Indiana doing a ‘terrific job’ in recruitment of Trayce Jackson-Davis

  • 08/31/2017 9:38 am in

There was a constant presence at the AAU games of Center Grove forward Trayce Jackson-Davis in July: the Indiana coaching staff.

In fact, the Hoosiers had someone at every game Jackson-Davis played for Team Teague in July. And that persistence has allowed IU to make up significant ground with the rising junior in a short amount of time.

Prior to Archie Miller’s hiring in late March, Indiana was barely even on the radar for Jackson-Davis. Thursday, he’ll make another unofficial visit to Bloomington for the IU-Ohio State football game.

“Before the coaching change, he was just kind of coming into his own, but we hadn’t heard anything from IU,” Ray Jackson, his stepfather, told Inside the Hall on Wednesday afternoon. “They actually came up his freshman year and then we really didn’t hear anything back from them.”

Miller’s emphasis on recruiting the state has already paid dividends in the class of 2018 as the Hoosiers have commitments from a pair of top 100 prospects in Damezi Anderson and Robert Phinisee. The top 2018 prospect in the state, Romeo Langford, recently included the Hoosiers on his list of seven finalists.

In 2019, IU is hot on the trail of both Jackson-Davis and Keion Brooks, a five-star forward from Fort Wayne.

When he was hired in late March, it didn’t take time for Miller and the IU staff to identify Jackson-Davis as a top priority.

“Once coach (Archie) Miller came in, the staff reached out to coach (Zach) Hahn, his high school coach,”Jackson explained. “And we went up there for a visit. And we came back a week later for a team camp and Trayce played really well. And that’s when they offered him.

“Since then, it’s every other day we’re in contact with somebody. They came to every single one of his games in July. All of July they were there. He’s built a nice little rapport with the coaching staff. Trayce has been up there three or four times and every time, it gets a little bit easier for him and the more comfortable he gets. He has nothing but good things to say about the coaching staff. They’ve done a terrific job of recruiting him.”

Jackson-Davis, who is 6-foot-8 and still growing, averaged 12.2 points and nine rebounds as sophomore.

He recently broke into the top 40 of the ESPNU top 60 for the class of 2019 and holds scholarship offers from IUPUI, Iowa, Purdue, Butler, Xavier, IU and Clemson.

Ultimately, Jackson says, his stepson has the goal of becoming a McDonald’s All-American. As his high school career has progressed, his role in the Center Grove program has evolved.

“As a freshman, they needed him to do more back against the basket,” Jackson said. “Sophomore year, you can float out just a little bit more, get more blocked shots, more rebounds and get stronger with the ball. Junior year, shoot more outside jumpers, put the ball on the floor more. And by senior year, be able to shoot 3s, bring the ball up and be able to post.

“Those are all of the things Trayce is doing right now. The timeline is perfect for him. He’s in the weight room, he’s getting bigger, his diet is getting better and he’s starting to believe now because of the success that he’s had.”

On Thursday, Jackson-Davis is expected to play pickup in Bloomington with some of the current roster, according to Jackson, before heading over to Memorial Stadium.

Opportunities to play against high level of competition are only helping Jackson-Davis to build more confidence.

“He really hasn’t even flipped the switch yet,” Jackson said. “He’s probably at 75 percent right now. When he realizes how good he really is, that’s when he’s really going to take everybody by storm.”

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  • inLinE6

    Not trying to throw anybody under the bus, and I was actually one of the bigger supporters of the previous coaching staff, but it’s a bit disturbing to hear we were not heavily involved with some 2018 and 2019 prospects with significant Indiana ties (Phinisee, Anderson, Brooks, Jackson-Davis, Watford).

  • millzy32

    Proximity to these Indiana studs can’t be overlooked. Lock up the state. Then go for the 5 stars outside the state as well. Things are looking up.

  • Fivelefts

    Man! I wish, I knew what it was like to be recruited by coach Miller! I think his belief in a player, inspires them.. and makes them want to play harder for him! 🙂 That’s how great coaches make you feel.

  • N71

    Disturbing and confusing. If you’re “Indiana” University why not recruit Indiana the state. Not only is it basic caveman logic, it should in theory be easier versus recruiting Texas for example.

  • sd chuck

    Another example of Archie and his staff going the extra mile, trying to patch up the instate standing, and doing a great job!

  • TomJameson

    Not making excuses, but TC wasn’t making 2019 offers before he left. I really can’t explain his recruiting, but he just wasn’t making those offers yet. No telling what offers he would have made, or when. But he was always out there looking, and when he made offers, he made a ton at once.

    I’d like to stop talking about TC and what he did or didn’t do. People can talk about anything they want, of course, but dang … It is MUCH more fun to look ahead than looking back.

