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Trayce Jackson-Davis has become multi-dimensional, and that means a lot for Indiana

When you think of Trayce Jackson-Davis you think of 43-point stat lines and soul crushing dunks. For a guy who leads the NCAA in dunks he’s pretty hard to miss. Wednesday night in Indiana’s 79-61 win against Northern Kentucky, he displayed that he’s become much more than just a scorer to this team. 

Before this season TJD was never elite on the defensive end or a big with excellent court vision but through 12 games this season it’s easy to argue that those are the two biggest jumps he has made. 

TJD rises for a dunk against Merrimack. (Eden Snower/HN)

The preseason All-American has learned when to pass against the double team, when to split it, how to find open shooters across the court from the opposite block and has perfected timing opposing drives and layups. 

And against Northern Kentucky he posted a stat line of 21 points, six rebounds and four assists.

TJD has improved his block percentage by 5.9 percent from last year with a percentage of 10.7, 30th in the country. This block percentage and his ability to contest shots without fouling has led Indiana to allow the third lowest effective field goal percentage in the country, 40.4.

As for the offensive end of the court, Jackson-Davis not only dished out four assists but also had zero turnovers against the Norse. This season Jackson-Davis has 22 assists. That’s already more than half of his total last season, 37.

These facets have allowed the Hoosiers a lot more flexibility on the offensive side of the ball. 

Most importantly this has had a great impact on fellow big man Race Thompson. Thompson has been Mr. Consistent for IU this season, completing Indiana’s lineup and playing with chemistry. 

We saw this here. 

Thompson is averaging a career high in both points and rebounds this season with 10.6 and 8.2 respectively. 

He and TJD combined to shoot 80 percent from the field against Northern Kentucky. 

“I always talk about buddy ball, and they’re really good buddies when it comes to playing buddy ball,” Indiana head coach Mike Woodson said after the game on TJD and Race Thompson’s chemistry. 

Once again, Indiana’s schedule has not been strong to start the season but this foundation is something that won’t sway or disappear come Big Ten play. 

This adjustment from Jackson-Davis into being more than just a scorer has not only made his time at Indiana much more valuable and allowed his teammates to play to their skill level but has made him more valuable to the NBA. 

No matter how good you are, if you’re a one-dimensional player it is extremely hard to make it to the league. TJD adding these very important skills to his game has made him a more valuable player not only at Indiana but to NBA scouts. 

TJD can continue to help the Hoosiers by spinning out of double teams and soaring to the rim but most importantly he makes his teammates better.

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