“Trayce Jackson-Davis announces he will return to Indiana,” reads the headline at 247sports. In other self-evident news, Americans are tired of staying at home to avoid spreading the Coronavirus.
Maybe Jackson-Davis had been asked repeatedly whether he had decided whether he would jump to the NBA after his freshman year, and felt the need to end the questioning through making this announcement via Twitter:
— TJD (@TrayceJackson) April 26, 2020
Nothing wrong with clarity, but did anyone expect Jackson-Davis to seriously consider blowing off another season in Bloomington in order to become an undrafted free agent looking forward to a year or more in the G-League or roll to Europe.
Scouts say Jackson-Davis can play in the NBA if he builds muscle and develop a three-point shot. There is a big difference between a really good Big 10 freshman and an NBA power forward, and that was reflected in mock drafts that were unanimous in not listing Jackson-Davis as a selection.
Regardless of any of the ways those in the NBA believe Jackson-Davis needs to evolve to earn millions, what’s the hurry?
Life will get serious soon enough. Professional opportunities will come. Why not take another year, learn the game, build muscle and competence shooting threes, enjoy life as a college student, and then move on to what’s next?
It works for everyone else.
The NBA made the decision for Jackson-Davis easy by not expressing a hell of a lot of interest in welcoming him into their very exclusive fraternity, but those 30 general managers might have done him a favor.
Adulthood lasts a long time once you are in it, and there is no going back. Some grown-ups try to re-litigate their childhood when they turn 40. Maybe by going back for his sophomore year, Jackson-Davis can make his mistakes now and reduce his impulse to do that in 20 years.
People say jumping early allows NBA players to get to their second contract earlier. Is that really where we are as a society? People with millions need more millions quicker? Maybe I’m a romantic, but earning enough money to buy all the roses without taking some time to smell them is idiotic.
Life isn’t a race to be sprinted through – it’s to be savored. Jackson-Davis will savor at least one more year in Bloomington.
Good for him.
And it’s good for Indiana Basketball – a program lurching forward bit by bit each year under Archie Miller. IU will return all five starters and three key bench players. Miller will also welcome at least three freshmen who will vie for minutes.
Indiana might finally have hit the tipping point into repeatable success that has been absent in Bloomington for a quarter century, and Jackson-Davis will be a big part of the reason.