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Indiana basketball set to host NBA Pro Day on Friday



Indiana basketball
The Indiana basketball program is set to host its annual Pro Day for NBA scouts on Friday, with another intriguing roster on hand. (Indiana Athletics)

The Indiana basketball program is set to its NBA Pro Day on Friday. This has become an annual event since Mike Woodson took over as head coach.

All 30 NBA teams are expected to be in attendance.

Indiana is coming off of the 2023 NBA Draft in which Jalen Hood-Schifino was selected No. 17 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers, while Trayce Jackson-Davis was picked No. 57 overall by the Golden State Warriors.

Trending: “Trayce is an impressive young prospect.”: Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has high hopes for former Indiana basketball star Trayce Jackson-Davis

This season, Indiana’s roster is highlighted by two former five-star prospects; 7-foot center Kel’el Ware and 6-foot-8 wing Mackenzie Mgbako.

Ware came into college last season as a projected lottery pick. After an up-and-down freshman season at Oregon, he transferred to Indiana. He is still widely considered a first round selection in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Ware was ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect in the 2022 class and the No. 2 overall transfer this offseason.

“Kel’el is an extremely gifted player who will bring a lot to our program. He is a tremendous athlete whose skill level in all facets of the game will make us better,” Woodson said. “He’s a rim protector with great size and length, he runs the floor so well, he can shoot and he’s someone who competed and won at a high level in high school.

Mgbako is a highly touted freshman who averaged 16.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game as a senior for Roselle Catholic (NJ). At his size and overall skill, Mgbako has the ability to play both he 3 and the 4 in Indiana’s offense. He is a shooting forward who has made 76 3s in the past two seasons at the high school level.

Mgbako is slotted in some mock drafts at the end of the first round.

“Only time will tell. He’s capable of putting the basketball in the hole. He’s shown that this summer. We’ve got to help him as coaches and put him in the best position possible to be successful and help us,” Indiana basketball head coach Mike Woodson said. “I’m expecting big things from him, but I’m not putting a lot of pressure on him. He’s a freshman … But, Mackenzie is a big part to the puzzle. That’s why we went and recruited him.”

Indiana also has former five-star forward Malik Reneau, sixth-year point guard Xavier Johnson and others who are intriguing potential prospects.

Mike Woodson’s NBA style of play and player development through two years has already been on full display. Hood-Schifino was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last year while Jackson-Davis was one of the top players in all of college basketball.

“Yeah he was phenomenal….I don’t think anyone would disagree if I called him the MVP of day one (in training camp),” Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said when speaking to the media about former Indiana basketball guard Jalen Hood-Schifino … ‘I said kid you are going to be a 15-year point guard in this league with the skillset you have, with the way you are going to get better and how young you are’.”

“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 before the NBA Draft. “Wherever a team had him April 1 (for a workout), it will only improve as their process goes along.”

While Jackson-Davis played four years in college, his experience and the steps he made in his final season has already shined this summer and fall.

“I love the fact that Trayce has played four years in college, played for Mike Woodson — NBA coach, NBA system. Geat conference in the Big Ten. Great basketball tradition. Sold out crowds at Indiana, like that stuff matters. He’s got a really opportunity with us and a chance to be a good fit,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said earlier this summer.

“He’s a guy that been a four-year college player, proven player, skilled player, can do a lot of things,” Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy said of Jackson-Davis. “Defend, rebound, finish, and his passing I thought really improved the last year or two in college.”

The Indiana basketball program ranks seventh among all Division I programs with 27 players selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since its inception in 1947. The Hoosiers also rank second among Big Ten teams in first-round picks and are one of five conference schools with at least 20 first-round selections.

In total, Indiana has produced two No. 1 overall picks, tied for third in the NCAA.

Overall, the program has 79 total players drafted.

SEE ALSO: Five questions Indiana basketball needs to answer as preseason practice begins

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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.