Indiana basketball prospect Trayce Jackson-Davis’ busy summer leading right into a hectic fall

Trayce Jackson-Davis takes the ball to the rim against the defense of Deng Reng of the ET21 Buckeyes during a July 27 game at Spiece Fieldhouse. The game was part of the GRBA National Championships that Jackson-Davis' Indy Heat team won. (Photo by Dan Vance of News-Sentinel.com)
Trayce Jackson-Davis shoots a free throw during the second half of July 27 game at Spiece Fieldhouse. The game was part of the GRBA National Championships that Jackson-Davis' Indy Heat team won. (Photo by Dan Vance of News-Sentinel.com)

There are more things known than unknown regarding Indiana high school basketball sensation Trayce Jackson-Davis.

This much is known:

• He is a really talented basketball athlete, and

• There are six universities that have the opportunity to have him within their program following his final season at Center Grove High School this year.

The 2019 Indiana Mr. Basketball candidate narrowed his college choice over the weekend to the following schools (in no particular order): Indiana, Purdue, Wake Forest, Michigan State, UCLA, and Iowa.

Just who is the leader among those programs? That is an unknown.

“When the time comes to make the decision,” Jackson-Davis told News-Sentinel.com recently following his participation in the GRBA Nationals in Fort Wayne, “whatever school I choose I want it to be the right decision.”

Another ‘known’ about Jackson-Davis is that he flies out to southern California later this week to compete/participate in the prestigious Nike Skills Academy along with a select handful of the nation’s elite high school players, including former North Side High School standout, Keion Brooks Jr.

Both will participate in two-a-day workouts Thursday through Saturday, which culminates with an “Academy Showcase Game” Sunday.

Jackson-Davis admitted that he isn’t a finished product and working with the Nike Academy staff – against the nation’s best young athletes – will enhance the areas of his game that need the most attention.

“I have to be pretty versatile and be able to handle the ball and shoot the ball a little bit so I can space the floor,” Jackson-Davis said. “That is where I see myself right now.”

Another ‘unknown’ about Jackson-Davis is just how big is he? Depending on the website or the story, he may be anywhere from 6-foot-8 to 6-foot-10 (which is what USA Basketball listed him as earlier this summer) and weighing anywhere from 205 to 228 (again, USA Basketball’s measurement). But regardless of his exact measurement, the kid can obviously play and has proven so repeatedly.

He averaged 25 points, nine rebounds and four blocks per game in helping Center Grove to 20 wins and an IHSAA Class 4A sectional title as a junior.

He was one of the select players from across the nation to earn a coveted spot on the gold medal-winning USA squad in the recent FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Canada. In that event, he averaged nearly seven points and four rebounds per game.

The rest of this summer, he helped form a pseudo-all-star team for Indy Heat (along with Brooks) and put on some spectacular performances.

“Just to represent our state,” Jackson-Davis explained of playing on the team, “that is really cool to have all of the best players on the same team. We get everyone’s best shot, but it’s really cool we get to play with each other for this last run.”

In last month’s famed ‘Peach Jam’ tournament, Davis struggled early, as his team lost three of five games. However, he closed the event with a 24-point, 18-rebound performance in front of a horde of college coaches, most notably Indiana University coach Archie Miller.

“We have been everyone’s Super Bowl,” Jackson-Davis said of playing for Indy Heat, “so we have to come into every game. We have a target on our backs.”

The Hoosiers will have anywhere from two scholarships available for this year’s senior class (graduate student Evan Fitzner and senior Juwan Morgan will leave following this season) or more due to transfers or early departures for the pros.

Miller has offered both Brooks and Jackson-Davis, who are closely ranked nationally (both mostly thought to be among the top 20 players, depending on the scouting service).

For Jackson-Davis, not only is Bloomington in close proximity geographically, but he also finds other traits in which he would blend in well with Indiana.

“They run an offense similar to our offense (with Indy Heat), which is kind of cool,” Jackson-Davis said.

However, Hoosier Nation, temper that excitement a tad.

“I’m looking at them the same way I am looking at everyone else,” Jackson-Davis added.

Miller and Brooks will visit Indiana for the annual open practice/fan fest “Hoosier Hysteria” on Sept. 29, while Jackson-Davis also has other visits scheduled this fall, including UCLA (Aug. 31), Iowa (Sept. 7), Wake Forest (Sept. 21), Michigan State (Oct. 5), and Purdue (Nov. 3).

For more on the sport of basketball, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010 and Facebook at Thomas Davis.

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