Indiana basketball and Trayce Jackson-Davis take on Xavier on Friday, as we predict Jackson-Davis’ domination of the Musketeers’ big men and more.
After a 2-0 start to the season, the Hoosiers look to take on their first big challenge in their non-conference schedule with a road game against unranked Xavier in Cincinnati. As of right this week, Indiana is ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and the Musketeers are knocking on the door, receiving votes and sitting at No. 31 overall.
My last bold predictions for the matchup against Bethune-Cookman worked out pretty well, as I was right on the mark with Jalen Hood-Schifino totaling eight assists, but Race Thompson did not play a significant role in the win, along with TJD and Malik Reneau only combining for 30 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hoosiers will hope to earn some respect in this game, and that will be led by senior superstar, Trayce Jackson-Davis and freshman standout, Jalen Hood-Schifino.
Here are my three bold predictions for the No. 12 team in the nation facing Xavier on the road on Friday night in the Gavitt Tipoff Games:
Three bold predictions for No. 12 Indiana basketball @ Xavier
#3. Mike Woodson’s defense hold the Musketeers under 65 points
Since his first season joining the Indiana basketball program as head coach, Mike Woodson’s defense is ranked eighth among major conference teams in points per game allowed at 51.0. In the 26 games against major conference opponents last season, the Hoosiers’ defense limited teams to less than 65 points in 11 of those games (winning eight of those).
Xavier, on the other hand, has scored 96, 86, and 78 points in their first three games this season. Of course, the Musketeers have faced Morgan State, Montana State, and Fairfield in those games, but nevertheless, it seems as though the team can score the ball.
The one problem that Xavier has on their side is the ability to shoot the ball from deep. In their first three games, the Musketeers have knocked down 20-of-44 shots from behind the arc, but with only 14.7 three-point attempts per game, that’s the second-fewest of all major conference teams thus far this season.
In their last six games against ranked opponents, Xavier has been held to under 65 points in four of those six games, scoring 92 points in a loss to No. 11 Providence last season and 74 points in a win against No. 24 UConn.