Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Indiana freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino shoots a 3 during Indiana's win over Ohio State on Jan. 28. (HN photo/Daniel Rodriguez)
Indiana freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino shoots a 3 during Indiana's win over Ohio State on Jan. 28. (HN photo/Daniel Rodriguez)

Jalen Hood-Schifino plays through sickness, helps lead Indiana past Ohio State

Hood-Schifino’s 24-point outburst was exactly what Indiana needed

This is the game Jalen Hood-Schifino needed. 

After two straight games scoring in single digits, Hood-Schifino went off for 24 points in the win over the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday night. Twenty of his 24 total points came in just the first half of play.

If that doesn’t impress you then this might. Hood-Schifino was able to score at will while being sick. 

After the game, Mike Woodson told reporters that Hood-Schifino was dealing with an upset stomach all night. Before tip-off, Woodson told him that he was going to have to get out on the floor and tough it out. It surely seemed like Hood-Schifino toughed it out Saturday.

“You got to play when you’re sick,” Woodson said. “I told him right before the game that I’ve had some of my best games when I’m sick.”

Starting off the game in Assembly Hall, Hood-Schifino scored 17 of the Hoosiers’ 23 points by the under-eight media timeout. During that time he did not miss a single 3 he shot, going 5-for-5 from downtown.

Along with Hood-Schifino’s high school teammate Malik Reneau, the two combined for a total of 39 points, missing just eight shots. Between Hood-Schifino and Reaneau, this duo will certainly be one to watch as the years progress.

“Even whenever I challenge [Hood-Schifino] he listens,” Woodson said. “Whenever he steps onto the floor he is serious about his approach.” 

Indiana freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino warms up before Indiana's loss to Northwestern on Jan. 8. (HN photo/Cam Schultz)

The freshman has been a big driving force for the Indiana offense in the absence of Xavier Johnson the past month. 

However, Hood-Schifino’s confidence has not dwindled due to his bad shooting nights. Since his offensive outburst in the loss to Northwestern, Hood-Schifino has shot 35% from the field through five games, those five being wins.

“I can’t complain with anything he has done,” Woodson said. “If he messes something up on the court I’ll let him know.”

In the game against Ohio State, Hood-Schifino looked as confident as ever. Six 3s in the first half, including multiple pull-up 3s in transition, gave Hood-Schifino the third 20-plus point outing of his young career with the Hoosiers.

Since Johnson’s injury against Kansas in December, Hood-Schifino has been averaging 15 points a game and shooting just under 50% from the field.

He has been streaky at times though. After scoring over 15 points in four straight games following the loss in Lawrence, Kansas, Hood-Schifino averaged just nine points through the next five which included only two points against Michigan State.

“He’s been doing other things besides scoring,” Woodson said, “he just hasn’t been able to put the ball in the hole the past couple games.”

Hood-Schifino’s Saturday night outburst is exactly what this Indiana team needs from the young guard moving forward in Big Ten play. Next week will certainly be a test for him. The Hoosiers will travel to College Park on Tuesday to play the Terrapins who have only lost at home once.

Until Johnson returns from his hiatus, Hood-Schifino takes on a lot more responsibility on the offensive end. That is a challenge he is up for.

“He is ready to go at any moment and any time,” Reneau said. “He is really prepared for when those games come and perform like he did today.”

Indiana improved to 15-6 after the win against Ohio State as well as jumping up to the top half in the Big Ten standings. If the Hoosiers want to continue this run it starts with Hood-Schifino. Trayce Jackson-Davis will undoubtedly continue to play at a high level night in and night out, but Hood-Schifino will be able to elevate Indiana’s game that much more.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 Hoosier Network