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Trayce Jackson-Davis confident in Indiana basketball despite recent struggles: ‘They’re a lot better than what they’re showing’



Indiana basketball Trayce Jackson-Davis
Former Indiana basketball star Trayce Jackson-Davis joined 'The Ride with JMV' to discuss IU and his return to Indianapolis on Thursday. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

There’s no denying that the Indiana basketball program has had its ups and downs — especially this season. But in year three with Mike Woodson, the Indiana fan base wants and expects more.

However, after everything it lost a season ago, it was due for a slightly down year. Unfortunately, it’s been a bit rockier than expected.

Indiana sits at 14-9 overall and 6-6 in Big Ten play and is coming off of its first Quad 1 win of the season — Tuesday against Ohio State. While it remains a Quad 1 win now, any additional loss will likely put the Buckeyes into Quad 2 territory.

On Wednesday, former Indiana basketball standout forward Trayce Jackson-Davis joined ‘The Ride with JMV’ to discuss his rookie season with Golden State in addition to some Indiana basketball talk.

As someone who played four years with the Hoosiers — and had a great amount of ups and downs himself, Jackson-Davis understands the frustration that has been building from the fans this year.

“I get it. At the end of the day, that’s Indiana in general,” Jackson-Davis said of the frustration of the fan base. “The thing is, you can’t build something if you fire someone every two to three years. It’s not going to happen, it’s impossible. I don’t think he’s (Mike Woodson) that worried, honestly especially after second in the Big ten last year — made the tournament twice, one game away from the Big Ten Championship … he’s done what he’s needed to do. Obviously in a down year (now), next year’s going to have to be big, but I think they’ll regroup well.” 

After losing Jackson-Davis, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jalen Hood-Schifino and two veterans in Miller Kopp and Race Thompson, Indiana needed a big haul and needed to add a lot of new faces.

It did so — notably — with Kel’el Ware and Mackenzie Mgbako, two five-star players and projected NBA players. But injuries to notable players have impacted the chemistry and continuity throughout the entire season thus far.

“That core – they have what it takes. X (Xavier Johnson) goes down again, Malik (Reneau) gets hurt, Kel’el gets hurt. They haven’t really had a full deck, so I don’t really blame coach, and obviously losing me and Jalen, Miller, Race, it’s hard. That’s tough to do,” Jackson-Davis added. “They’re a lot better than what they’re showing. You lose four scorers in the Big Ten. But I think guard play — especially not knowing (who stays and goes) … that’s the biggest thing they need next year.”

Indiana faces No. 2 Purdue on Saturday on the road, looking to bounce-back from a 21-point loss to the Boilermakers the last time they played in Assembly Hall.

The former Indiana basketball star forward returns to Indiana on Thursday as the Golden State Warriors take on the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.

The full Jackson-Davis segment starts at the beginning and runs through the 9:46 mark.

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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.