Woodson on TJD: ‘I’m going to beg for him to stay with me’

Only a few days removed from being an NBA assistant coach, Mike Woodson can speak with some authority about what it takes for a player to make it in The League.

In a pre-recorded interview with IU radio man Don Fischer, Woodson made very clear Tuesday he thinks Trayce Jackson-Davis needs another year of college basketball.

“When I look at the big fella Davis, he’s had a tremendous Big Ten career. I mean, the kid averaged 20 points in the Big Ten. That’s big-time,” said Woodson, who was named IU men’s basketball’s head coach on Monday. “But he’s gotta be able to use his other hand. I’m going to beg for him to stay with me, and talking to his parents, because I think I can help him develop and get to the next level, because there’s some eyes out there that are looking at him.”

Along with five players still in the transfer portal, Jackson-Davis is the biggest shoe yet to drop for IU basketball. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, the 6-foot-9 sophomore is most certainly on the radar of NBA teams and could leave school for the draft. As Woodson alluded, Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 19.1 points, 9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.

At the same time, his limitations as a player are obvious. Built like an NBA four-man, Jackson-Davis’ ability to hit a 10- to 15-foot jump shot could heavily determine the length and quality of his NBA career. In his first two seasons at IU, he’s scored most of his points in the paint. He’s also left-hand dominant, rarely using his right hand to finish in the lane.

Woodson was speaking more broadly with Fischer about what it would take for IU to take a step forward as a program, and player development was top of mind for him.

Then, he jumped to Jackson-Davis.

“I still think he needs to be polished a little more in his development stage,” Woodson said, “and in doing that I can’t help but think that would help our program.”

This isn’t the first very public push Woodson has made for Jackson-Davis to return to IU, because he made similar statements Monday in a radio interview with Dan Dakich.

In a larger sense, Woodson understands he can’t move forward without “recruiting” some of his own players back to Bloomington. Along with Jackson-Davis weighing the NBA, Hoosier starters Armaan Franklin and Race Thompson are in the transfer portal, along with freshmen Khristian Lander and Jordan Geronimo.

Parker Stewart, a grad transfer from UT-Martin, who joined IU’s program midseason, is also in the portal.

“I gotta get a team,” Woodson said, “and I don’t know what that team is going to be yet, based on what players decide to do.”


  1. TJD likely wouldn’t be able to play under a better situation unless Georgetown is in the running.

      1. And wealthier for it, too. The difference between NBA first round and second round draft pick is millions of dollars.

  2. One would think that TJD’s father, a one time NBA player, would know Woodson’s reputation and what he accomplished in the NBA and then tell TJD that he needs to stick around for another year. Get as much as he can out of Woodson to better his chances to move up to the first round or a possible lottery pick.

  3. Obviously Woody’s ego is not so big that he’s unwilling to use the word beg. But hopefully, he won’t have house that word much longer when referring to his recruiting tactics.

    1. If TJD were playing for (let’s see) NC, Duke, KY, or even PU should he stay for another year? Or just for IU fans and bloggers.

  4. Just for IU fans and bloggers…I think he’s gone (most likely via transfer). At SI NBA prospects site, he’s only listed 3 spots lower than Luka Garza and one spot higher than Aaron Henry.

    Still a potential couple million per year? He’s not ready but unless Woodson can land a complete game-changing recruit very soon, I doubt Trayce stays. Your development is only as good as the complementary pieces. He’ll search for a strong team.

    These coaching changes are very disruptive. Start calling Danny Moore’s nephew.

  5. Off-topic a bit …but I think a Beilein coached Michigan team shuts the door on that UCLA. Howard’s team looked entirely lost…(especially in the final five minutes). They only had one elite scorer on UCLA to shutdown and couldn’t get it done. Beilein gave Michigan a huge shot in the arm….Rebuilds can disintegrate quickly. Beilein knew how to find the warriors who wouldn’t fold when the lights were brightest…The next couple seasons are going to be the true testing ground for Juwan.

    1. One way to become the world’s greatest coach is get a new coaching gig. Most in amazement and surprise instantly on board and predict future of a coach in new gig he is the greatest coach with 0 wins.

  6. No matter who plays Gonzaga, it will likely look like a bloodletting. Maybe better Michigan bowed out now. Unlike the pundits, I only believe Houston, not Baylor, to have the slimmest of outside shot in stopping the Zags. Houston defends and rebounds like no other. Grimes and DeJon Jarreau are top notch talents. Sampson is the best coach of those not Mark Few.

  7. Speaking of the NBA and Hoosiers, I just heard on ESPN’s ‘Pardon the Interruption’ that being on the Heat doesn’t necessarily mean you can take the heat. Oladipo not making the trip to Indy with his new team…Lol. “Because it’s a head cold.” One day they’re chanting your name, next day it’s a sneeze and a guillotine.

    1. As Olidipo described himself a couple of years ago before appearing as ‘Thigamajig’ as a mystery singer,…”I’m feathery.” No truer words were ever spoken. AKA lightweight. Cough, cough cough…

  8. Does Oladipo get a bonus like hazardous pay for head cold? Agents and contracts. (Contract Agents for these guys don’t even have to play)

  9. Saw somewhere that Musa Jallow is hitting transfer portal. Bloomington kid wanting to come home? Wonder the reason to leave OSU

  10. PAC-12’s reward for teams success in the current NCAA tourney ….. $38,647,150. Allocated over the next 6 years.

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