Skip to main content

Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis: 'I'm Playing, Get That Out There'

Injured Indiana senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was adamant Tuesday afternoon that he feels better and he will be in the starting lineup late Wednesday night when the Hoosiers take on North Carolina at Assembly Hall. "You're gonna have to take me out on a stretcher,'' he said
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was back at practice on Monday, but coach Mike Woodson said Tuesday morning that he's still not sure he'll be ready to go for the Hoosiers' big showdown on Wednesday night against North Carolina. 

A few hours later, the ''banged-up'' Jackson-Davis erased all doubt when he met with the media in the afternoon.

He's playing, come hell or high water.

"Obviously, I'm not 100 percent but I will be playing (Wednesday). It's a huge game, and I'm playing. You all are going to want to get that out there. I live for playing in these big-time matchups. I want to prove I'm one of the best in the country.

"You're gonna have to take me out on a stretcher.''

Indiana hasn't officially given any specifics on Jackson-Davis' injury. He seemed uncomfortable in the Nov. 20 game against Miami of Ohio in Indianapolis, looking like he was trying to get his back loosened up. He missed Wednesday's game against Little Rock — his first after 98 consecutive starts — and played just 19 minutes Friday against Jackson State.

"You go through bumps and bruises when you play this game,'' Woodson said Tuesday morning. "I don't know if he took a fall or what, but I noticed it a few games right before the Little Rock game, him over there sitting uncomfortably. I don't know if it was his tailbone or something that was going on.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

"He practiced (Monday), so I haven't been down on the floor today or even talked to the trainer today. I'll give him a call here in a minute just to evaluate him and see where he is for practice today. So I won't know that till a little later on.''

Woodson talked to the media at 10:15 a.m. ET, and Jackson-Davis spoke at 3 p.m. before practice. He was confident that he can answer the bell on Wednesday night when the 6-0 and No. 10-ranked Hoosiers take on No. 18 North Carolina, the preseason No. 1 that was a national runner-up a year ago. This is the final game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

“I’m not in as much pain as I was last week,'' Jackson-Davis said. "I’m kind of taking it easy in practice this week. I think with the adrenaline and how the crowd is going to be, I’ll be fine for the game.

“Obviously I’ll play my hardest. If they have to take me out on a stretcher, then they’ll have to do that. I’ll be ready to go.”

Woodson is a big believer in the ''next man up'' philosophy anyway, because he knows injuries will occur over the course of a long season. Big men Race Thompson and Malik Reneau have filled in nicely, as has Jordan Geronimo off the bench.

"At the end of the day if he can't play, it's next man up,'' Woodson said. "I thought Race did a hell of a job for us in the Little Rock game when he didn't play. He stepped up, played unbelievable.

"That's the kind of team I've always wanted to have. I've had that in the past in Atlanta and New York when I coached there. Injuries occur. Everybody won't probably make it through a season. You hope they would, but that's not always the case. It's got to be the next guy in line to be ready to play. You know what I mean? That's just how I look at it. When guys get hurt, there's not a whole lot you can do on it. You can't wait on them. You have to push guys that are ready, get them ready to go.''