Trayce Jackson-Davis Says He Expects 'Big Things' from Indiana in Podcast

Dylan Wallace

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Trayce Jackson-Davis joined the March Madness 365 podcast with Andy Katz this week.

Jackson-Davis was the Big Ten player representative while Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was the Big Ten coach representative.

Indiana's rising sophomore touched on a number of topics, ranging from why he chose to come back for his second season to what he believes Indiana is capable of once the 2020-21 season can kick off.

Below is the full transcript of the interview:

— On his decision to come back:

Really just the simple fact that the virus and everything going down I didn’t know if there was going to be a combine and so making a decision, I was really kind of putting it off. And then all of a sudden it’s a last minute thing, and I was like I may as well go back to school. NBA is still gonna be there, so I can wait another year.

— On uncertainty about season:

Yeah it was really iffy. Coach Miller really put a big emphasis, especially this summer, on just working out, getting better every day and trying to make things normal, act like there’s going to be a season right when it starts, so we just gotta be prepared for it.

— On what he’s seen on Big Ten players improving from year one to year two:

What I’ve seen is players like (Jalen) Stix Smith, Daniel Oturu, Kaleb Wesson, their ability to stretch the floor and being able to shoot the three. It really opens up things for their team, and so that’s why they were all really good teams this year. So that’s what I’ve been working on a lot this summer.

— On what he did well as a freshman and what he can do better as a sophomore:

What I thought I did well as a freshman I thought I brought great energy. I thought I ran the floor hard, just tried to be an energy-giver for my teammates. I shot pretty well at the line. I struggled with that in high school. But some things I can improve on just defensively, being in gaps better, helpside defense, being able to stretch the floor like I said, that’s something I needed to work on and been working on this summer. Those are the probably the main things I’m trying to work on right now.

— On what he he was able to do at the start of quarantine and what he’s able to do now at IU:

I have a gym, so I was able to get shots up. I don’t have a weight room, though, so no lifting, so that was bad. But been getting back on campus and getting with our coaches, just five straight weeks of being able to lift and workout, that’s really helped for us, especially because a lot of schools got shut down, but we were able to ride the wave and be able to make it through our whole summer training session. We end tomorrow.

— On working out in a controlled environment at Indiana:

It’s been really good. I think our coaches have done really well. A lot of our players have adjusted to it, freshmen have been great, been working out really hard. Everyone’s just trying to push everybody to be better, so as long as we keep this same energy up, then I think we’ll be good.

— On how it’s been when the team is not at practice and have to take care of things on your own:

I think all of us are a collective group where it’s almost business like. Our coach really, he just sends this message everyday saying ‘Be smart. Do the right things.’ I think we hold each other accountable, so I don’t think anyone will do anything stupid, but we’re always checking in on each other to make sure of that.

— On how optimistic he is about the team’s chances to compete at a high level:

I think especially at the end of the year last year, I feel like we were really hungry. We were trying to prove some people wrong. But coming back from the summer, I feel like everyone is fresh and ready to go, especially me. Being able to play one Big Ten season and get that under my belt, so I’m knowing what to expect this year, and a lot of other players like Jerome Hunter, who wasn’t able to play last year and then coming back this year and being able to play, so just getting that experience under our belt. I know new guys like Khristian Lander, he is going to be a big piece for us. He’s been working out really hard right now, so he’s going to be a good player. But right now, I really expect big things from us.

You can listen to the interview yourself at this link. Jackson-Davis comes on at the four-minute mark.

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