Jackson-Davis named to All-B1G third, freshman teams

Indiana freshman Trayce Jackson-Davis took home some All-Big Ten honors Monday.

The 6-foot-9 forward from Greenwood was named third-team All-Big Ten, and he also made the conference’s all-freshman team.

llinois’ Kofi Cockburn took home the conference’s overall freshman of the year award. Iowa junior Luka Garza was named the Big Ten player of the year.

Jackson-Davis has paced the Hoosiers in several categories — and by significant margins. His point-per-game average of 13.6 sits above Devonte Green’s 10.8. He pulls in three more rebounds per game (8.2) than his closest competitor, Joey Brunk (5.2). He has 59 more free throw attempts (166) than Al Durham (107) and he’s the only Hoosier with triple-digit makes (114).

Jackson-Davis also has 55 blocks, more than any other five Hoosiers combined. He’s nine blocks away from tying D.J. White’s freshman record of 64.

His leading role at IU became so apparent, so early, IU coach Archie Miller stressed throughout the season the importance of Jackson-Davis asserting himself. When the freshman faded in a loss at Michigan, putting up just three shots, Miller had a talk with him. Jackson-Davis has averaged 11.3 shots per game since.

“The fact he’s a freshman, it’s not fair,” Miller said, “but it is what it is. He’s gotta play.’

And for the most part, he has. Jackson-Davis has posted 11 double-doubles on the year. His field goal percentage of 56.8 would rank fifth in a single season for a freshman at IU, ahead of Cody Zeller’s 56.2.

Jackson-Davis has won five Big Ten freshman of the week honors, just behind the seven racked up by Cockburn.

Of course, the Hoosiers have had stud freshmen of late, most notably one-and-done guard Romeo Langford. The current Boston Celtic was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the conference’s coaches last year.

The microscope Langford lived under was quite different from the one Jackson-Davis has dealt with, but Miller can appreciate how both responded to being in-state stars.

“I think Trayce has probably dealt with one-tenth of what Romeo had to deal with through the course of the season,” Miller said in late February. “Trayce’s impact on our team, and Trayce’s play, has been second to none. Trayce is a different type of a kid. He’s a different type of a player coming in, although McDonald’s All-American and although Indiana Mr. Basketball, it wasn’t the savior of the universe that was coming to help us.

“Trayce is good in his own right, and he hasn’t had the fame on the way in … but he’s national freshman of the week (on Feb. 25) in college basketball … and he’s doing a great job for us.”

The other Hoosier honored Monday was redshirt junior Joey Brunk, who earned the conference’s sportsmanship award.

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