BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The most important recruiting target on Mike Woodson's wish list after being named head coach at Indiana was one of his own. He really needed star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis to stay – and now he is.
Jackson-Davis told Woodson on Friday that he was coming back to Indiana. He will meet with the media this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET to discuss his decision to stay.
Woodson talked about Jackson-Davis the day he was hired, and said he would ''beg for him to stay.''
“He’s had a tremendous Big Ten career, but he’s got to be able to use his other hand and I’m going to beg for him to stay with me because I think I help him develop and get to the next level,'' Woodson said in an interview with Don Fischer the day he was hired.
Jackson-Davis tweeted out his decision a little after 1 p.m. ET
"Indiana basketball is something that I have been blessed to be a part of,” Jackson-Davis wrote on his Twitter account. “After talking with coach Woodson and family, I believe that it is in my best interest to come back for my junior year.
“Hoosier Nation has been down for a while, and I want to be a part of the change that makes it great again. One last go-round with the candy stripes. Let's go to work!''
Jackson-Davis, the 2019 Indiana Mr. Basketball at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, has been Indiana's best player the past two years. He was recruited and played for Archie Miller, who was fired March 15 after four sub-par seasons at Indiana
Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers in scoring and rebounding both seasons, and was always the focus of attention from opposing defenses.
Jackson-Davis averaged 19.1 points and 9.0 rebounds this year for the Hoosiers. As a freshman, he averaged 13.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
This year, Jackson-Davis was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-American Third Team. He was also named third-team All-American by the United States Basketball Writers of America (USBWA).
He was one of five Big Tens player to be on an NABC All-American team this season as Luka Garza of Iowa and Ayo Dosunmu of Illinoois both made the first team, while Kofi Cockburn (Illinois) and Hunter Dickinson (Michigan) both made the second team.
Jackson-Davis was also third in the nation in free throws made and first in free throws attempted this season. He had to play center all year after teammate Joey Brunk missed the entire year with a back injury.
Jackson-Davis was a projected to be picked late in the second round of the NBA Draft this season if he had decided to turn pro. Despite his lofty numbers this season, there are still many parts of his game that he needs to work on.
Six Indiana players went into the transfer portal after Miller was fired. Senior guard Al Durham has decided to play at Providence, and transfer Parker Stewart said he is staying at Indiana.
Armaan Franklin, Race Thompson, Khristian Lander and Jordan Geronimo haven't announced their decisions yet, but this news of Jackson-Davis should accelerate those decisions.
COMPLETE VIDEO FROM INTERVIEW
Here is the complete interview with Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis this afternoon after announcing he was staying. Some great stuff about his meeting with new coach Mike Woodson. CLICK HERE