He’s suffered through questions about his perimeter shot for a full three years now.
So it would be hard to blame Indiana senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis if he let loose a little bit if he connects from 3-point range during the 2022-23 season.
Head coach Mike Woodson will no doubt be happy for his veteran big man when he splashes from distance. He regularly says he gives Jackson-Davis the green light from beyond the arc.
And Woodson likes what he’s seen from the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year during the offseason.
“I think this summer, the work that he’s put in, he’s shown that he can make that shot, and he has made them in our little pickup games and things of that nature. He’s just got to carry it over to the real game when it counts.” Woodson said.
But while Woodson wants Jackson-Davis to shoot threes, he isn’t so lenient when it comes to any kind of any gesturing or pre-planned theatrics when the first one finally goes in. Some of Woodson’s more enthusiastic moments on the sidelines during his first season coaching the Hoosiers came when his players got caught up in a moment and failed to get back on defense.
And Jackson-Davis says he knows better.
“I don’t know about any 3-point celebration, because this man right here (Woodson) is not a big fan of those,” Jackson-Davis said at Big Ten media day on Tuesday.
While he’s 0-3 for his career from long range, Jackson-Davis hopes he can treat his first conversion from behind-the-arc as just three more points in his illustrious career.
“We’re just going to take the approach that we do this, even though it will be my first time doing it, we’re going to act like we’ve been here before doing it, so that’s what it’s going to be.”
Increasing the likelihood that he’ll see more 3-point attempts this season and eventually get that make, Jackson-Davis says he expects to play power forward at times during the season. Indiana seems more intent on pushing the ball up the floor, and the plan is for the big man up the floor first to play the center spot, while the trailing big will play power forward. In Woodson’s system, the power forward plays more on the perimeter.
Jackson-Davis also believes the emergence of younger players capable of scoring on the block will mean more minutes for him away from the basket.
“Obviously, last year I think I had the green light, but at the same time, my presence was needed inside,” Jackson-Davis said.
“But now we’ve got some other players like Malik (Reneau) and Logan (Duncomb) who are coming along really strong, and I’ll be playing a lot more four this year and be able to showcase my abilities from three. It’s all about repetitions. I’m getting a lot of shots up in scrimmages and practice, so those are going to translate to game shots.”
Jackson-Davis was quick to point out, however, he knows where he needs to be most of the time.
“Obviously my bread-and-butter is the inside, and that helps us win games, and I’m all about winning games,” he said.
“But just sprinkling in a little bit of the outside shooting, just to know that I’m able to do it.”
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