“I hope like hell he comes back” – The Daily Hoosier
Indiana fans are all holding their breath.
And that’s about all head coach Mike Woodson can do now.
Will he stay, or will he go?
That’s the question surrounding Trayce Jackson-Davis, IU’s leading scorer and rebounder. And that’s the big question hanging over the IU basketball program right now.
“The big question now is, will Trayce Jackson-Davis come back?” Woodson said during an appearance at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana Gourmet Dinner in Fort Wayne on Tuesday night.
Woodson’s prized center has been absent from Bloomington for the past six weeks, first training in California and now heading to the NBA Draft Combine.
“I know he’s going to test the Combine this week in Chicago, and then he has until June 1 to decide if he’s going to go pro or come back,” Woodson said.
At the moment, Woodson seems about as helpless and as hopeful as an Indiana fan.
“I hope like hell he comes back, because he’s a big piece of the puzzle.”
Woodson believes having spent a year at the helm helped him be better positioned to survive an early departure from his All-Big Ten center. Jackson-Davis also considered going professional last year.
“It’s a big difference now because I’ve had the opportunity to sign guys who I think can help our ball club,” Woodson said.
The now second-year head coach thinks he can formulate a rotation to fill the void left by Jackson-Davis if it comes to that.
“My motto has always been next man,” Woodson said. “We have Race (Thompson) coming back, we have Logan (Duncomb), who is a young center who has to mature and then grow in his body. And then we have rookie Malik (Reneau) coming.
“So these guys have to grow up fast. You have the opportunity to play from the start (if Jackson-Davis does not return). »
“If Trayce comes back, he’s going to take up a lot of minutes in that position. But hey, we’ve got enough talent around Trayce if he doesn’t come back, those guys need to step in and play, and I need to coach them.
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