  • IdahoHoosier

    It appears to me that Archie is selling these recruits on building an elite team. With all due respect to IU’s history, I think Archie is avoiding the “IU is an elite destination” talk, because frankly, we know it isn’t right now. So instead, he is making an elite team, which turns into an elite program, which turns into an elite destination. Just my take, but I love what I’m seeing so far.

  • plane1972

    I was a big supporter of Coach Crean – still am, he is a good man and well-intentioned – but his philosophy seemed to change after “The Movement” blew up in his face. That and the Lyles-Blackmon sagas appeared to have him questioning the validity of early commitments. I think that was the beginning of the end of his still-developing relationships with in-state coaches. I think he made an over-adjustment of sorts toward out-of-state talent and discontinuing early offers. It is a lesson that he had to learn in hindsight. Hopefully he has and will make use of those lessons in his next job.

  • IUBizmark

    But there are no Tim Prillers in IN…only TX.

  • Bruce Clark

    Another example of the positive changes in the program. As a Center Grove graduate (many years ago… ), would love to see a Trojan on the Hoosiers.

  • John Martinek


  • VOXAC30

    Tim Priller is originally from Indiana

  • Arch Puddington

    I hear you, but we are not fully past CTC. Everyone on this team was recruited by him, recruiting for 2018 and even 2019 is still affected by things he did nor didn’t do, and above all, we have yet to see even one game played under our new coach. The comparisons are inevitable, and are very rarely offered maliciously. Most people here go out of their way to point out CTC’s good points, even when they are referring to things that weren’t so great.

    And even 2-3 years from now, when we ARE fully past CTC, we won’t truly be fully past CTC. We still talk about Bob Knight and Mike Davis, and for good reason. Many of us have long memories of IU basketball, and connecting the past to the present is one of the important things about a prominent program like ours. There is no call for anyone to simply run CTC down, but I think it is entirely reasonable for his name to be brought up in other capacities, and in any case it is inevitable.

  • SilverAtlanta

    Funniest thing I have read in a long time!

  • TomJameson

    Plane, that is probably the best and most well-reasoned argument as I’ve heard about that whole mess. It makes a lot of sense as to what happened, and the timing fits. Even TC says he made a mistake in not having those “camps” that Archie reinstated, so adding that to what you said, it’s no wonder what happened, happened.

    But things at IU are looking better. Sometimes it’s best to hit reset and start over, and it looks like Archie is going to take us to the next level. Let’s hope he never gets a “movement” class like TC did.

  • TomJameson

    Just like things said to be factual Arch, not made up BS. See too much of that in this world, just say something that’s not true because you hate somebody.

    Lot’s to talk about without making stuff up. You are correct in saying it’s inevitable, but let’s not rewrite history to be what we want it to be.

  • Donnie Vick

    I agree Coach Crean shouldn’t be run down, and in fact, he should be praised. Yes, he wasn’t as successful in the NCAAs as we’d have liked, but overall he was a good steward of the program. Just think about where the program was when he took over and his letting Senderoff have it for “nearly wrecking our program” as he said after we won the Big 10 on UM’s court. Then think of where he left it. No NCAA trouble, good kids that have talent. We’re in good shape to have great success.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Sticking my nose where it shouldn’t be, but inline commented that it was sad that IU wasn’t involved in those 2018/19 recruits, and your response was that CTC hadn’t made offers. Isn’t that the same thing? Doesn’t sound like anyone rewrote history, and in fact you appear to agree on the issue!

  • Arch Puddington

    For the record, this is exactly why I expressed some dismay at the news of yet another 3-star 2018 forward coming for an official visit. Almost regardless of what CM sees in him, we know from the Movement just how risky it is to go in too heavily on a single class. We have an outstanding group already lined up for 2018, and a big one to boot. The only way I would add a fifth player to the four we already have is if it were Romeo Langford, Darius Garland, or some other prospect likely to have immediate — and substantial — impact. Four is plenty, and CM himself said he did not want to fill up the roster just for its own sake. He’s made a lot of good moves so far, but we are too close in time to the Movement for me to feel good about building another huge class.

  • marcusgresham

    If the players are high-level enough I don’t mind it, because those classes will even themselves out by virtue of players leaving early. The current senior class (1, not counting Hartman as a redshirt senior,) is a perfect example.

  • marcusgresham

    I think history will treat Tom Crean much the way it did Mike Davis. Davis was welcomed with open arms and appreciation when Texas Southern came to Bloomington, despite the way his tenure ended. He also took over in what looked like the worst-case scenario (which we later found out, could, in fact, be far worse which led to Crean coming into the picture.)

  • marcusgresham

    I think back to the way Dale Davis played and I can’t think of a guy who would have been more of an Archie Miller-type. Hopefully heredity plays a factor here.

