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Indiana Basketball: Jalen Hood-Schifino should ‘blow away teams’ during pre-draft process



Former Indiana basketball standout freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino should 'blow away teams' during pre-draft process. (Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Jalen Hood-Schifino had a phenomenal freshman season with the Indiana basketball program — one that was ‘nothing short of amazing’. The 6-foot-4 guard is now slotted to go late in the lottery to mid-late of the first round of next month’s NBA Draft.

With the NBA Combine come and gone, Hood-Schifino is set for the next chapter in his basketball journey.

The question is no longer if he can make it to the next level, but when he’ll hear his name called.

“I think JHS is a very smart player that should blow away teams that get to spend time with him during the pre-draft process,” an anonymous NBA Scout told “Wherever a team had him April 1, it will only improve as their process goes along.”

Hood-Schifino was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year this season as well as All-Big Ten Second-Team. He averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game this season.

The talented point guard showed the ability to play both on and off of the ball this season for Indiana. He was best, however, with the ball in his hands and in attack mode.

That’s something that caught the eye of scouts.

“I had major concerns with his ability to put pressure on the defense with his lack of scoring initially, but it was encouraging to see him continue to improve in that area as the season wore on,” the anonymous NBA Scout added.

Coming to the Indiana basketball program from national-power Montverde Academy (Fla.) where he won two national championships, the mentality of being a winner was there.

The success he had in high school never wavered when he got to Bloomington. In fact, it continued to blossom.

“It’s something I saw in high school, and high school is not college,” IU head coach Mike Woodson said about the mentality of Jalen Hood-Schifino. “Once he got here, you could see how he approached things on and off the floor, his demeanor.”

“The IQ, leadership and playmaking are clearly there,” the scout added.

His competitive and winning nature is appealing to many NBA teams.

The biggest knock on Jalen Hood-Schifino, however? Some ability to defend quicker and smaller guards. While it’s not a major concern, it’s something that scouts are saying is an area that will be his biggest weakness.

“One area I took for granted would be a strength coming in to the year was his defense and it seemed he had trouble keeping quicker guards in front of him at times,” a scout said. “I could see him initially being paired with an undersized shooting guard that can guard 1’s to keep him on the wings.”

One thing is for certain. Hood-Schifino has been preparing for this moment for his entire life. From a mentality standpoint, he’s been prepping to be a ‘pro’ since he arrived at Montverde three years ago.

Now, it’s time for all of that hard work to pay off … and it will.

The NBA Draft will take place on June 22.

SEE ALSO: Jalen Hood-Schifino ready for NBA: ‘I will never shy away from the bright lights or the moment’

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.