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Jackson-Davis leads IU to 79-66 win in Bahamas opener

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TJD was TJD. Meanwhile, a couple newcomers made their marks in IU’s victory over BC Mega

Michigan v Indiana
Trayce Jackson-Davis #23 of the Indiana Hoosiers on the court in the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Assembly Hall on February 27, 2021 in Bloomington, Indiana.
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Trayce Jackson-Davis looked like Trayce Jackson-Davis. Miller Kopp did Miller Kopp things. And Tamar Bates made sure we remembered his name, too.

Hoosiers old and new combined for a 79-66 victory over BC Mega in Friday’s exhibition in The Bahamas, the first of two friendlies between the teams this weekend in the Imperial Ballroom at Atlantis Paradise Island.

Here are a few quick observations from the box score:

TJD authored his usual line

He played 32 minutes, logged a team-high 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds. It was, indeed, a vintage effort from Jackson-Davis. The Hoosiers’ junior forward also enjoyed a fruitful partnership with veteran guard Rob Phinisee, per IndyStar’s Zach Osterman:

You’re probably wondering how they shot the ball, huh?

The question will be asked until it is, once and for all, firmly and decisively answered: Can this team shoot?

There is, of course, literally no way to answer that question on Aug. 13, and we said in our preview that we’d try not to overreact one way or the other. So let’s just lay out the numbers:

  • IU went 7-for-18 (38.9%) from 3-point range after starting 6-for-11 from beyond the arc over the first 27 minutes of regulation. For what it’s worth, last year’s team shot 38.9% or better only eight times in 27 games.
  • Kopp, a stretch forward who transferred from Northwestern this spring, looked like the player IU hopes he’ll be during Big Ten play, draining three of his four 3-point attempts, finishing with 14 points and ending the night as a team-best plus-17.
  • At the line, IU shot just 60%. The good news, I guess, is that Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson went a combined 4-for-5 from the stripe during the second half.

Hello, Tamar

I don’t know about you, but I’m already really enjoying Mike Woodson’s press conferences. They’re interesting, honest, insightful and vastly different from the ones begrudgingly staged by his predecessor.

Before the Hoosiers left for paradise, Woodson hopped on Zoom and offered an appraisal of his roster, saying this about freshman guard Tamar Bates:

“Young Tamar Bates, he’s a typical freshman. The good thing about him is he’s put on about 12 pounds from the time he’s come in here and that’s a bonus because he was real light in the butt and we needed him to pick up some weight. But you know, he’s a cocky kid that is not scared and I kind of like that in him.”

Good to know! Although we didn’t get to actually watch this game, it does seem that the newcomer from Kansas wasn’t lacking any confidence in his first game with his new team.

Bates scored 14 points in 18 minutes off the bench, going 5-for-8 from the field, 1-for-2 from beyond the arc and 3-for-4 at the line. He grabbed two boards, dished one assist, plucked one steal, committed just one foul and ended the night without a single turnover.

Intriguing stuff from the 6-foot-5 guard.

Winning the turnover battle

IU demonstrated decent ball security, committing just 12 turnovers (evenly split between halves) for the game. BC Mega, meanwhile, ended with 27 (!) errors. From those mistakes, Indiana managed to score 34 points.

Welcome back, Jordan

Neither Jackson-Davis nor Thompson paced the Hoosiers in rebounds. The team leader? Why, that would be Jordan Geronimo, of course. The sophomore forward finished with 10 boards — five each on both ends of the court — across his 19 minutes of work.

The starting 5

It was a reasonable one for an August exhibition:

Thompson, Kopp, TJD, Parker Stewart and Xavier Johnson.

Next game

IU and BC Mega will tip off again at 1 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. There will not be any TV or radio or coverage for that game, either.