EAST LANSING, MI - MARCH 02, 2021 - forward Trayce Jackson-Davis #23 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana Hoosiers at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI. Photo By Missy Minear/Indiana Athletics

Trayce Jackson-Davis says Michigan State blow-up was directed at refs, not coaches or teammates

Trayce Jackson-Davis admits he was very heated during a huddle in the second half of Indiana’s loss at Michigan State on March 2 and he didn’t deny that he used the expletive that it appeared he did on the Big Ten Network broadcast, but the Indiana sophomore center said Wednesday that his ire was not directed at who IU fans thought it might be.

“It was just in the heat of the game,” said Jackson-Davis, who was asked about the incident for the first time during a Zoom press conference Wednesday. “I was really frustrated, not even with the coaches or anything, but I was frustrated with the referees, the way they were calling the game. That was really the biggest thing from that. I wasn’t mad at any of my teammates or anything of that nature, or my coaches.”

Jackson-Davis was called for four fouls in 27 minutes in that game and had his least productive outing of the season, making just one of five field-goal attempts. He still got 10 free throw attempts out of the game and made seven to finish with nine points, but that left him in single-digit scoring for the only time this season.

Still, Jackson-Davis noticed it didn’t look good, especially because with the tight shot shown on Big Ten Network, it appeared he might have shouted the expletive — the one that rhymes with “duck” — in the direction of head coach Archie Miller. That wasn’t the case, Jackson-Davis said, but it’s still an issue that it appeared that it might be.

“Obviously, it still wasn’t a good look,” Jackson-Davis said. “So I’m just trying to keep my emotions in check. I feel like that’s the only time I’ve really been out of check. I’m just trying to be a positive influence out there. I know there’s kids out there watching me play and that’s unacceptable to do.”