  • hardly

    Crystal Cove, Indiana?

  • plane1972

    My concern with the Movement wasn’t its size, but its ultimate lack of impact (outside of Yogi, of course). I always side with the coach and trust Archie, as I did with Crean before that, and even Kelvin before that. Yikes! Forget everything I just said.

  • timamac

    And this Trojan from New Castle (Hahn, also), would also love to see him be a Hoosier!

  • David R. Dokmanovich

    I think his current dad, Ray Jackson, is ex-NFL also. Some good genes and people to learn from.

  • weitrhino

    Trayce appears to be a lefty, so that ought to give defenders a bit of a wrinkle. It’ll be interesting to see how much he grows over the next 2 years. He could be scary.

  • Outoftheloop

    That would be 5, counting Hartman. What is with the “not counting” qualifier? You have to account for all of the real facts, not pick and choose to reinforce your conclusion!

  • Outoftheloop

    Mike Davis faced a fair amount of subtle racism and feelings that he was a traitor to Bobby Knight. He had a tough go at IU, and he did place #2 in the NCAA without a truly great roster, very good, but only Jarred was great.

  • Outoftheloop

    Trayce is a great Hoosier talent, along with Keion. Get them both in candy-stripes Coach Archie! Then add in Hurt from MN. Sounds like a gang-buster class in 2019!

  • Chappy Dan

    Fab 5 Ray Jackson?

  • Arch Puddington

    I would argue, though, that the size DOES matter. At minimum, it puts too much of a team’s success on one group. I think there is an argument to be made the the Movement cost CTC his job. When that one class didn’t pan out, he never could get the program back on stable, consistent ground. CM himself has said he doesn’t want imbalanced classes, and would be willing to leave scholarships open rather than get things too imbalanced.

    Further, loading up with players one year carries with it an opportunity cost down the road even if the players pan out. I know for a fact we lost Gary Harris because the roster was so crowded. Obviously he was better than anyone we got at his position from the Movement, but the number of players we had committed was enough by itself to cause him to look elsewhere. No telling who else we might have gotten if we hadn’t been so loaded with what looked like a bunch of multi-year players. Our 2018 roster will have 5 top 100 forwards between 6’6″ and 6’9″, plus Clifton Moore, who is taller but not an interior player. Will that have any impact on guys like Keion Brooks or Matthew Hurt? Hard to say, but even guys like that look at playing time. And if we add Jake Forrester to the roster, the number of scholarships we have available for both 2018 and 2019 goes down more still. At present there is only one player scheduled to leave the team after 2018 (JM), so at this point any more scholarships we give for 2018 take away directly from what we can offer in 2019. Is Romeo Langford worth that? Of course. Is a three star forward? I just can’t see how.

  • Mr. Shep-dizzle

    Totally agree with you. I worry that it can lead to an overcrowded bench and therefore unhappy player that starts the cycle of players transferring because unhappy with playing time. We could also lose out on a player of need because we don’t have enough available scholarships. Until given a reason to doubt I’ll trust coach knows exactly what he’s doing.

  • TomJameson

    Just adding this comment here because, Marcus, you have an excellent and valid point about high-level players leaving early, even IU sees it almost every year.

    This current class, 2017-18 is filled, and has 5 seniors. If one looks at the scholarship link at the top of the page, the 2018-19 class looks like it already has 4 freshman, but still two openings. That’s because Race is a redshirt FR, and is listed as a FR in both classes. But, the point is that we have two scholarships left for 2018-19, and one senior. So, on paper, we have one to three scholarships open for the 2019-20.

    If Romeo takes a 2018-19 scholarship, you can be sure that he will enter the draft and open that scholarship back up. That is the perfect, and most obvious, example of a high-quality player leaving early.

    So look at De’Ron Davis. Everyone expects him to have a great year, and that comes from Archie. Say he has a great two years and enters the draft after his JR year (which is what I project). That leaves another one for the 2019-20 year.

    An argument can be made for Smith, Moore, Green, or any of the top-100 players. They all will have two years of playing to show their stuff and get drafted. Any of them going to the draft will open yet another scholarship for the 2019-20 class.

    All this is make-believe, of course. But so is anybody’s predictions. I’m just going to stay in my belief that the 2019-20 class will have 3-4 scholarships available, no matter if the 2018-19 class is filled or not. Archie is in charge, so (like plane1972) I’ll trust he knows what he’s doing.

  • VOXAC30

    Not sure but he posted it on twitter one day.

  • marcusgresham

    I only threw that in there because the guys who were recruited together to comprise this class have, with the exception of one guy, have moved on. I wasn’t trying to create any “alternate facts.”

  • gr8iufan

    I am sure there have been more than a few Trojans on Hoosier in the past.
    Sorry couldn’t resist.