basketball IU managing high expectations as Jackson-Davis returns – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | indian weather

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (WISH) — It may only be September, but expectations for Indiana basketball this year haven’t been this high in nearly a decade. Indiana University entered the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years last season. Most of that team is returning to the Assembly Hall this year, which is great news for this team of Hoosiers who are desperate to get back on top.

“When I got here and took the job, expectations were high,” said coach and former Hoosiers star Mike Woodson. “This program is built that way, and it should be that way. It is what it is, man. I’m not going to run away from it and I’m not going to let my players run away from it.”

IU’s top three scorers – Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson and Xavier Johnson – are back with very specific goals in mind: to live up to high expectations.

“Finally coming here for this historic show and having an expectation to do something big, I think it’s huge,” said Jackson-Davis. “Obviously we’re going to carry this with a chip on our shoulder, but I think our team is hungry and we’re ready to get out there and play.”

Key to IU’s potential success will be the return of last year’s top scorer and All-American Jackson-Davis, who averaged nearly 19 points per game last season.

“I mean, he’s the biggest part of our team, so him coming back is huge for us,” Thompson said. “I mean, I love playing with Trayce. It makes the game easier for me. He makes the game easier for our teammates.”

“The fact that he made the commitment to come back is huge for our show. I mean, it’s like the play for the show,” Woodson said. “He still has a lot of work on the table. He has a lot of things to finish. You talk about legacy, legacy is putting another Big Ten title here. Legacy is putting up another national title. That’s what it’s about.”

Five banners hang in the Assembly Hall, two of them marking Woodson’s career as a player here. Earning your own ring and getting another one is at the top of your list for your second year as IU’s coach.

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