This is not just a trait that will help Jackson-Davis get to the next level. If Jackson-Davis shows he can defend smaller players, it will allow Woodson and the Hoosiers to lean into a switch-heavy defense that the team deployed at times last year.
Watch this first-half possession from Woodson’s first game as head coach last year, where everyone but Jackson-Davis switched on screens.
If Jackson-Davis can also show the ability to switch often, it will open a lot for Indiana defensively while increasing his NBA stock. Jackson-Davis isn’t incredibly large, so he can certainly improve his agility going into this season.
Jackson-Davis rarely scores outside of 10 feet. He is still an incredible scorer, but a lack of range limits his offensive game.
You probably knew this is an area Jackson-Davis has to improve at. There’s not much supplementary video to show for it because Jackson-Davis hardly ever even attempts these shots, never mind making them.
Jackson-Davis and Woodson are going into another season saying that they expect to see him let it fly more.
“The biggest thing for me really is when I was out there, it was just shooting," Jackson-Davis said of his training in L.A. this summer. "That's all I was doing was shooting, from everywhere, whether it be 3s, 2s, free throws. That's what the scouts said they wanted to see, so that's what I was doing.”
“Everybody looks at this thing where he's got to be a 3-point shooter. I think if he makes a 15 to 17-foot shot, it's just as effective,” Woodson said at Indiana’s media day.
This sentiment from Woodson is accurate. It doesn’t matter if Jackson-Davis becomes a 3-point marksman. It’s more important that he displays some ability to stretch the floor, whether it’s a 3-pointer or not.
“I think this summer, the work that he's put in, he's shown that he can make that shot, and he has made them in our little pickup games and things of that nature. He's just got to carry it over to the real game when it counts,” Woodson added.
At this point, Jackson-Davis stretching the floor is more of an “actions speak louder than words” matter. We’ll probably see him attempt these jumpers early in the year, but time will tell if this continues and if Jackson-Davis hits the shots at an adequate level.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JACKSON-DAVIS IN 2022-23
At worst, Jackson-Davis is slated to be one of the 10 best players in men’s college hoops. His two-way impact is the top reason the Hoosiers are ranked 13th in the preseason AP poll. Jackson-Davis will certainly be excellent. The question is if he takes it to another level in his senior year.
This is the fourth preseason player analysis. Check out all of the deep dives here.