Indiana men’s basketball junior Trayce Jackson-Davis announced on Friday that he will return to Bloomington for the 2022-2023 season. The news comes one day after it was announced that Jackson-Davis was unable to participate in various events at the NBA Combine due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Jackson-Davis declared for the NBA draft on April 9 with the option to withdraw by June 1 and return to school. The NBA Combine, an important step in the draft process consisting of workouts and interviews with teams, individual athletic testing and 5v5 scrimmages, began on Monday, May 16 and will conclude on Sunday, May 22.
Jackson-Davis was invited to the combine, but his name was not listed on the individual test results or the 5v5 rosters that came out later in the week. It was released on Thursday that the junior forward had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, resulting in his ineligibility for the remaining events.
Entering the draft process was deemed a wise decision for Jackson-Davis by many fans and media members, as he would have the chance to receive feedback from scouts and coaches on which he could base his choice to stay in the draft or return to Bloomington. After the recent cancellations and lost opportunities, though, Jackson-Davis released the ever-famous words, “I’m back.”
Jackson-Davis’ return places Indiana as a strong Big Ten title contender and a preseason top-25 candidate. As far as individual accolades are concerned, he will also likely be in the running for Big Ten Player of the Year, the Karl Malone Award and the Wooden Award.
Jackson-Davis is currently top-10 all time in rebounds, blocked shots and field goal percentage on the Indiana men’s basketball leaderboards. He stands 15th on the all-time scoring list with 1,588 points and has a chance to end up top-3 all time if he can duplicate or improve his scoring from last season.