.

Hunter has good connections at Montverde and helped Indiana land both Hood-Schifino and his high school teammate Malik Renau.

Indiana is recruiting several players currently in the Montverde program, including 2024s Liam McNeeley, Asa Newell and Derik Queen.  Hood-Schifino and Reneau have interacted with all three during their recruitments.

Hood-Schifino did not make himself available in the locker room following Indiana’s season-ending loss to Miami.  He has not yet commented publicly on his next step.


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