Indiana Basketball: Trayce Jackson-Davis making case for best freshman in country

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Indiana basketball freshman has had a terrific start to his college career and while flying under the radar, he has put up huge numbers thus far.

Vernon Carey, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Cole Anthony, and Isaiah Stewart. Those were some of the big time freshmen that were heading into college this season. For Indiana basketball, a year after watching Romeo Langford in an IU jersey, it was time for another McDonald’s All-American to step foot in Bloomington, but this time with less hype than the Indiana freshman before him, and multiple freshmen in his own class.

Insert Trayce Jackson-Davis. The 6-foot-10, lefty, big man who was looking to make his mark in Indiana history. Everyone knew it would happen, but just maybe not this fast.

Still receiving a lot less national publicity than the aforementioned names, Jackson-Davis is ranked amongst the best freshmen in the nation in almost every statistical category. What is so impressive though, is how efficient he is.

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Though he is ranked 17th in the NCAA in scoring amongst freshmen (15.1), he is doing it on much fewer opportunities than almost every freshman in the category. With just 7.9 shots per game, that number is two less than anyone else in the top 20, and nearly four less than the average of the top 20 of 11.2 attempts per game. Even more impressive? His usage rate of 21.0 percent ranks No. 131 in the nation, amongst freshmen. 

Despite the lack of opportunities Jackson-Davis has in comparison to the rest of the top freshmen, that hasn’t held him back from doing major damage to opponents.

With an offensive rating of 140.9, ranked fourth amongst all freshmen, and his player efficiency rating (PER) ranks third (32.7), he has been nearly unguardable for most of the season.

With five double-doubles, including a 25-point and 15-rebound performance, Jackson-Davis does what he does best and doesn’t let anyone force him out of his game.

Not known for an outside shooter, he rarely settles for anything outside of the paint, and really the block. Shooting 64 percent on the season, he has yet to attempt a three, but made up for that lack of ability, with his ability to get to the free-throw line. With 6.7 attempts per game, second for NCAA freshmen, he is connecting at a 73 percent rate, making sure to take full advantage of all of his opportunities.

Overall, through 11 games, Jackson-Davis is averaging 15.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. Jackson-Davis is a true gamer and has it, whatever it is.

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Being the catalyst to Indiana’s 10-1 start this year, Jackson-Davis will soon make his full arrival on the national stage, but until then, he continues to get things done in the shadow of the ‘big name’ freshmen who haven’t been doing it at as high of a level as the one in Bloomington.