Credit - Pitt Athletics

Now a recruiter, TJD eyes targets in portal including Xavier Johnson, who put IU in final four

Trayce Jackson-Davis was already a Hoosier, but he now also goes down as Mike Woodson’s highest profile recruit thus far.

Once the recruit, now Jackson-Davis is the recruiter, and he is taking an active role in a college basketball offseason that feels a lot like NBA free agency.

Ready to return for his junior season in Bloomington, Jackson-Davis is on the hunt for teammates.  Of course he is trying to ensure that his current IU teammates in the transfer portal (Armaan Franklin, Khristian Lander, Jordan Geronimo, Race Thompson) all return and Jackson-Davis said as much at a media availability on Friday.

But the 6-foot-9 All-American knows IU will have open spots on the roster irrespective of what happens with his current teammates who are evaluating whether or not to return.  And because of that, Jackson-Davis is actively recruiting potential new teammates as well.

“Yeah, I’m doing some recruiting on my own,” he said in a radio interview on the Ride with JMV on The Fan in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon.

“I’m in Xavier Johnson’s ear, he’s a transfer from Pitt, he averages about six assists per game,” Jackson-Davis continued.

Johnson is a point guard we featured here back in February.  He was once successfully recruited to Nebraska by current IU assistant coach Kenya Hunter, and on Saturday it broke that IU was in Johnson’s final four.

Jackson-Davis took his recruitment efforts to Twitter.

In that same radio interview, Jackson-Davis shared another point guard who has his attention in the transfer portal.

“Then there is a dude from Eastern Kentucky named Wendell Green, I’ve been in his ear as well,” Jackson-Davis said.  “He was the (NCAA) freshman assist leader.”

Green was a three-star guard (Rivals) out of La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana.  He was rated by 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels as the 16th best available point guard in the 2020 class.  Originally from Detroit, the 5’11” Green led La Lumiere school to a 38-1 record and an appearance in the Geico High School National Title Game in 2019.  One of his teammates during that run was another former IU recruiting target and good friend of Jackson-Davis, Kentucky forward Keion Brooks, Jr.

Green Jr. scored 15.8 points per game for Eastern Kentucky in 2020-21.  He added 5.0 assists against 2.8 turnovers, and made 36.4 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Jackson-Davis said in the interview that there were other players in the portal that he is after, but he wasn’t ready to share additional names.

“There are some dudes that I’m going to keep under the radar that I’ve been talking to a lot,” he said.

Now committed to a third season in Bloomington, Jackson-Davis appears to be intent on upgrading the roster and delivering a more successful product on the court.

“I’m trying to get guys who want to be here, want to play, and want to part of something special,” he said.

The full radio interview with Jackson-Davis is below.  You find all episodes of The Ride of JMV HERE.

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