Former IU basketball star Trayce Jackson-Davis was back in town Thursday evening as his Golden State Warriors defeated the Indiana Pacers 131-109.
Jackson-Davis appeared briefly in the game and scored six points and added two rebounds and a block in four minutes. Former teammates Trey Galloway, Anthony Leal and Xavier Johnson were among those in the crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Hometown crowd goes wild for TJD 👏
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 9, 2024
Earlier in the week Jackson-Davis joined “The Ride with JMV” (full interview below) on Indianapolis radio and discussed his struggling alma mater.
The program’s all-time leading rebounder and shot blocker has seen what you’ve all seen what it comes to the team’s shortcomings this season, but he is not worried about head coach Mike Woodson and his former teammates.
“I think they have a good core, a solid group,” Jackson-Davis said. “Obviously you never know who’s going to leave, what’s going to happen. Definitely need another guard, that’s definitely high on their list. Other than that, I think that core they definitely have what it takes, I think they’re a lot better than what they’ve been showing.
“Obviously X (Xavier Johnson) goes down again, Malik (Reneau) gets hurt, Kel’el (Ware) gets hurt, they haven’t really had a full deck so I don’t really blame coach. And losing me, Jalen (Hood-Schifino), Miller (Kopp), Race (Thompson), it’s hard, that’s tough to do when you lose four scorers in the Big Ten.
“But I think the guard play, I think that’s the highest thing they need.”
Jackson-Davis says he has heard the criticism of Woodson as Indiana has struggled, and understands that comes with the territory at a place like IU.
He encourages fans and decision-makers to focus on the accomplishments of the last two years, and exercise some patience.
“I get it, at the end of the day that’s Indiana in general,” Jackson-Davis said. “The thing is, you can’t build something if you fire someone every two to three years. It’s not going to happen. I don’t think he’s that worried. Especially after he makes the tourney twice, we were second in the Big Ten last year, we were one game away from the Big Ten Tournament championship game.
“He’s done what he needed to do, but obviously in a down year, next year’s going to have to be big, but I think that they’ll regroup well.”
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