The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 9:30 pm

Reports: Jackson-Davis not participating in Combine scrimmages

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis will not participate in 5-on-5 scrimmages during the NBA Combine this week because he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to multiple reports. 

Jackson-Davis was not listed on any of the Combine teams despite being invited to the event. 

The 2019 Indiana Mr. Basketball is undecided on whether to enter the professional ranks or return to the Hoosiers for his senior season. He was IU's leader in scoring (18.3 points per game), rebounding (8.1) and blocks (2.3) last season and is already the 15th-leading scorer, ninth-leading rebounder and seventh-leading shot blocker in program history. He has until June 1 to make his final decision. 

It is unclear whether he would be picked if he kept his name in the NBA Draft and the scrimmages against other top prospects this week would have been crucial opportunities for Jackson-Davis to improve his stock. Professional scouts have questioned his ability to hit long- and mid-range jumpers, a skill the 6-foot-9 forward will certainly require in the NBA, but one he has not often displayed at Indiana, despite prodding from coach Mike Woodson. A video of one of his pre-Combine workouts surfaced in which the 2020 All-American was hitting long jumpers with surprising fluidity. If he had been able to do that at the Combine, it is not out of the realm of possibility a team would've given him a first-round draft grade, which could have increased the likelihood he would depart from IU. That is less likely now, though not impossible – Jackson-Davis might still have opportunities to work out privately for scouts, with less than two weeks before the stay-or-go decision deadline.

Indiana's offseason is in large part on pause as the Hoosiers wait for their star's decision. They have only one scholarship available and it has to be reserved for Jackson-Davis for now, making it difficult to go out and recruit in the transfer portal. If he does decide to enter the professional ranks, Indiana would have to move quickly to fill its one remaining roster spot.

Woodson, who was in Fort Wayne on Tuesday as the guest speaker for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Gourmet Dinner, has made no secret of his desire for Jackson-Davis to return. 

"The big question now is, 'Is Trayce Jackson-Davis going to come back?'” Woodson said Tuesday. “I'm hoping like hell he comes back because he's a big piece to the puzzle."

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